Personal Health

Vitamin B 12 deficiency symptoms and causes

Vitamin B12 deficiency is all the rage, various companies prices food Supplement with the Vitamin, but which means a lack of at all for our health? What is the need of the organism to a chemical substance? Which population group is a risk of under-supply?

Table of contents

An Overview

  • Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in the Parts of the cells, with the formation of blood and for the Functioning of the nervous system.
  • In contrast to what is suggested to us advertising for Vitamin B12 supplements, is a deficiency is rather rare, since most people in Germany are adequately supplied with the fuel.
  • Healthy people need not usually a dietary Supplement with the Vitamin.
  • Since Vitamin B12 is reinforced contained in animal products, form the Vegans are an exception, because you have to add extra Vitamin B12 to stay healthy.

Why do we need the Vitamin?

Vitamin B12 refers to chemical Compounds with Cobalaminen and is mostly bound to proteins. Although we need these chemical Compounds only in a very small quantity, however, they act in diverse processes of the organism. These include:

  • DNA synthesis,
  • the formation of blood and cells,
  • the provision of folic acid,
  • the energy budget of the cells,
  • fat metabolism and
  • the functions of the nerves.

In addition, the Vitamin affects neurotransmitter, the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.

Where is Vitamin B12?

The Vitamin is found in animal foods such as meat, eggs, fish and all dairy products. Small amounts are also found in a few vegetable products such as Sauerkraut, however, not sufficient to supply the body with the fabric. In the case of an average mixed diet in Germany, also in the case of an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet with milk, eggs and cheese, we take more of the Vitamin than is necessary.

How is it a defect?

Our body manufactures the Vitamin itself, so we need to bring us the food. In the stomach, it is released and bound to proteins, which transport it then. As a result, the body takes it through the intestinal mucosa, while the liver stores the substance.

To a lack of it, because the Concerned, either take enough Vitamin B12, or the body cannot use it, which is often the case with diseases in the intestine. The mucous membrane of the digestive organs the skin is damaged, for example by Crohn’s disease or inflammation of the stomach mucosa, can not transport the Vitamin often. A other disorder of the vitamin household comes about by a lack of stomach acid, which is usually triggered by proton pump inhibitors. In this case, the Vitamin cannot be released from the dietary free and protein bound.

Unlike in industrial countries, took (and take) the people in pre-modern societies and in developing countries much less or too little of the Vitamin through meat. However, the defect was assumed to be rare to an extent, as it is the case with other pathological vitamin deficiencies (scurvy or rickets) is the case, as the country people had generally always have access to milk and milk products (and has).

How do you show a lack of

Vitamin deficiency leads to anemia (megaloblastärer anemia), which, in turn, leads to pallor and exhaustion. Other symptoms may be a Burning sensation on the tongue, numbness, an unsteady gait, and confusion (mental confusion).

The anemia due to a decreased number of blood platelets, resulting in a reduction of white blood cells. This means a higher susceptibility to infections, since the body is weakening your own immune system.

The uncertain has its cause in dysfunction of the nervous system, as well as the mental confusion and tingling in the limbs. The vitamin shortage can occur even paralysis.

A deficiency affects the chemical messengers and nerves, therefore, mental disorders may be long-term effects of a vitamin deficiency: depression, dementia, anxiety disorders, psychosis and hallucinations are possible.

The Problem with this is that none of these symptoms is specific. You all can have causes other than a defect. Anemia could be a result of iron deficiency, nervous disorders may be due to a nerve disorder, etc., – therefore, you should not come to the idea of a stand-alone diagnosis. This is a matter for Doctors.

What time is the symptoms?

The vitamin deficiency develops over the long term. The liver of a healthy person saves the fuel typically in an amount that covers the requirements for three years. Vegans should watch out for: you can feed for years, vegan, without the deficiency symptoms do not show, although they ensure an adequate intake of the Vitamin. However, this means only that the liver from their inventories Deplete. The “harmless” symptoms such as fatigue occur while the memory is emptied in the liver.

There is a Overdose?

Many of the vitamins, a deficiency is not problematic, because an Overdose can be just as harmful. In the case of a Vitamin B12 Excess there is no reference to such damage, as the body excretes unused B12. You should not suffer an acute B12 supply, you can take the Vitamin, nevertheless, without any concerns – they harm only your wallet, because you pay for a worthless product.

Ask the doctor or the Doctor

When you suspect a B12 deficiency, consult a doctor or a health care professional. Pregnant women have an increased need for Vitamin B12, which can cover the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products. Ask your gynecologist or your gynecologist, if supplements are an Option.

In the case of chronic bowel disease, you should pay attention specifically to their B12-budget and with your local specialist about ways to talk to get this in gear. If the intestinal mucosa the Vitamin is not transport, additional vitamin supplements does not make sense, since you will not have sufficient quantities of the substance in the body. This also applies to a lack of stomach acid.


You asked the doctor to your diet and/or chronic diseases and you suspect a deficiency, this can be with several Tests to prove.

The Serum-Test shows the total amount of B12 in the blood. However, he is considered to be inaccurate because it also measures Compounds, which are similar to Vitamin. Secure the Holo-TRANS-cobalamin Test is, as this measures the usable Vitamin B12, which is transported by the transcobalamin. Also a Test of methylmalonic acid in blood or urine is considered to be safe, because this acid is a by-product of Vitamin-B12 budget. The lower the value, the higher the defect.


If you are neither Vegan, nor to the “typical Suspects” to suffer, so to diseases of the bowel, stomach or pancreas, there is no risk for a Vitamin B12 deficiency. You can eat in case of doubt, just more meat, liver or eggs. A Test can be easy for your doctor or your family doctor.


A lack of Vitamin a in a variety of preparations to treat. Whether the increase in the intake of food supplements or drugs is decided by the doctor or the Doctor after the diagnosis.

Be careful with advertising promises

If you have an actual deficiency, caution in dietary supplements offered on “Chlorella-based”. These are touted as an organic Alternative to Cyanocobalamin, but contain only Vitamin B12-analogues that don’t look like vitamins. The Basis for Vitamin-B12-products is mostly of microorganisms such as Propionibacterium acnes formed Cyanocobalamin.

The manufacturers of dietary supplements, of course, have a financial interest and want to sell your resources, of course. As it is not in the said supplements in order to medicines, they may not be touted as healing agents for diseases. In the case of Vitamin B12, for example, are often effective advertising phrases such as “contributes to energy metabolism” or “plays a role in the Functioning of the nervous system”, etc., are attached. This is not wrong, but if the suggestions also subliminal in the sense that a healthy person takes these drugs and they promote, in addition to “well-being”, it is simply wrong. In addition to throwing your money out the window. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)