South Beach Diet - Vitamin B12 deficiencies

View Full Version : Vitamin B12 deficiencies

06-30-2013, 01:54 PM
I had a nasty surprise last week when my doctor called to let me know that my bloodwork showed I had a very low B12 level and needed to take megasupplements, and possibly shots if those don't work.

Of course, I headed straight for Dr. Google, and learned some interesting things.

B12 is found in red meats (liver mostly, gag), oily fish (mackerel, salmon), shellfish, dairy and -- really truly -- raw egg yolks.

Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, burning/tingling in hands and feet, joint pain, memory loss, intestinal difficulties. (I haven't had all those symptoms, but I've been exhausted for over a year.)

Why a low level? It might be (some say it probably is) caused by a lack of ability for the intestines to absorb B12 in food, which may be caused by Celiac disease.

Another interesting fact: different countries have different definitions of "low level." (I don't yet know what mine is. She's mailing me the blood test results but wanted to warn me.) Japan has the highest -- 500 -- AND a much lower level of Alzheimer's than other countries. (I read so many different base levels in the U.S. I gave up.)

I thought this might be of interest to people. I'd certainly never worried about it before. Like many things, B12 levels decrease (sigh) with age.

06-30-2013, 09:55 PM
I take daily vitamen B12 suppliments already, along with iron.

06-30-2013, 10:04 PM
Interesting - it's a common problem in cats, and is caused by inflammatory bowel (small intestinal disease of some sort anyway). Of course, they don't tell us all those symptoms, but constipation is common, or just plain ole weight loss. (theirs is from allergies, so celiacs makes sense!)

06-30-2013, 11:32 PM
Alas, weight loss has not yet been a problem :(

07-01-2013, 06:22 AM
It also can be made in your intestines by bacteria. Also, if deprived of it enough it has been shown to cause dementia like symptoms in the elderly. There is a great book on this called "could it be b-12?".

I take a sublingual supplement I got a GNC. I also gives me a ton of energy if I take it say in the afternoon.

07-01-2013, 07:49 AM
Oohhh, maybe I should take a B12 in the afternoon instead of coffee!!

I wonder if Japan is so much higher because of the high fish in the diet? (Oh, I despise high oil fish...)

07-01-2013, 10:28 AM
I saw the sublingual pills, Emma, when I was ordering, but was afraid of how they'd taste! Twynn, I hate high oil fish too, except for salmon, but that may well be why the Japanese have such high levels. Those massaged cows might help, too!