Vitamin B12 is needed for DNA synthesis, neurodevelopment, and nervous system function. Lacking in the essential vitamin may cause symptoms such as demyelinating nervous system disease, dementia, psychiatric illness, and vascular occlusions. There is another worrying sign your body is running low in B12.
In a study published in the Neurology, the prevalence of B12 deficiency in patients presenting with non-specific pain and other sensory symptoms was analysed.
The study involved 70 patients, 19 males and 51 females with ages ranging from 10 – 91.
Most of the patients had sensory symptoms of limbs (76 percent) and vague body pain (82 percent).
It was found that there was a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients presenting with ill-defined chronic pain and other non-specific sensory symptoms.
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Non-specific symptoms or chronic pain syndrome was found in those suffering with low B12 levels.
“Vitamin B12 is a correctable nutritional deficiency, and such may be the initial manifestation,” noted the study.
It added: “This has to be treated to prevent progression to neuropathy, myelopathy and dementia.”
Many people do not consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others are not able to absorb it enough, no matter how much they take in.
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.
A serious vitamin B12 deficiency can be corrected two ways either by shots of vitamin B12 or daily high-dose B12 pills.
A mild B12 deficiency can be corrected with a standard multivitamin.
If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to eat breads, cereals, or other grains that have been fortified with vitamin B12 or take a daily supplement.
A standard multivitamin delivers six micrograms, more than enough to cover the average body’s daily need.