Are you lacking in vitamin B12?

There has been much controversy over the last decade about whether or not people who adhere to a strict vegetarian diet are getting the required amounts of Vitamin B12. I've talked with many vegans and vegetarians out there who claim that they are consuming all the required vitamins and minerals from their food. However, unless they have had blood work drawn, it's hard to truly tell.

In order to be sure if your Vitamin B12 levels look good, you need to ask your doctor to give you a script for both Homocysteine and B12. These are both blood tests that you can complete at a Quest or Lab Corp.

Good Homocysteine levels should read no more than 5. However, if your levels read more than 10, you are at a higher risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency. High Homocysteine levels in conjunction with high LDL (bad cholesterol) is a fast ticket to coronary heart disease. In addition, B12 deficiencies left untreated may also lead to permanent neurological disorders.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency are:

  • Anemia
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of memory
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of balance
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Dizziness
  • Liver enlargement
  • Eye problems
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of memory
  • Palpitations
  • Neurological damage
  • Tinitus or ringing in the ears

Although I have never been a proponent of multi-vitamins, I know now that for some it may be the only way to acquire sufficient levels of Vitamin B12. One of the best multi's that I know of made from whole, organic food is by Synergy. They also carry a Blue-Green Algae that has the RDA of B12 if you do not wish to take a multivitamin.

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