Your body may be deficient in this vitamin- all you need to know

Your body may be deficient in this vitamin- all you need to know

Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play an important role in the production of chemicals in the brain that affect mood and other brain functions.

Unexplained mood disorders: You may be deficient in this vitamin- all you need to know

Vitamin B-12 plays an important role in the production of chemicals in the brain that affect mood and other brain functions, doctors said on Saturday. Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) plays an important role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function, and DNA formation.

Some common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include strange sensations, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or legs, difficulty walking (stumbling, balance problems), weakness, difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), memory loss, weakness, or fatigue.

How does vitamin B-12 affect mood?

“Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play an important role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B-12, as well as other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate, may be associated with depression,” Sir Dr Anshu Rohatgi, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurology, Ganga Ram Hospital, told IANS.

“This deficiency can occur due to improper diet or difficulty in absorbing the vitamins consumed. Therefore, maintaining adequate B-12 levels is essential for overall health, including mood regulation,” she added. Vitamin B-12 is mainly found in poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. It is available as an oral supplement, injections, or nasal spray.

Who is most susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency?

People who eat vegetarian or vegan diets are more likely to be deficient because plant foods do not contain vitamin B-12. The elderly and people with digestive tract conditions that affect nutrient absorption are also prone to vitamin B-12 deficiency. “Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of brain chemicals like serotonin, which help regulate mood. When B12 levels are low, these chemicals can become imbalanced, leading to symptoms like mood swings, irritability and even depression,” Dr Guruprasad Hosurkar, Additional Director – Neurology, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, told IANS.

Importantly, the doctors explained that “the connection is not gender-specific. Both men and women can experience mood swings due to B12 deficiency.”

While research is ongoing, studies suggest a link between low B12 and depression, with some showing improvement in mood with B12 supplementation. However, it's important to note that mood swings can have many causes, and a doctor should be consulted to rule out other factors and determine whether there is a B12 deficiency, Dr Guruprasad said.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency causes several neurological symptoms such as tingling, numbness and burning in the feet, imbalance, memory loss, mood disorders, psychosis, seizures and parkinsonism,” says Dr. Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. Sudhir Kumar explained in a social post. Media Platform X.

In a patient with neurological or psychiatric symptoms, suspect vitamin B12 deficiency as the cause (especially if no obvious cause is identified). Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment improves the patient's symptoms rapidly,” he added. Doctors also emphasized the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and advised key behaviors such as high blood pressure, and blood sugar, quitting smoking and alcohol, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.

(Inputs: IANS)




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Iftekhar

Meet Iftekhar, our dedicated reporter specializing in daily health news. With a passion for promoting well-being and a commitment to keeping you informed, Iftekhar brings you the latest developments in the realm of health and wellness.

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