The human body is a marvel by all definitions. For all functions to work properly, overall health must be kept in check. If you develop vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together, you need to pay instant attention to fix the issue.
It is not a big and irreversible problem but ensures when you learn about vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together, work instantly to reverse the deficiency.
To understand how vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together impact your body, let’s try to understand each.
Table of Contents
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is naturally present in some foods and also produced by the body when the skin is exposed to the sun. The term sunshine vitamin is there for a reason.
Vitamin D plays a key role in several crucial functions within the body. Its main function is to regulate the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health.
It helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth by promoting calcium absorption from the intestines and reducing calcium loss from the kidneys.
Additionally, vitamin D is involved in modulating the immune system, supporting muscle function, and promoting cell growth and differentiation. It has also been implicated in various other functions, such as maintaining cardiovascular health, supporting cognitive and neurological function, and regulating mood.
Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as mackerel, and salmon, fish liver oil, certain fortified dairy products, fortified cereals, and egg yolks.
On the other hand, it is challenging to get sufficient vitamin D from diet alone, especially for persons with inadequate sun exposure. Hence it is best to discuss this with healthcare professionals as they can prescribe the right course of action. A little-known fact, excessive Vitamin D intake also poses a health hazard.
Vitamin D can be divided into two groups for better understanding:
Vitamin D2 Ergocalciferol
This form is derived from plant sources and supplements. Here is a little plow into science journals for your information.
Mushrooms: We will totally ignore the first thought that came into your head. I was talking about the shiitake and maitake mushrooms. They synthesize an abundance of ultraviolet light. If you eat these mushrooms, they make excellent sources of Vitamin D2.
Fortified Foods: Some cereals are fortified with an abundance of vitamin D. Moreover, plant-based milks such as Soy, and Almond milk are also packed with vitamin D.
Supplements: In case your doctor feels you are seriously deficient in vitamin D, they may prescribe you over-the-counter supplements or drops. It’s best to discuss this with your doctor as they can determine the course of action and dosage depending on vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D3 Cholecalciferol
This form is acquired from the skin’s exposure to the sun, and certain animal-based foods. It may look pretty similar to Vitamin D2 Ergocalciferol but for the sake of clarity, here is the list of sources to get Vitamin D2 Ergocalciferol:
Sunlight: When we say sunlight, we do not recommend getting sunlight any time of the day, any month. The best time to get vitamin D is at sunrise. The rays aren’t ultraviolet and you get the dose of vitamin D you need.
Fish: Certain fatty fish such as trout, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are great sources of dietary vitamin D.
Fortified Foods: There are certain foods fortified with vitamin D such as breakfast cereal, plant-based milk alternatives, cow milk, and orange juice. Check the label on the box for details.
Fish Liver Oil: They are excellent sources, but it is advised to take the doctor’s advice on the dosage and duration of consumption of fish liver oil.
Supplement: Vitamin D tablets come in various forms – capsules, soft gel, chewable, drops but talk to healthcare professionals for dosage and duration.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, sometimes known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is essential for various bodily functions. It is a one-of-the-kind vitamin because it is a solitary vitamin that contains the metal element – cobalt, hence the name.
Vitamin B12 is not produced by plants or animals but is synthesized by certain bacteria, fungi, and algae. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in several important processes within the body:
- Red Blood Cell Formation
- Nervous System Function
- DNA Synthesis and Cell Division
- Energy Metabolism
- Methylation Reactions
Vitamin B12 is found in animal-derived foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Plant-based sources of vitamin B12 are inadequate; therefore, vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk of deficiency.
Certain individuals, such as older adults, individuals with gastrointestinal disorders that affect nutrient absorption, and those following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, may require vitamin B12 supplements to meet their dietary needs.
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to a range of symptoms. These implications can lead to bigger problems if not addressed, but if you address the deficiency early, you can reverse the deficiency.
What Happens When You Have Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 Deficiency Together?
Vitamin D and vitamin B12 are both essential nutrients to maintain good health. Having vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiency together can lead to problems of massive proportion.
Deficiency in either of these vitamins can have significant effects on various body systems. Here is a sad list of what happens when you have vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiency together:
Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency
Weakened Bones: Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium absorption and bone health. A deficiency can lead to weakened bones, an increased risk of fractures, and conditions like osteoporosis or osteomalacia.
Muscle Weakness: Vitamin D is a key ranger in managing muscle function, and the deficiency causes muscle weakness, pain, and an increased risk of falls.
Impaired Immune Function: Vitamin D is important for a healthy immune system. Its deficiency may impair immune function and increase the susceptibility to infections.
Mood Disorders: Some studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood disorders. The repercussion comes in the form of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are missing links in the research to establish the link conclusively.
Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases: Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and autoimmune disorders.
Effects of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Anemia: Vitamin B12 is crucial for the production of healthy red blood cells. Increased deficiency leads to Megaloblastic Anemia. It is a type of anemia characterized by fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Nerve Damage: Vitamin B12 is a key component of the healthy nervous system. Prolonged deficiency can cause neurological symptoms such as tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, difficulty with balance, memory problems, and even psychiatric symptoms.
Digestive Issues: Inadequate vitamin B12 can affect the digestive system, leading to symptoms like loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Cognitive Impairment: Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with cognitive decline, including memory loss and difficulty with concentration and focus, especially in older adults.
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Some studies have suggested a connection between low vitamin B12 levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, although more research is needed to establish a causal relationship.
It’s important to note that the effects and symptoms of vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiencies can vary among individuals, and if you suspect a deficiency, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
I hope this read on having vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together has given you a general idea of what and how to combat vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together.
We really hope you are at the early stages of vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together. But even if you have an advanced condition, the right diet, instructions from the doctor, and lifestyle changes can send you trotting toward good health in no time.
Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 deficiency together is not something you take lightly. If you listen to your healthcare professional and do what is recommended, you will feel a huge difference in overall health within a month.