New Healthy Eating Plan? You May Have Eliminated this Vitamin You Absolutely Need


Credit: Flickr Commons, Marc Roberts

Everyone has a different approach when it comes to nutrition and a healthy eating plan. Whether it’s paleo, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, raw – there is a common theme here: The element of elimination. But what about when that elimination results in a chronic disease or condition? We’re talking about vitamin B12. Or, rather, lack there of.

With the growing popularity of elimination nutrition plans, WellnessFX‘ers are not the only ones paying attention to the effects the good-intentioned may not be aware of, especially when it comes to vitamin B12.

Even these students took note that Winnie-the-Pooh may even suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, reasoning that the beloved bear’s condition is “common in those with restricted diets, such as vegetarians and vegans, coinciding with anaemia where the patient is often tried, easily fatigued and shows a paling of the skin.” Oh bother!

There are more warning signs than those when it comes to poor vitamin B12 levels.

Warning signs that you could be vitamin B12 deficient

Vitamin B12 deficiency interferes with cellular development. Typically, the first sign is anemia, which can lead to a host of symptoms, such as diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, pale skin, problems concentrating, shortness of breath, and a swollen or red tongue or bleeding gums.

Over time, should vitamin B12 levels get really bad, other cells get interfered with, such as nerves and white blood cells – a key part of our immunity. Signs of this are dementia, depression, loss of balance, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.

Research has shown vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to Anemia and hypotension.

Some studies have even shown that those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease were found to have severely low vitamin B12 levels.

What is vitamin B12 and why is it so important?

  • It’s the largest: B12, or Cobalamin, is the largest and most complex vitamin currently known to man. It plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • It’s the only: B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products. (with the exception of this animal product)
  • It’s a necessity: Your body needs B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, and DNA. According to Harvard Medical school, the average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day.

Of note: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that 3.2% of adults over age 50 have a seriously low vitamin B12 level, and up to 20% may have a borderline deficiency.

How to get your vitamin B12

Eat it. Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be made by the body. It must be obtained from food or supplements. Foods highest in vitamin B12 include Shellfish, Liver, Fish, Crustaceans, beef, low fat dairy, cheese, and eggs.

Supplement if you’ve eliminated those from your nutrition plan. Since athletic individuals have need for higher cell counts their B12 needs are higher.

**Member tip: You can easily order your vitamin B12 supplements through your WellnessFX account, because you have access to the Thorne Research line of high quality, premium supplements. It takes less than a minute. When you log in to your WellnessFX account, you’ll see an option to Buy Supplements up at the top to get you started.**

Vitamin B12: You won’t know unless you ask

We always recommend regular biomarker testing to monitor and improve levels of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12. After the necessary step of putting the health data in your back pocket, you can then consult with a WellnessFX practitioner or your doctor on a course of action to improve.

We currently test for B12 vitamins in the Performance, Premium and Women’s Health packages – along with a lot of other cool stuff you should also be monitoring, like folate, vitamin D, and magnesium…your thyroid, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and glucose…but we could go on.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.