Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin. Low blood levels of B12 can cause: Anemia and pernicious anemia, loss of balance , numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, and weakness
Vitamin B12 Blood Test - Why Vitamin B12 Is Important and Why You Should Test For it
The vitamin B complex includes many B vitamins such as vitamin B3, B6, B9, B12, and others. All of these vitamins are important, but vitamin B12 is particularly significant for the proper functioning of your nervous system.
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is one of eight B vitamins. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Humans are incapable of producing vitamin B12. Some substantial sources of B12 include animal products (shellfish, meat), fortified food products, and dietary supplements.
That's why you should be interested in doing a vitamin B12 blood test. This type of test is inexpensive, and it gives you a lot of information when it comes to your health. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of vitamin B12 in the body.
Symptoms of Low Vitamin B12 in the Blood
Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. It helps with the formation of red blood cells and prevents memory problems. However, this vitamin can get depleted. You can take it from animal products, various other foods, or supplements too.
The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are numerous, and they can disturb the quality of your life. For example, chronic fatigue and muscle weakness are common symptoms of having too little vitamin B12 circulating through your bloodstream.
That's because this vitamin helps to make more red blood cells. These cells are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body. If you don't get enough oxygen to tissues, muscles, and organs, you'll feel weak and exhausted most of the time.
On top of that, too little oxygen to vital tissues can cause dizziness. You might get confused and even experience shortness of breath from time to time. These are all related to having too little vitamin B12 in your blood.
Vitamin B12 deficiency also causes a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. Remember that this vitamin is paramount for the correct functioning of your nervous system. Too little vitamin B12 might cause nerve damage in the long run, and you'll feel this as "needles" through your extremities.
Your optic nerves also require a decent quantity of vitamin B12 to function correctly. If you are deficient in this vitamin, you might struggle with blurred vision or other types of eyesight problems in the long run.
Lastly, your nervous system influences your emotional system or how you feel every day. Having less vitamin B12 might lead to mood swings, irritability, and mild anxiety and depression in specific individuals.
Who is at Risk of Low B12 Blood Levels?
Low vitamin B12 blood levels occur when the body does not get or is unable to absorb the amount of vitamin that the body needs. There is a higher incidence of low B12 in:
- Many people over age 50 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.
- People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet should try to eat vitamin B12-fortified foods or talk to their health care provider about taking B12 supplements.
- People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12.
- People who have digestive disorders, such as Celiac or Crohn's Disease, may not absorb enough vitamin B12.
- People taking Metformin, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and alcohol since they can decrease B12 absorption.
What Are the Risk Factors for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Some people are more exposed to vitamin B12 deficiency in comparison with others. For example, people over the age of 50 might have trouble metabolizing this type of vitamin from food. They might need adequate supplementation of vitamin B12 in the form of pills to meet their daily needs.
People who struggle with autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease also have impaired absorption of vitamins from food. If you currently deal with an autoimmune disease, you might want to consider getting a vitamin B12 supplement.
What Are the Benefits of Having Sufficient Vitamin B12
You might be happy to find out that there are plenty of benefits of having sufficient B12 in your body. Remember that this is an essential nutrient that impacts your nervous and cardiovascular systems. Here are some of the essential advantages of having normal B12 levels.
B12 Prevents Anemia
Anemia is characterized by a lack of energy, brain fog, and even dizziness. It's caused by an iron deficiency, but it can also be caused by a lack of oxygen to organs and tissues. Since vitamin B12 is responsible for making red blood cells that transport oxygen, having a B12 deficiency can cause anemia.
Adequate intake of vitamin B12 is also known to give you an energy boost throughout the day. This means you can accomplish more, be more productive at work, and generally not get tired that easily.
B12 Prevents Bone Loss
Bone density tends to drop with age. When this happens, your bones become more brittle and susceptible to fractures. A lack of calcium is usually associated with bone loss. However, multiple studies show that vitamin B12 deficiency is also associated with bone density problems and bone loss.
Another significant bone loss condition is osteoporosis. This is common among people of elderly age, and it might lead to painful fractures and brittle bones that break easily. Sufficient levels of vitamin B12 might protect seniors against osteoporosis and other similar bone-related conditions.
B12 Prevent Depression
Anxiety and depression are more popular than people think. Such emotional problems can be caused by various factors, and a lack of sufficient vitamin B12 is just one of them. Scientists don't fully understand why, but not having enough vitamin B12 in your system might predispose you to mood swings, chronic anxiety, and depression.
B12 Prevents Hair and Skin Problems
Apart from maintaining bone health and proper red blood cell production, vitamin B12 also plays an important role when it comes to your hair, skin, and nails. Hair and skin problems are frequently associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. If you want to prevent skin problems, brittle nails, and hair loss, consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
B12 Might Decrease Your Homocysteine Levels
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by your body after it breaks down proteins. In normal quantities, homocysteine is not a problem for your health. However, if homocysteine levels get elevated, this could affect your body in the long run.
For example, high homocysteine levels are commonly associated with cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke. Medical doctors have found out that a lack of vitamin B12 causes elevated homocysteine levels.
Therefore, if you balance your B12 levels, your homocysteine levels should naturally decrease. As a result, you're less likely to develop life-threatening cardiovascular problems.
B12 May Slow Down Cognitive Decline
A recent study published in the health journal Neurology suggests that people who consume foods rich in vitamin B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's disease in their later years. Supplementing vitamin B12 can be beneficial if you have a difficult time consistently including foods in your diet that are rich in B12, or if you have a condition (or high activity level) which can deplete B12 from your body. Not only is vitamin B12 essential in boosting brain power, but it is also needed for the process of converting carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food into energy. Vitamin B12 also helps form healthy blood cells, and may aid in the prevention of heart disease. Supplementing vitamin B12 is very cheap and easy. There are two common types of vitamin B12 which are marketed, Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin.
Order a Vitamin B12 Blood Test to Check Your Levels Quickly!
Fortunately, there is a simple and efficient way you can test your B12 levels. You can order a blood test online and receive the results confidentially by mail.
To get exceptional value for your money, go to DiscountedLabs.com today and order the vitamin B12 blood test. You will receive the results back in just a few business days.
HOW DOES DISCOUNTEDLABS.COM WORK?
Go to the "Find a Location" page to find the closest lab location. No need to make an appointment since walk-ins are welcomed. Once you have identified your closest location, go to step 2.NOTE: We serve all states in the U.S. except New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Residents of those states need a written lab order from an in-state provider. Individuals cannot obtain a blood draw in neighboring states.
If you have a discount coupon code, add it to your cart.
A $8 lab processing fee will be added to your total.
Pay using a credit card.
You will receive an order confirmation and instructions email on how to download your lab request.
Print lab request form that you downloaded.
Take that form to the closest Quest Diagnostics location with a picture ID. Get your blood drawn.
You will receive an email when the results are ready for you to download.Note: You cannot place an order under someone else's profile. The profile person's name will appear on the lab order form.
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