Your body requires vitamins and minerals, as well as it needs water and air, to stay alive and to function properly.

These elements work together to provide proper functioning of all your organs.

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Most vitamins cannot be produced by human body, so they should be taken with foods or supplements.

One kind of vitamins is absorbed by the body only in certain amounts, which are required for normal functioning. If you take more of these elements, your organism will remove them. This type is called water soluble vitamins.

The second group involves vitamins, which could be stored in your liver or fat tissues to make reserves. These are called fat soluble vitamins.

Vitamin B12 is a crucial water soluble element, which takes part in production of red blood cells, DNA and fatty acids. It plays a great role in nerves formation and brain functioning.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

In addition to this, this vitamin helps your body to absorb and use folic acid as needed.

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You can find vitamin B12 almost in all animal foods, like eggs, dairy, meat and fish.

That's why getting enough of this component may become a big problem for strict vegetarians, whose menu lacks in all animal-based products.

Actually vitamin B12 deficiency may affect your body, even if you eat meat and poultry every day. The reason is that in some people, digestive system can't absorb the vitamin properly.

It's a rather common problem for those, who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune gastritis (when immune system mistakenly destroys person’s own stomach cells), celiac disease and chronic alcoholism.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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Stomach acid normally helps to soak vitamin B12. When we get older, amounts of stomach acid drops down, so chances of getting vitamin deficiency grow high. The same trouble often occurs in people, who take heartburn drugs on a daily basis.

If you've had surgery removal of the part of your intestines or stomach, your ability to absorb nutritive elements and essential vitamins may be significantly impaired.

According to the medical literature, the average adult needs to take 2.4 mg of vitamin B12 every day. If you don’t satisfy body’s needs, you may notice these signs and symptoms:

#1. Tingling and numbness in the limbs

#2. Pale or yellowish skin

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Credit: Freepik

#3. General weakness and permanent tiredness, which don't go away after rest

#4. Lack of coordination and poor balance

#5. Inflammation of the tongue that makes it red, swollen and painful

#6. Brain fog and memory problems

#7. Depression

#8. Changes in menstrual cycle

It's very common that symptoms develop slowly, progressing with time. Most of them are non-specific, so deficiency is often overlooked or found on the late stages, when patients have severe neurologic disorders.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

The only way to correct the problem is to fill body's demands for deficient component.

In advanced cases, medical professionals prescribe vitamin shots or high doses of B12 pills.

If vitamin B12 deficiency is mild, it's completely possible to correct it by consuming multivitamins.

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The best idea is to prevent deficiency, taking sufficient amount of microelements with foods. For vegans, it’s extremely important to take fortified cereals, soy milk or use special supplements.

Although vitamin B12 supplements were found to be safe, it's worth consulting with your doctor, before taking any pills.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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