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In addition to its important function in blood formation, vitamin B12 also protects our nerve cells. Vitamin B12 is involved in the formation of the nerve sheath, called myelin sheath. This forms a sort of insulating layer around the nerve fibers and thus guarantees rapid transmission of sensory perceptions and stimuli.
Does the body suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, this layer of myelin can no longer be sufficiently preserved and is gradually destroyed. As a result, the transmission function of the nerves is impaired and slowed down. But the protective layer around the nerve fibers is also missing, which causes further damage.
Nerve damage can result
Nerve damage manifests as follows:
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- Tingling in hands and feet
- Numbness or pain in the limbs up to paralysis
- muscular weakness
- Coordination problems and unsteady walking
- sensory disturbances
- reflex disorders
- visual disturbances
The deficiency here may have already led to chronic damage to the nervous system. Some people with vitamin B12 deficiency complain of depression and other mental health issues.
These foods contain vitamin
On the one hand, this may be the cause of a Vitamin B12 deficiency be attributed to reduced consumption. Vitamins are essential fabrics. They cannot therefore be produced by the body itself, but must be provided regularly through food. The main suppliers are animal products such as eggs and milk. Seafood, salmon and meat, which is why vegetarians and especially vegans must take care to absorb this vitamin differently.
According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the daily requirement for vitamin B12 is four micrograms for young people from the age of 13 and adults. For comparison: 100 grams of mountain cheese contain approximately 0.81 micrograms of vitamin B12. Meat and fish have a particularly high proportion of the vitamin. Salmon, for example, contains between two and three micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams.
A special protein is needed for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. This is called intrinsic factor, which is formed in the stomach. For chronicle Gastric and intestinal diseases or after surgical procedures this mechanism may be disrupted and deficiency symptoms may appear.
In the pregnancy or with increasing age the need for vitamin B12 increases. This and also the long date Take medication for diabetes and meold and morbid alcohol consumption can also cause vitamin B12 deficiency. Particular caution is required when taking drugs that cause increased gastric acid formation for a prolonged period. Vegans are also particularly at risk: with a vegan diet, there are no animal foods at all. This also applies to the intake of vitamin B12. According to the DGE, it is not possible to cover demand with foods of plant origin.
Preventing vitamin B12 deficiency – this is how it works
As soon as the first signs of nerve damage appear, Vitamin B12 deficiency usually still reversible, i.e. repairable. After months or years, however, the damage can also be irreversible. This is why you should consult a doctor at the first symptoms indicating damage to the nerves, who can, for example, carry out a vitamin B12 test.
See the book ‘The new bible of vitamins’
Consult your doctor on how to prevent nerve damage with adequate vitamin B12 intake. He will tell you if and which B12 supplements you need to take. Dietary supplements should never be consumed simply out of suspicion. Instead, the dosage should be clarified with a doctor beforehand and accompanied therapeutically.
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