Vitamin B12 deficiency causes are rooted in many behaviors and across all races, but there are three types of people that are especially prone to this problem. Why is a B12 deficiency so serious? Blood and nerve cells require cobalt-containing nutrients and vitamin B12 is a great source. This essential vitamin can be found in animal foods such as meat and dairy products, as well as eggs. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are widely varying and can be similar to multiple other diseases and extra information is needed before diagnosing.
1. Elderly: Elderly people are prone to a lack of B12, as they often have problems with gastric acids, and hence cannot absorb it as well. There have been studies that have shown a connection between B12 and such brain wasting diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s, so elderly people may want to add a B12 supplement to their daily dietary regime.
2. Vegans: Since B12 comes mainly from animal-based food sources, vegans may be at risk of developing a deficiency. The nutrient stays in the body for several years so symptoms may not show up for at least that long. If you are on a vegan diet, consider adding a vitamin supplement or eating soy foods fortified with B12. The same goes double for vegan children who cannot store the vitamin as long as adults.
3. Gastrointestinal Problems: Anyone with any sort of interference with normal gastric acid production may also be at risk. As explained above, old age can cause these problems. But also anyone of any age who has disease or physical injuries is susceptible as well. The most well-known disease associated with B12 is pernicious anemia — an autoimmune disorder.
B12 does have a few other uses. It has shown some promise as a psoriasis treatment when mixed with avocado oil and applied directly to the skin. One form of it is used as a standard antidote for cyanide poisoning. However, if you don’t have a reason to suspect that you might be lacking in this nutrient, you probably don’t have to supplement with it from pills or B12 shots and there are no extra vitamin B12 benefits on top of making up for a deficiency.