Food & Nutrition

11 Silent Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Vitamin B12

Memory loss and pale skin could mean you’re deficient of this important but overlooked nutrient.

What’s the deal with vitamin B12?

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There are eight B vitamins, and all of them give your body energy by helping to convert food into fuel. Vitamin B12 is especially important in producing DNA and maintaining healthy nerve and blood cells. One way it protects blood cells is by preventing megaloblastic anemia, a condition that reduces the amount of oxygen your red blood cells can carry. The recommended daily amount of B12 is 2.4 mcg, and most people consume that much naturally by eating healthy amounts of protein. A deficiency occurs when vitamin B12 isn’t a regular part of someone’s diet or when someone can’t absorb the nutrient properly. Here are some vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms you should be on the lookout for. Here are the 12 vitamin mistakes you might not realize you’re making. 

Your hands or feet feel numb and tingling

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Vitamin B12 helps make myelin, the protective covering for nerves. Without it, your nerves could get damaged since they aren’t being properly formed. “When nerves start shrinking, you start going from normal sensations to pins and needles,” says Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

You’re exhausted

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Feeling overly tired, weak, or short of breath? Your blood cells could be the culprit. Since vitamin B12 plays an important role with blood cells, one of the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms you could experience is megaloblastic anemia. The body starts producing large, immature red blood cells that can’t carry oxygen throughout the body. That lack of oxygen makes you feel run down. Here are the best 10 vitamins for sleep. 

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