Symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and is essential for our metabolism, the formation of red blood cells and to maintain the central nervous system. This vitamin is only found in foods of animal origin such as seafood, liver and beef, vegetables do not contain it and some cereals if they are fortified with vitamin B12, will have an important contribution in the body. Having low levels of coal man, as it is also known, can have serious health consequences. Here we explain the symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12.

Recommended dose of vitamin B12

To avoid the lack of this vitamin in our body, it is necessary to know how to ingest vitamin B12 according to the recommended dose:


  • 0 to 6 months: 0.4 mcg / day
  • 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg / day


  • 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg / day
  • 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg / day
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 1.8 mcg / day

Adolescents and adults

  • Men and women over 14 years: 2.4 mcg / day
  • Pregnant women and adolescents: 2.6 mcg / day
  • Lactating women and adolescents: 2.8 mcg / day

It should be noted that in addition to food, we can consume vitamin B12 supplements, if a doctor has suggested it. This vitamin comes in the form of capsules; you can apply it as an injection or in a sublingual format, which dissolves under the tongue. Additionally, your body will better absorb the supplement if you combine it with other B vitamins or magnesium.

Symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes be asymptomatic, however the most common symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12 are:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Swollen tongue accompanied by burning.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Bruising

When you have spent a long time with a lack of vitamin B12, a series of neurological symptoms begin, such as:

  • Loss of balance
  • Anemia and pernicious anemia.
  • Tingling in the extremities.
  • Loss of memory.

There are some risks factors for having a vitamin B12 deficiency, among them are:

  • Being over 50 years old, since with age the ability to absorb vitamin B12 is lost.
  • People with Cohen”s disease or celiac disease, this interferes with absorption.
  • Having had any gastrointestinal surgery.
  • People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Sources of vitamin B12

As we explained previously, the best way to satisfy our body”s need for coalman is through the intake of animal proteins; below we show you the foods that contain vitamin B12:

  • Organ meats such as beef liver and kidneys.
  • Seafood in general, but especially clams.
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products.
  • Cereals that are fortified with this vitamin.

The meat that gives us the most benefit, usually have a high fat content, so if you suffer from cholesterol, it will be necessary to reduce its consumption and choose the poultry.


  • Combine all the foods in the food pyramid to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Perform a blood test every year.
  • Practice some exercise.
  • Combine the intake of vitamin B12 along with that of magnesium to ensure better absorption, especially if you eat a vegetarian diet.

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