Foods that can do more harm than good if you have B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the body to work properly as it helps in the production of red blood cells. It also plays an important role in regulating DNA and brain cells. Because it is not naturally produced by the body, your diet and day to day life can determine the B12 deficiency in your body. Most adults face Vitamin B12 deficiency because with age the amount needed by your body increases. People with B12 deficiency can have various symptoms and if left untreated it can also result in neurological disorders.

Regardless of all the problems, it is not impossible to cure low levels of Vitamin B12. Some diet changes can improve the B12 function in the body. Adding Fish and Shellfish, Red Meat, Dairy products, Poultry and Eggs etc. to the diet can increase the B12 intake. For the vegetarian people, it will be good to have some substitutes for meat, protein-rich foods and multivitamins.

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1. Tiredness and Lack of Energy

Low levels of B12 in the body can lead to low production of red blood cells that supply oxygen in the body. This can lead to feelings of lethargy and fatigue in the body. Vitamin B12 is also called the ‘Energy Vitamin’ for a reason.

2. Mouth Ulcers

Because of B12 deficiency in the body, the tongue might swell up due to the condition called Glossitis, in which the tongue changes colour and size accompanied by pain. There might be sensations of pins and needles and bumps on the tongue which cause the taste buds to disappear.

3. Dizziness and Breathlessness

A low level of Vitamin B12 leads to dizziness and shortness of breath. It is the result of the low production of red blood cells, which causes anaemia.

4. Depression and other mental disorders

Because vitamin B12 helps in the functioning of brain cells, its deficiency is also associated with mood swings. And long term B12 deficiency can lead to depression and other mental disorders.

5. Blurred vision and Tingling on hands and feet

The long term B12 deficiency might lead to damage to the optic nerve, which is the nerve that travels from the eye to the brain and causes blurred vision. Few neurological and nerve disturbances might also result in tingling sensations in hands and feet due to the condition called Paresthesia.

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Foods that should be avoided if you have Vitamin B12 deficiency

Although it is true that to increase the Vitamin B12 levels in the body you have to increase your diet and eat healthily. But all healthy things might not be good for you if you are already suffering from something, they might have some side effects which might worsen the situation. In the case of B12 deficiency, if some things increase your already lower levels, a few things might bring them lower and harm you instead of doing anything good. The following are some of the foods you should avoid while working on your B12 levels.

Foods high in Folate:

Folate which is Vitamin 9 is important but if you are experiencing symptoms of B12 deficiency it is best to limit its consumption. Foods high in Folic acid like some Legumes and citrus fruits should be consumed in moderation as they might make the symptoms grow worse.


Alcohol is okay if taken at in limit, if it exceeds the limit it might lead to alcohol-related liver disease. This disease is already not good and for people with low B12 levels, it is a warning sign. Consumption of alcohol can add up to decreasing vitamin B12 levels in the body.

It is very common to experience a health condition with age but there are always precautions taken that can keep us from something dangerous. In the case of decreasing B12 levels also it is important to choose wisely in what you eat, eat a vitamin B12 rich diet and not the foods that don’t have sufficient B12 levels for your body. Keeping your lifestyle healthy and incorporating a bit of exercise daily can work wonders for your body.

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