Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin whose roles in the body include generation of DNA and red blood cells. It also helps in the correct functioning of the nervous system.
Foods derived from animals such as red meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish contain the highest amounts of vitamin B12. You can also get significant amounts of cobalamin from food products that are fortified with vitamin B12 such as breads and plant-based milk.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is more common in the elderly, and in people whose diet does not contain enough cobalamin, including strict vegetarians. It can also affect people who take medications like metformin and antacids in the long term and those who’ve had a portion of their bowel surgically removed. Below are 10 vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms to be aware of.
Symptom #1: Moodiness
Many people with vitamin B12 deficiency complain of sudden changes in their moods. As a matter of fact, low levels of B12 have been linked to mood and brain disorders such as depression and dementia. The “Homocysteine Hypothesis of Depression” has been suggested as a potential explanation for this link.
This theory suggests that high homocysteine due to low levels of the vitamin might cause brain tissue damage, which would then interfere with signals going to and coming from your brain leading to mood changes. The symptom can be reversed by supplementing vitamin B12. It should be noted that the changes in mood can have different causes. Taking a vitamin B12 supplement can help in the improvement of your mood if it is deficiency induced.