What are Vitamins?
In simple words, a vitamin is an organic molecule that is stated as an essential micronutrient, required in small proportions for the proper functioning for its metabolism. Along with several benefits, these vitamins if not provided in the body in right quantity can also cause deficiencies. There are several different vitamins. Different vitamins help in proper functioning of different organs or parts in the body. There are total 13 essential vitamins and Vitamin B12 is one among them. In case of Vitamin B12 deficiency, there are several natural remedies for Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin. There are total 8 Vitamin B types. Vitamin B12 is one of the types. This vitamin plays an important role in the functioning of the nervous system, and also in the formation of blood.
Vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of almost every cell of the human body, especially those affecting DNA synthesis and regulation. It is also involves in fatty acid synthesis and energy production. It is the the largest and the most structurally complicated and the last B vitamin to be discovered . Its also the first natural product consisting cobalt, which can be produced industrially using the process of bacterial fermentation synthesis. Vitamin B12 is not produced in plants and animals and is therefore obtained from an anaerobic bacteria known as Streptomyces.
Vitamin B12 is also known as anti-pernicious anemia factor (APA Factor) and is used in the treatment of pernicious anemia. Biological Grignard reagent is the co-enzyme form of Vitamin B12.
- It is a very important naturally occurring Organometallic compound.
- Vitamin B12 is the only Vitamin that contains a metal, that is Cobalt.
- It is synthesized by a microorganism.
- It is firstly isolated from the liver.
- It is a co-enzyme and acts as a prosthetic, that means it can bind with several enzymes in the body.
Sources for Vitamin B12
- some fortified breakfast cereals
An average human adults requires about 1.5 micrograms a day of vitamin B12. If a person is a non vegetarian and consumes meat, fish or dairy foods, then he/she should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from their diet. But vitamin B12 is not naturally found in common daily consuming foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains, and thus vegans may not get enough of it.
Anemia is the most common problem caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency. It might have adverse affects on the nervous system as well. The most causes could be diet problems or certain medical history. Treatment for the deficiency includes supplements and consumption of food items rich in B12. Several natural remedies for Vitamin B12 deficiency are available. Symptoms of deficiency includes:
- It affects the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
- It is more likely to affect the legs more than the hand
- Affects both sides of the body equally
- It causes Chronic cough
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Sensory disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Tingling sensation in fingers and toes
- Urinary Incontinence
- Pale skin, sore tongue, palpitations
How much Vitamin B12 should an individual get?
- Infants up to age 6 months require 0.4 mcg
- Babies age 7-12 months require 0.5 mcg
- Children age 1-3 years require 0.9 mcg
- Kids age 4-8 years require 1.2 mcg
- Children age 9-13 years require 1.8 mcg
- Teens of age 14 require18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
- Adults require 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
Causes for the deficiency
- Ignoring Non vegetarian items in the diet maybe an important cause of the deficiency.
- Dairy products and meat are a rich source of Vitamin B12. People who are not able to absorb the nutrients from the food, might cause deficiency of Vitamin B12.
- If an individual is infected with diseases like HIV, Crohn’s disease, they might be Vitamin B12 deficient.
- If an autoimmune disease attacks the body cells, especially the ones in the stomach, it can produce certain intrinsic factors.
- If an individual is consuming certain anti-seizure drugs or antibiotics.
- Presence of Platyhelminthes, like Flatworm or Nematodes, like roundworm also leads to deficiency in Vitamin B12.
- Vegan people are more prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Individuals with pernicious anemia also lack the ability to absorb Vitamin B12 content in the food properly, that is one cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Diseases Associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Addison’s disease in which the adrenal gland produces large amounts of the hormone cortisol
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Grave’s Disease that causes overproduction of thyroid glands leading to hyperthyrodism
- Hyperactivity of pituitary gland
Natural Remedies for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are several natural remedies for Vitamin B12 deficiency. Some of them are listed below
- Including food rich in Vitamin B12- Red meat such as beef and fishes like tuna have large amounts of Vitamin B12, while others like chicken and salmon can also be considered as good sources of Vitamin B12. Change in diet can be the basic Natural remedy for Vitamin B12 deficiency. People who avoid eating meat can also get their Vitamin B12 by eating eggs.
- Vitamin B12 is also added in fortified grain products, such as cereals. As vegetarian people are prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency, they must include the grains in their diet to maintain the proper levels required for an individual.
- Vegans can also switch to Vitamin B12 supplements, which excludes the meat factor completely. It is crucially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Natural remedies for Vitamin B12 deficiency also includes consumption of Wheat Grass. A rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it helps in combating each and every disease. This is considered to be a good ayurvedic/Natural remedy for Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Sprouts have a large amount of Vitamin B12 in them.
- Fermented juice made from fermenting different millets like ragi, Foxtail millet, Little millet and barnyard millet is a healthy and natural source for Vitamin B12. Dishes such as idli or dosa made by fermenting rice grains is also effective in improving gut health. If an individual maintains the flora of their gut, he/she will never suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency.
There are many other natural remedies for Vitamin B12 Deficiency but rather than treating them after the deficiency has been detected, it is important that we never let this scenario arise in our body. Therefore, the body must always be loaded with important vitamins for the smooth functioning of all the organs.