What’s the deal with vitamin B12?
There are eight B vitamins, and all of them give your body energy by helping to convert food into fuel. Vitamin B12 is especially important in producing DNA and maintaining healthy nerve and blood cells. One way it protects blood cells is by preventing megaloblastic anemia, a condition that reduces the amount of oxygen your red blood cells can carry. The recommended daily amount of B12 is 2.4 mcg, and most people consume that much naturally by eating healthy amounts of protein. A deficiency occurs when vitamin B12 isn’t a regular part of someone’s diet or when someone can’t absorb the nutrient properly. Here are some vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms you should be on the lookout for.
Your hands or feet feel numb and tingling
Vitamin B12 helps make myelin, the protective covering for nerves. Without it, your nerves could get damaged since they aren’t being properly formed. “When nerves start shrinking, you start going from normal sensations to pins and needles,” says Sonya Angelone, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Pins and needles could also be a sign of a pinched nerve.