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Vitamin B12 - How Its Deficiency Is Bad For You?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rohini Dhillon 92% (513 ratings)
General Physician, Gurgaon  •  40 years experience
Vitamin B12 - How Its Deficiency Is Bad For You?

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is required for maintaining good health. A drop in the level of this vitamin can result in an individual becoming susceptible to various adverse health conditions. Vitamin B12 is an energy vitamin and is crucial for a healthy immune system as well as a healthy brain. The metabolism of the body functions effectively with vitamin B12. People with deficiency of this vitamin in their body can have digestion problems or may suffer from rapid heartbeat.

The three main groups that are at higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include vegetarians, people who are over the age of 55 and people who are chronically ill. The main function of Vitamin B12 in the body is to aid the production of red blood cells that are important for the efficient functioning of the body. These red blood cells are essential as they help to deliver oxygen to the cells in our body. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can result in blood cells not forming properly and it becomes difficult for the body to perform its functions.

Essential vitamins for the body
There are different types of Vitamin B in the body. They are termed differently and include Vitamin B1 as Thiamine, Vitamin B2 as Riboflavin, and Vitamin B3 as Niacin, which mainly comprises nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Vitamin B5 is termed as Panthothenic acid and likewise Vitamin B12 is termed as Cobalamin. All these vitamins are very important for maintaining a good health. The other health problems that are caused by the deficiency of other types of Vitamin B in the body include depression, water retention, high blood pressure and anemia.

  • Growth in infants can be impaired due to the deficiency of Vitamin B7 in the body and can lead to neurological disorders as well.
  • It is important to seek advice from a doctor in case you are suffering from cognitive defects, memory loss or increased homocysteine, which results as a consequence of Vitamin B12 deficiency. It is best to adopt a healthy diet, which contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. For instance, food products like fish, liver and potatoes are good sources of Vitamin B12.
  • It has been observed that decreased levels of Vitamin B5 in the body can cause anemia and deficiency of Niacin.
  • Also insufficient tryptophan in the body can cause pellagra. The common conditions that patients suffering from pellagra undergo include aggression, profound weakness, mental confusion, dermatitis diarrhea and insomnia.

The other health conditions that can result due to the deficiency of Vitamin B12 in the body include pale skin tone, dizziness, weight loss, and lack of energy.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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