Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and kidney and in other body tissues. Unlike other water soluble vitamins, vitamin B12 is not excreted through the urine.
It could be five to six years before an individual actually develops an insufficiency syndrome for vitamin B12. The general idea is definitely that the body stores do not exhaust before many years.
Also Read: 10 Top Foods Rich In Vitamin B12
The common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are excessive fatigue, breathlessness, listlessness, pallor and poor opposition to infection. Insufficiency also might lead to neurological changes like numbness, along with tingling in the hands and feet.
Other symptoms might include a reduced susceptibility to pain or pressure, blurred vision, irregular gait, sore tongue, menstrual problems and poor concentration levels.
Compared to a dietary lack, a lack of vitamin B12 is usually connected with malabsorption of it. In such cases, the stomach can not produce enough of the material called the intrinsic factor, which is a prerequisite for vitamin B12 absorption.
Termed pernicious anaemia, it is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body resistance system attacks its own tissues. Vitamin B12 is important for the development of red blood cells, and a lack of it causes anaemia.
Vitamin B12 deficiency might also be caused when the liver is harmed by excessive alcohol consumption, gastrectomy and poor functioning of the pancreas.
Women with breast cancer have a tendency to have lower vitamin B12 levels in their blood serum.
Breastfed babies of women who follow strict vegetarian diets have very limited supplies of this vitamin. If undetected, vitamin B12 deficiencies in babies can result in permanent neurological damage.
Vegetarians are more prone to face vitamin B12 deficiencies, since the only established source for vitamin B12 consumption is the animal source.
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 leads to the interruption of DNA production, and consequently, abnormal cells called megaloblasts develop, leading to megaloblastic anaemia.
It can also be connected with numerous neurological and psychological disorders. A lack of cobalamin (chemical form of vitamin B12) leads to intellectual decline, nerve degeneration and permanent neurological harm, especially in case of adults above the age of fifty.
Also Read: Do You Know You Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease are also caused because of a shortage of vitamin B12.
Other effects of the deficiency are asthma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, diabetic neuropathy and low sperm counts. Ataxia, muscle weakness, spasticity, incontinence, hypotension, impaired vision, psychoses, and mood disorders are the other disorders that have lately been linked to possible vitamin B12 deficiency.