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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, the so-called myelin sheath. It forms a kind of insulating layer around the nerve fibers and thus ensures that sensory perceptions and stimuli are transmitted quickly.
Suffers the body a Vitamin B12 deficiency, this myelin layer can no longer be adequately 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, causing further damage.
Nerve damage can result
Nerve damage manifests itself as follows:
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- Tingling in hands and feet
- Numbness or pain in the limbs to paralysis
- muscle weakness
- Coordination problems and unsteady walking
- sensory disturbances
- reflex disorders
- visual disturbances
Here the deficiency may have already led to chronic damage to the nervous system. Some people with vitamin B12 deficiency complain of depression and other mental health problems.
These foods contain the vitamin
For one, the cause of a Vitamin B12 deficiency attributed to reduced intake. Vitamins are essential dusts. They cannot therefore be produced by the body itself, but must be supplied regularly through food. The main suppliers for this are animal products such as eggs and milk. Seafood, salmon and meat, therefore vegetarians and especially vegans must take care to absorb this vitamin differently.
According to the German Association for Nutrition (DGE), the daily requirement of vitamin B12 is four micrograms for young people from the age of 13 and adults. For comparison: 100 grams of mountain cheese contains approximately 0.81 micrograms of vitamin B12. Meat and fish have a particularly high percentage of the vitamin. In salmon ear is between two and three micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams contains. A special protein is needed for the body to be able to absorb vitamin B12 from food at all. This is the so-called intrinsic factor, which is formed in the stomach. For chronic Stomach and intestinal diseases or after that surgical interventions This mechanism can be disturbed and deficiency symptoms can occur.
In the pregnancy or with increasing age the need for vitamin B12 increases. That and also the long one Take diabetes medication and llong-term, morbid alcohol consumption can also be causes of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Particular caution is required when medications with increased gastric acid production are taken for a longer period of time. Vegans are also particularly at risk: with a vegan diet you avoid animal foods completely. This also applies to the supply of vitamin B12. According to the DGE, it is not possible to meet the demand with plant-based food.
Prevent vitamin B12 deficiency – this is how it works
As soon as the first signs of nerve damage appear, Vitamin B12 deficiency usually still reversible, ie recoverable. However, after months or years, the damage can also be irreversible. That’s why you should see a doctor at the first symptoms that indicate damage to the nerves, who can do a vitamin B12 test, for example.
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Consult your doctor about how to prevent nerve damage with an adequate intake of vitamin B12. He will explain to you whether and which B12 supplements you should take. Dietary supplements should never be consumed simply on suspicion. Instead, the dose must be clarified with a doctor in advance and accompanied therapeutically.
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