Vitamin B12 deficiency: The symptoms to look out for including ‘memory loss’
The signs and symptoms should you be aware of for Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to a number of health problems if not caught and treated early enough, including memory loss. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient you should ensure you’re getting enough of, as it helps make red blood cells and regulate the nervous system.
There are many common vitamin deficiencies that some people may not be aware of, especially when we are constantly exposed to cold weather and some form of vitamin D deficiency can occur. Vitamin B12 is a common deficiency, especially in people over the age of 65, NHS.
When caught early, deficiency can be easily treated and should not cause symptoms for a long time. However, if left untreated, patients can go on to develop more severe symptoms and side effects.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Alex Glover, a senior nutritionist at Holland & Barrett, explained: “A vitamin B deficiency can cause problems ranging from headaches and irritability to anemia and fatigue.”
“Rash, regular bruising, slow-healing wounds, muscle weakness and tingling are also signs that you have a vitamin B deficiency.”
“Vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common cause of side effects, which include physical weakness, memory loss and other serious neurological problems such as vision problems.”
According to MayoClinic, some studies suggest that low levels of vitamin B12 may be associated with an increased risk of dementia. Despite this, supplementation with B vitamins has not been shown to improve brain function or symptoms of memory loss.
Despite its role in memory, vitamin B12 is an important part of a healthy diet. Karl Christian, founder and skin care expert of the health and beauty brand New Nordic, told Express.co.uk: Can’t be made.
The main ones are B12 which makes red blood cells and regulates the nervous system, B6 which helps the body convert food into energy and B1 and B2 which convert food into energy as well as the nervous system, Transforms the skin and supports the eyes.
“B12 is important because it can improve our mood and increase our energy.”
Dr Angela Roy, a GP at London General Practice, said that although diet is a major cause of deficiencies, it can affect older adults for a variety of reasons. He told Express.co.uk: “Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy products. Therefore, vegetarians or non-vegetarians are more likely to be deficient.
“Older adults can also absorb less B12, and some medications can interfere with B12 absorption.”
Vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest itself in a number of ways, depending on the individual and the cause. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr. Joshua Berkowitz, founder of the IV Boost Clinic, said: “If you are deficient in B12 you will feel tired, have a loss of appetite and may experience mood swings and depression .
“It will also damage your nervous system — you may feel numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
“This can be a serious problem and will require a GP to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.”
According to the NHS, if you are concerned that you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you should see a GP as soon as possible. The Health Service states: “It is important to diagnose and treat anemia with vitamin B12 or folate deficiency as soon as possible.
“This is because although many symptoms improve with treatment, some of the problems caused by the condition cannot be reversed.”
How can you get more vitamin B12 naturally in your diet?
According to Mr Christian of New Nordic: “We can increase the levels of B vitamins in our bodies by eating foods such as whole grains, meat, cheese and leafy greens, including kale and kale.
“Another way to help your body get the B vitamins it needs is to take a supplement like B-Energy Mega-Power.” For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are many options.
Mr Glover said: “There are many plant-based sources and B-vitamin foods, including whole grains, legumes, potatoes, bananas, peppers and brewer’s yeast.
“Growing the bacteria in your gut will also help you remove B vitamins from your food.” However, he notes that in people who often lack foods rich in B vitamins, “it is worth considering taking a supplement”.