Vitamin B12 brings innumerable benefits, such as keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helping to make DNA. Since B12 is absorbed through diet, some people are prone to becoming deficient in the vitamin. There are many reasons why you may fall short of the required amount but two of the main reasons are adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet or living with pernicious anaemia.
In regards to the former, vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and dairy products, such as meat, fish, poultry and milk.
Most of these products are off-limits for vegetarians and vegans so they are more prone to becoming deficient.
Pernicious anaemia, on other hand, is an autoimmune disease that prevents the body from making intrinsic factor – a protein made by the stomach and needed to absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine.
Irrespective of the underlying cause, the symptoms associated with B12 deficiency can be unsettling and wide-ranging.
READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The sign in your day-to-day life you could lack B12
Her sister cared for her after her health deteriorated as a result of B12 deficiency.
Her speech was slurred, and, according to her sister, “sometimes incomprehensible,” the report said.
Other oral symptoms
According to the article in he ClinMed International Library, other oral-related warning signs include:
- Glossitis – pain and burning sensation in tongue,
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Gradually progressive hoarseness
- Difficulty eating
- Red stains on inside of cheeks and tongue
B12 deficiency – how to treat it
Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12.
There are two types of vitamin B12 injections:
“If your vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by a lack of the vitamin in your diet, you may be prescribed vitamin B12 tablets to take every day between meals,” says the NHS.
It adds: “People who find it difficult to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets, such as those following a vegan diet, may need vitamin B12 tablets for life.”
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or are looking for alternatives to meat and dairy products, there are other foods that contain vitamin B12, however.
As the NHS explains, alternative sources include yeast extract (including Marmite), as well as some fortified breakfast cereals and soy products.
“Check the nutrition labels while food shopping to see how much vitamin B12 different foods contain,” the health site advises.