What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is important to produce DNA as well as to maintain proper functioning in your nervous system. It’s found in animal products such as meat, shellfish, milk, cheese and eggs.

What Diseases/Conditions is Vitamin B12 Linked To?

Low levels of Vitamin B12 have been linked to anemia. Anemia can affect the ability of the body to deliver oxygen to nourish organs and cells. High levels of Vitamin B12 have been linked to a type of leukemia and cirrhosis (advanced scarring of the liver).

Symptoms of Low Levels

You want your Vitamin B12 levels to be no lower than 200. If it is, the most common cause is an inadequate vitamin B12 in the diet, insufficient production of a binding protein produced in the stomach and inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 and its binding protein from food into the body from the small intestine. The latter can cause enlargement of red blood cells and deficiency of red blood cells, called “anemia.”

Symptoms

You may want to have your levels tested if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Numbness in hands, legs or feet
  • Trouble walking
  • Swollen tongue
  • Jaundice
  • Mental Difficulties
  • Paranoia
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • People who take heartburn medicines over a long period.

Who May Want to Have Their Vitamin B12 Levels Tested?

Anyone who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet should consider having their Vitamin B12 levels tested. Otherwise, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to consider having your levels tested.

Always seek the advice of your doctor if you have questions about your results.