If you can’t seem to shake off the chronic fatigue you’ve been feeling, then you might be running low on vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in keeping your energy levels in check. Insufficient amounts of vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, mood changes, anxiety, and even depression.
So, what leads to the shortage of vitamin B12 in your body?
What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
The inadequate levels of vitamin B12 in your body can be linked to two things: low intake of B12-rich food and poor absorption of nutrients.
The ideal consumption of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms. Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly caused by the inadequate consumption of B12-rich food like meat, dairy, poultry, egg, and seafood. However, you can still suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency despite sufficient protein intake if your body cannot properly absorb these nutrients.
How is absorption carried out? Your stomach acids extract vitamin B12 from the food you eat. Vitamin B12 then binds with a protein called intrinsic factor, which transports it to your intestines and into the bloodstream. When diffused into the blood, vitamin B12 assists in the formation of your red blood cells.
However, if your gastrointestinal system fails to facilitate proper absorption due to underlying conditions, vitamin B12 will be excreted from your body. The discharge of these vitamins prevents you from maintaining normal levels of red blood cells, which are essential in carrying oxygen to your lungs as well as in converting nutrients.
So, how can you tell if you’re short on vitamin B12? Pale skin, mouth ulcers, breathlessness, lightheadedness, mood changes, numbness, and fatigue are common indicators of vitamin deficiency. If these have these symptoms, you can double-check with your physician.
What is the Role of Vitamin B12 in Regulating Energy?
Believe it or not, vitamin B12 works like a full-service production company in your body.
Vitamin B12 is an important component in different functions of your body, such as keeping your central nervous system, circulatory system, and metabolic process in check.
What part does vitamin B12 play in stabilizing your energy levels? Vitamin B12 is crucial in cellular metabolism and DNA synthesis. It works hand-in-hand with folic acid to ensure the healthy division and growth of cells in your body. So, without enough vitamin B12, red blood cells cannot be properly formed.
If you don’t have sufficient red blood cells count, the necessary amount of oxygen cannot be transported to your lungs. Oxygen is crucial in maintaining the normal functions of your organs. With reduced oxygen supply in your lungs, the right amount of oxygen cannot be transported to your cells and organs, particularly your heart.
That is the reason you feel breathless and tired. Your body cannot sustain the functions of your body due to decreased oxygen. Since your body is working double-time to make up for the loss of oxygen supply, you end up more mentally and physically exhausted.
Fatigue makes it more difficult for you to perform day-to-day tasks that your body can typically take. Exhaustion caused by a lack of vitamin B12 can affect your energy as well as your concentration and mood.
How Can You Boost Vitamin B12 in Your Body?
If you want to increase levels of vitamin B12 in your system, start with loading up on animal protein and dairy. Include liver, salmon, beef, chicken breast, and tuna in your daily meals to acquire that much-needed vitamin B12. Eggs, yogurt, and milk are also sources of these essential vitamins.
For plant-based eaters, you can consume vitamin B12 in the form of tofu, dairy-free yogurt, nutritional yeast, and plant milk. Some supplements also provide you with these vitamins.
To avoid side effects, follow the recommended daily dosage, which is 50 to 100 mcg. However, if you have gastrointestinal problems that make it harder for you to absorb vitamin B12, opt for injections.
Vitamin B12 injections will give you that immediate boost in energy as the vitamins are directly absorbed into the bloodstream. These shots should be prescribed by a medical expert, so you have to have your vitamin B12 levels checked before getting a shot. It’s also important to inform the doctor of your current medications and allergies to avoid side effects from the vitamin B12 injection.
Overall, maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 will enable you to perform your daily tasks with energy, concentration, and much-needed drive. If you don’t want anything to get in the way of how you live your life, you should load up on vitamin B12 every day.