- A woman who was extremely tired had “dangerously low” vitamin B12 levels due to a plant-based diet.
- Carly Minsky, 33, said she “could barely walk” after not eating meat or fish for six years.
- Vitamin B12, a nutrient found primarily in animal products, is vital for the health of nerves and blood cells.
A woman had been extremely tired for years before a blood test revealed she had “dangerously low” levels of vitamin B12, which can go unnoticed or eventually cause a range of symptoms, from trouble walking to numb limbs.
Carly Minsky, 33, said from the UK: The Daily Mail who stopped eating meat and fish at 20 to try to be healthier, and at first it felt great. But after a year, she experienced “extreme” fatigue, and after six years she was so exhausted that she “barely could walk.”
Vegans and those who have not eaten eggs, dairy or meat for more than five years, like Minsky, are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, according to the British Dietetic Association.
B12 vitamin is essential for nerves and red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin deficiency generally has two causes: malabsorption, due to conditions such as Celiac Disease and pernicious anemia, or because a person is not eating enough. It is found naturally in meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Symptoms may include heart palpitations or loss of balance.
However, blood tests by his GP in 2020 revealed that his vitamin B12 levels were “at the dangerously low end of the scale” and he needed “immediate B12 injections”.
They also said that he would need to take B12 vitamins daily for the rest of his life.
Although Minsky still ate cheese, eggs and milk, she was told she wasn’t getting enough vitamin B12 in her diet.
“It was a huge shock. I had no idea I would feel so bad,” he said.
Dr. Brad Kamitaki, assistant professor of neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, he previously told Insider that vitamin B12 deficiency “may be undiagnosed or underdiagnosed, as symptoms may be nonspecific.”
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Symptoms vary and include: tingling in the arms or legs, difficulty walking, fatigue, nausea, rapid heart rate, and irritability.
A cup of cow’s milk with 2% fat contains half of all the vitamin B12 you need for the day.
Most people in the US eat enough of the nutrient, Data from the National Institutes of Health suggest.
Priya Tew, registered dietitian and founder of Dietitian UK, he previously told Insider Most people don’t need to count or track their daily intake of vitamin B12, especially if they eat animal products most days.
The NIH recommends that the average American adult consume 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily. For example, one cup of 2% cow’s milk contains half of all the vitamin B12 you need for the day, and three ounces of cooked salmon or fried beef contains all of it. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding need 2.6 micrograms and 2.8 micrograms, respectively, it says.
Those who don’t eat animal products can get vitamin B12 from fortified plant-based milk, breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast flakes, and pot
The BDA recommends that long-term vegetarians and vegans monitor their vitamin B12 status and take supplements of around 10 micrograms per day as needed.
Minsky felt better after 2 months of vitamin B12 injections
Two months after having vitamin B12 injections, Carly felt better. “It was like my energy turned back on,” she said.
Continue to take vitamin B12 tablets every day.