(ORDO NEWS) — Without this vitamin, a healthy life is simply unthinkable, writes Sözcü. The correspondent of the publication talked with a specialist in internal medicine, Professor Osman Erk. He said that there is a supplement that is needed during a pandemic, and also explained why it is becoming increasingly difficult to get it from food.
Prof. Dr. Erk noted that vitamin B12 performs many important functions in the healthy functioning of the body, and said: “When it is deficient, the risk of heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases increases.”
Without vitamin B12, a healthy life is simply unthinkable. This vitamin, which is not synthesized in the human body and must be supplied to the body from the outside, along with food, is found only in products of animal origin. Internal medicine specialist Prof. Dr. Osman Erk emphasized that B12, which enhances memory and immunity, supports heart health, is one of the essential vitamins during the pandemic, and shared the following information.
Getting with food is getting harder
Modern farming practices, such as overuse of pesticides, intensive exposure to artificial fertilizers, lack of soil rest, have led to the disappearance or reduction of many types of bacteria that live in the soil and synthesize vitamin B12. While vitamin B12 was once found in plant foods such as mushrooms and seaweed, these plants do not contain B12 these days. In addition, packaged foods with a lot of non-natural additives now sold in supermarkets are extremely low in vitamin B12, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. In animals raised on feed without the use of organic fertilizers, the level of vitamin B12 gradually decreases. Processing, storage, cutting, cooking products significantly reduce the amount of vitamins, minerals,
How is B12 deficiency detected?
Vitamin B12 deficiency usually presents with the following symptoms:
- – fatigue;
- – forgetfulness;
- – problems with memory;
- – violation of concentration;
- – disorder of perception;
- – impaired coordination of movements;
- – lack of appetite;
- – weakness;
- – insomnia;
- – dizziness;
- – decrease in intellectual abilities;
- – numbness and tingling in the limbs;
- – pain, swelling of the tongue;
- – dementia, Alzheimer’s disease;
- – insulin resistance, obesity;
- – signs of coronary heart disease (chest pain, shortness of breath);
- – pallor with a lemon-yellow tint.
What problems does a B12 deficiency cause?
As we age, the absorption of vitamin B12 decreases. This happens because the structure and functions of the stomach, like all other organs, are disturbed. In addition, the arbitrary use of anti-ulcer drugs and drugs such as metformin impairs B12 absorption.
As absorption becomes more difficult with age, it also becomes more difficult for vitamin B12 and folic acid to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain tissue. In people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, levels of B12 and folic acid have been shown to decrease and the amount of homocysteine in the blood to increase.
Vitamins B12 and B6, folic acid contribute to the conversion of homocysteine formed in the body into methionine, a useful amino acid.
In the absence of these vitamins, too much homocysteine accumulates in the blood. Homocysteine increases the risk of a heart attack and harms the health of the blood vessels, brain, and nerves. Various studies have shown that deficiency of these vitamins negatively affects neurological and psychological functions such as perception, cognition, concentration, learning.
B12 deficiency also weakens the immune system, therefore increasing the risk of contracting infectious diseases. Scientific studies confirm that this vitamin, which makes the body resistant to viruses and bacteria, is a protective shield against coronavirus.
What products contain?
Vitamin B12 is found in organ meats such as liver, spleen, seafood such as oysters, shrimp, trout, herring, mackerel, tuna, as well as eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese.
How is the treatment carried out?
The diagnosis is made by measuring the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. Vitamin B12 can be taken in the form of tablets or injections (intramuscularly). Patients react very painfully to injection treatment, but immediately feel good.
Do I need to take supplements?
Vitamin B12 supplements are often used unnecessarily and excessively with the idea that it “strengthens the brain,” “helps against dementia,” “prevents stroke.” These drugs are not recommended for people with normal vitamin B12 levels.
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