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VITAMIN B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA - the genetic material in all cells. Lacking the vitamin could cause a host of health problems and if you experience the following "peculiar" symptom it could mean you need to top up your B12 levels. What is it? Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin the body requires to operate efficiently. It helps to prevent a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia that makes people tired and weak. Having a deficiency occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function properly. Those most at risk of being deficient are vegans and vegetarians. The NHS said: “Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 caused the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body using a substance called haemoglobin. Anaemia is the general term for having eight fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell. There are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause.” Thyroid Patient Advocacy (TPA) lists "peculiar" symptoms of even "borderline" B12 deficiency on its website. READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency: Having a total loss of this sensation could be a warning sign It states: “If you have any unusual undiagnosed symptoms, perhaps you should consider whether you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. "Experiencing a short stabbing, tingling pain in the palm of one or both hands could be a sign of a B12 deficiency. This occurs suddenly and for no apparent reason in a spot directly below the ring finger, approximately where the first palm crease is. "If B12 deficiency is not treated, a tingling pain may begin to occur along the outside edge of the hand, starting from the wrist. "This pain occurs when the wrist is flexed backward.” Other unusual symptoms of a B12 deficiency TPA said: “Experiencing any of these symptoms could mean you are deficient and include either an itchy or tingling tongue, white spots in the skin, sores at the corners of the mouth, nerve shock, shortness of breath, facial pain or a tingling along the back. "These symptoms are certainly not all-inclusive. "There are other possible symptoms deliberately omitted because they’re relatively rare and/or debatable. The symptoms are for borderline to mild deficiencies." Best treatment for a deficiency? Most people can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by eating enough meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs. For anyone who doesn’t eat animal products or has a medical condition that limits how well their body absorbs nutrients, vitamin B12 in a multivitamin or other supplements and foods fortified with vitamin B12 is advised. A specialist dietician from the Hospital Group advised: “Only animal derived foods contain vitamin B12 therefore, if you follow a vegan diet you are more likely to become deficient in vitamin B12. The only reliable vegan sources of vitamin B12 come from those foods fortified with this nutrient including some cereals and non dairy milk.”

Reference : Express.co.uk