There may be an explanation for your constant bouts of tiredness, brain fog, bad mood, and body aches. Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies can affect every body part from head to toe, causing unpleasant and painful symptoms.
How are these two essential vitamins related? How can you up your nutritional intake naturally?
This article will help you understand vitamin D and B12 deficiencies, the signs to look out for, and easy ways to meet daily recommended doses of these vitamins.
Did You Know?
Even if you have a healthy diet and adequate sun exposure, your body may not get enough vitamins and minerals due to minor errors in certain genes. Learn more:
Different nutrients have different roles in the body.
Nutritional deficiencies cause various physical and mental health issues in children and adults globally.
In some cases, one nutrient can affect the absorption or use of another, leading to a combination of health issues.
One such combination is vitamin D3 and B12 deficiencies.
According to experts, low vitamin D levels may affect vitamin B12 absorption and lead to vitamin D and B12 deficiencies.
Importance Of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, also called the sunshine vitamin.
A majority of the vitamin is absorbed when UV rays from the sun come in contact with the skin.
Vitamin D is available in certain foods and supplements in vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) forms.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in several kinds of foods and dietary supplements.
Importance Of Vitamin D
- It helps in calcium absorption and is essential for bone health.
- Reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Reduce inflammation in the body.
- Plays a role in healthy glucose metabolism.
- Helps in cellular growth.
- Supports the immune system by keeping immunity T cells active.
Importance Of Vitamin B12
- It is required for the healthy development and functioning of the Central Nervous System (CNS).
- Helps in the healthy formation of Red Blood Cells (RBCs).
- It helps produce methionine, an essential amino acid that supports metabolism.
- It helps manage symptoms of depression and other mood disorders.
- It helps support brain health in fetuses.
- Helps in the production of hormones, including the thyroid.
Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 Deficiency Together
There are three ways vitamin D and B12 deficiencies can occur together.
- An unhealthy diet and malnutrition may cause both vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiencies together.
- Vitamin D deficiency may damage the stomach's mucosal (inner lining) layer. This may cause generic nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Vitamin D deficiency may prevent the reabsorption of B12 and folate.
A 2022 study analyzed the relationship between vitamin D and vitamin B12 levels in children.
The study reported that children who are vitamin B12 deficient have a higher probability of also being vitamin D deficient.
What Is Wrong If Your Vitamin D-3 and Vitamin B-12 Are Low?
Both vitamin D3 and B12 are essential vitamins that the body needs daily.
These vitamins regulate the functions of several genes in the body. These genes, in turn, affect hundreds of metabolic processes.
The role of vitamin D3 and B12 is vital in bone health. D3 and B12 deficiencies can lead to brittle bones, bone reabsorption, weak bones, and osteoporosis.
A combination of vitamin D3 and B12 deficiencies can make people feel tired, foggy, depressed, achy, and sick.
Pyrexia of Unknown Origin (PUO) is a condition that causes fever without a specific diagnosis.
A 2015 study reports that vitamin D3 and B12 deficiencies may be a common reason for PUO.
Treating the deficiencies may help treat unexplained fever quickly.
Autoimmune hypothyroidism is when the immune cells attack healthy thyroid cells, leading to hypothyroidism.
A 2020 study reports that vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies could be a possible explanation for autoimmune hypothyroidism.
Signs of D3 and B12 Deficiencies
Here are some of the signs of D3 and B12 deficiencies.
- Hormonal imbalance
- Low energy levels
- Joint pain
- Muscle weaknesses
- Brittle nails
- Body ache
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Low immunity and a constant bout of sickness
- Infertility issues
- Depressive disorders
- Mood disorders
- Tingly hands and feet
*These signs could also be due to other reasons and health conditions. Please avoid self-diagnosing nutritional deficiencies and consult a doctor.
How To Meet Vitamin D3 and B12 Requirements?
Meeting Vitamin D3 Requirements
Every cell in the body has vitamin D3 receptors on its surface.
The easiest way to meet daily vitamin D3 requirements would be to expose the hands, legs, face, and back to the sun for 5-30 minutes once a day, without sunscreen.
However, some people may have susceptible skin or have a higher risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure.
Such individuals can increase their vitamin D3 levels with food and supplements.
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin D
|Age||Male (in mcg)||Female (in mcg)|
Dietary sources of vitamin D
- Cod liver oil
- Fish like trout, sardines, salmon, and tuna
- Chicken breast
- Fortified eggs
- Fortified milk
Meeting Vitamin B12 Requirements
Since the body does not make vitamin B12, you must depend on natural food sources and dietary supplements to get your daily recommended dose.
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin B12
|Age||Male (in mcg)||Female (in mcg)|
Dietary sources of vitamin B12
- Fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon
- Beef liver
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Fortified breakfast cereals
The bioavailability of vitamin B12 changes with the type of dietary source chosen. The bioavailability of supplements can be up to 50% higher than natural food sources.
Summary: Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 Deficiency Together
- Vitamin D and B12 are essential vitamins the body needs to perform everyday activities.
- Vitamin D deficiency may prevent the body from absorbing and reabsorbing B12, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Individuals with vitamin D and B12 deficiencies may experience many signs in the body and brain.
- Some symptoms of vitamin D and B12 deficiencies are tiredness, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, low energy levels, body aches, low immunity, and brittle bones.
- Individuals can receive their daily recommended doses of Vitamin D and B12 with sun exposure and the inclusion of dietary food and supplements rich in these nutrients.