Vitamin B12 does many things for our body. It helps to make our DNA formation and our red blood cells, too.
Normal Levels of B12
The answer depends on things including our age, our food habits and other health conditions, and what medicines we take.
The average recommended amounts, measured in micrograms (mcg), vary by age:
- Infants (up to age 6 months): 0.4 mcg
- Babies (age 7-12 months): 0.5 mcg
- Children (age 1-3 years): 0.9 mcg
- Kids (age 4-8 years): 1.2 mcg
- Children (age 9-13 years): 1.8 mcg
- Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
- Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If we have vitamin B12 deficiency, we can be anemic which means lower blood counts. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as:
- Weakness, unusual fatigue, or lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
- dull skin
- A smooth tongue
- Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
- Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
- Vision loss
- Mental problems like depression, anxiety or loss of memory
How to Prevent?
Most people can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by eating enough meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.
If we don’t eat animal products, we can take vitamin B12 in a multivitamin or other supplement and foods fortified with vitamin B12.
If we choose to take vitamin B12 supplements, let your doctor know, so he or she can make sure they won’t affect any medicines.
Pregnancy and Vit B12
If you are a pregnant lady on a vegan or vegetarian diet, and plan to only breastfeed your baby then You should talk to your doctor before you have your baby, so that you have a plan in place for how you’ll get enough vitamin B12 to keep your baby healthy.
Without enough vitamin B12, your baby might have developmental delays and and grow like a normal child.