Vitamin B12

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the bodys nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Dr. Edward Hill discusses vitamin B12 deficiency in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin that you usually get from your food. It is mainly found in meat and dairy products. Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells and keeps your nervous system working right.

If you have a very low vitamin B12 level, you might get anemia, depression, dementia or a serious problem with your nervous system.

Some people with low vitamin B12 also have high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood. If you have both of these problems, you may have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Most people with low vitamin B12 levels have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from their stomach or small intestines.

People with a vitamin B12 deficiency need to take special vitamin B12 pills or get shots of vitamin B12. Usually, these shots are given every 1 to 2 days for about two weeks. After this, a shot is given once every month until B12 levels are normal, then monitored. Your doctor can help you decide the best treatment for you.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.