What exactly is vitamin B12 and why do we need it? Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is found in our food and we need it to keep our nerve cells healthy and to keep our red blood cells at optimum efficiency. It is also extremely important for proper digestion; in fact, our stomach acids grab the B12 from food and mix it with IF, which is then easily absorbed by the intestinal tract.
If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you are likely to feel tired, lightheaded, and weak. You may have a sore tongue or your gums may bleed. You will probably experience digestion problems – either diarrhea or constipation. You may feel tingling in your hands or feet, get out of breath easily, hear a ringing sound in your ears, have chest pain, and develop neurological symptoms such as forgetfulness, a lack of ability to focus, and becoming easily confused.
Most people do not suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, as it is readily available in a lot of different foods, but mostly meat, so sometimes vegetarians and vegans do not get enough B12 from their diets. If you do have a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is probably most likely due to some disorder of the digestive system. People with chronic diarrhea, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and the like are likely to have B12 anemia because of their inability to absorb the B12 they ingest.
Vitamin B12 is a known energy booster, and as such many dieticians and physicians are recommending weight loss patients, whether or not they have a vitamin B12 deficiency, include a shot in their diet therapy. The reason for this is most people who diet; tend to complain about losing energy, perhaps because of their limited calorie intake. Since B12 is a big energy provider, many health care professionals and lay people alike swear that dieters should follow a regimen for vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy. Most weight loss clinics include B12 injections as part of their overall healthy weight loss plans.
Neurologists, gastroenterologists, and family physicians also see the benefits of vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy. As people get older, they may eat a lesser variety of foods, and combined with the decrease in cognitive functioning people tend to display in their older years, vitamin B12 diet therapy is often seen as necessary. Even most doctors who treat patients with Alzheimer's recommend B12 as a general blood cell booster to help with cognitive abilities. Because a vitamin B12 deficiency can often result in an inability to focus and concentrate, students may also benefit from being tested for B12 levels.
Vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy has also been shown to reduce cravings. If you can eliminate or greatly reduce your desire for those foods that you know are not good for you, you are well on your way to overcoming food and weight loss difficulties. Vitamin B12 is a great energy source and a valuable craving reduction tool.