Are You B12 Deficient?
When it comes to weight loss, your body needs to be firing on all cylinders to provide you with the energy and means to maximise your weight loss and meet those healthy lifestyle goals. That’s why it’s important to ensure you’re not deficient in any essential vitamins or nutrients – especially B12.
What is B12?
B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that’s necessary for your body to function correctly. It’s an essential component in cell metabolism, part of DNA synthesis, and is important for brain function.
We usually get vitamin B12 from our diet, as it’s found bound to proteins in animal-related foods – such as fish, poultry, and other meats, along with dairy products and eggs. You can also find foods fortified with B12 – as in, added by people – so those who do not eat animal-based products should look for B12 in plant-based milks, nutritional yeast, and other foods. (Listen up, vegetarians and vegans!) You can also take vitamin B12 as a supplement.
If you’re older than 14, the National Institutes of Health recommends you consume 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day. If you’re pregnant or lactating, you should bump that up to 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg respectively. Ensuring your body has enough B12 will go a long way to keeping your body functioning healthfully and converting the fuel you feed your body into energy.
What do our bodies use B12 for?
Our bodies use B12 for many essential body functions – we use it for red blood cell synthesis, correct neurological function, DNA synthesis, and the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids. Those fatty and amino acids are then instrumental in the synthesis of various hormones, proteins, and more – along with metabolizing fat and protein. If you want to get stuff done, you’ll be doing it with B12!
People take B12 supplements for a number of reasons and conditions – you’ll find it on the list of supplements for folks suffering from memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease, for those seeking boosts in mood and energy, and for people trying to increase the efficacy of their immune system. B12 is taken by people with Lou Gehrig’s disease or MS, and those with Lyme disease. Diabetics take B12 to help with diabetic nerve damage. Folks who have difficulty sleeping take it, as do people suffering from IBS, sleep disorders, or schizophrenia. Like we said, it’s an essential little vitamin.
How do you tell if you’re B12 deficient?
According to the National Institutes of Health, symptoms of B12 deficiency can include the following:
- loss of appetite,
- weight loss,
- numbness and tingling in hands and feet,
- difficulty balancing,
- poor memory, or
- soreness of mouth and tongue.
If you have many of these symptoms, you should speak with your healthcare provider. They may wish to do a blood test and check your B12 levels – or evaluate you for other conditions with similar symptoms.
What do you do if you’re deficient in B12?
If you suspect that you’re B12 deficient, you can increase your consumption of foods known to contain B12. Pick up breakfast cereals fortified with 100% of your daily recommended intake of B12, or eat some tuna fish, trout, or salmon. A glass of low-fat milk, some low-fat yogurt with fruit, and Swiss cheese are all good sources of B12, too.
Of course, it may be more useful to move directly to B12 supplements and make them part of your daily vitamin regimen. If your healthcare provider discovers that you’re B12 deficient, they may instead give you B12 injections. It’s the best way to guarantee your body absorbs the B12 properly since it doesn’t have to go through your digestive tract. This may be combined with taking B12 vitamins orally.
As part of your total partners in weight loss, Bee Healthy Clinics actually offer B12 injections as part of your weight loss treatment plan – these so-called “fat burner” injections help ensure you’ll have the energy and focus to exercise daily and achieve your happiest weight. Learn more about B12/lipotropic injections here and then find our clinic location nearest you!