Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells. Populations Vulnerable to Vitamin B-12 deficiency include older age group, people with Gastro problems, vegetarians and people with pernicious anemia.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Anemia caused by a lack of vitamin B12 can result in symptoms which include:
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- A lack of energy or lethargy
- Being out of breath
- Feeling faint
- Lack of appetite
Causes of B12 Deficiency
B12 deficiency is risk for vegetarian people basically as veg foods doesn’t contain B12. Source of B12 are meat, eggs and dairy products.
Other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Atrophic gastritis, or thinning of the stomach lining
- Stomach ulcers
- Digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease, bacterial growth
Treatment of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
- If you have pernicious anemia or have trouble absorbing vitamin B12, you’ll need shots of this vitamin at first.
- Animal products like mutton, beef ,lamb, liver contains B 12 . Thus, b12 may be deficient in vegetarians.
- If you don’t eat animal products, you have options. You can change your diet to include vitamin B12-fortified grains, a supplement or B12 injections, or a high-dose oral vitamin B12 if you are deficient.
Vitamin D is a hormone produced by skin exposure to natural sunlight, specifically the UV-B part of the light spectrum. There are several kinds of vitamin D. These different forms of Vitamin D regulate some of the most basic and important physiological functions of the body. Mineral absorption (especially calcium) and utilization (bone mineralization), metabolic rate (it has thyroid-related effects), synergies with other nutrients (e.g., vitamin K and vitamin A)
Symptoms of Vitamin D3 Deficiency:
They can be broadly classified into 3 categories namely skin, thyroid and neurologic symptoms.
Dry skin is the most common symptom of vitamin D3 deficiency. It is mostly caused due to the lack of antioxidants. Vitamin D3 plays an important role in preventing premature ageing.
2. Thyroid Gland:
Vitamin D3 is crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Vitamin D3 deficiency symptoms are also related to the functioning of the thyroid gland. The presence of vitamin D3 in the cells is vital for the thyroid hormone to affect the cell. Even the treatments for thyroid using herbs, progesterone or raising T3 levels require the right amount of vitamin D3 to be effective.
3. Neurological Symptoms:
Men and women usually suffer from neurologic symptoms of vitamin D3 deficiency. Vitamin D3 helps control the relaxation of skeletal and involuntary muscles. Deficiency symptoms of vitamin D3 include cramping and constriction of blood vessels.
Vitamin D3 plays an important role in bone health by facilitating calcium absorption. Thus, the bone disease rickets is the most prominent symptom of vitamin D3 deficiency. It is mainly caused due to the inability of the body to bind and absorb calcium and phosphate.
5. Cognitive Difficulties:
Vitamin D3 is also essential for our cognition. One study has indicated that people deficient in vitamin D3 have poorer mental function.
Causes of Vitamin D:
1. Inadequate Exposure to Sunlight:
Our body requires the sun’s ultraviolet rays to manufacture vitamin D3. At least 15 minutes exposure to sunlight is recommended to get the required amount of vitamin D3.
2. Use of Sunscreens:
Sunscreens with high SPF prevent our bodies from absorbing the beneficial amounts of sunlight. Our skin uses the energy from UVB rays to convert 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D3.
3. Progression of Age:
Age is also a factor that can cause vitamin D3 deficiency. As we age, our body becomes less equipped to produce sufficient quantities of vitamin D3.
4. Inadequate Intake from Food Sources:
The highest source of vitamin D3 is fish and fish products like cod liver oil. There are very few vegetarian sources of this vitamin. Foods like fortified milk, and cereals contain this vitamin in small quantities. Hence, vegetarians are more likely to suffer from vitamin D3 deficiency.
Vitamin D3 Deficiency Treatments:
Anyone can suffer from vitamin D3 deficiency and it can lead to long term health problems when left untreated.
1. Sun Exposure:
Getting adequate exposure to sunlight is the most effective way of raising your vitamin D3 levels. Spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight without sunscreen exposed is enough to get vitamin D3 to supply your needs. People with dark skin need longer exposure to sun than their lighter counterparts. The best time for getting enough vitamin D3 is from 11 am to 3 pm in the months of April to August.
There are very few foods which naturally supply vitamin D3. Some of the dietary sources include beef liver, cheese, eggs and fatty fish which contain small quantities of vitamin D3. Salmon oil is a rich source of this vitamin. Apart from this, fortified milk and orange juice also contain vitamin D3.
Several prescription supplements are available which can increase your vitamin D3 intake. However, these should be taken under the guidance of the physician.