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Recovery from a vitamin B12 deficiency varies. It depends on the causes, symptoms and treatment plans.

Mild and borderline cases can take a few days to weeks after starting B12 supplementation or treatment.

However, complete recovery in some cases of vitamin B12 deficiency with neurological symptoms may take months.

To understand how long it takes to recover from Vitamin B12 deficiency, you must first learn what it is and what factors influence it.

Understanding Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that aids in:

  1. Protecting the nerves from damage.
  2. Absorption and breaking down of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to use them as energy.
  3. Creating new cells (DNA synthesis).
  4. Generation of red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to organs.

Our bodies cannot produce vitamin B12 on their own, so you need to consume foods rich in vitamin B12 such as:

  • Organ meats like lamb liver and kidneys
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk ( Whole, soy, almond or rice), cheese and Yogurt
  • Sardines
  • Clams

Failure to take vitamin B12-rich foods results in three types of deficiency.

The table below shows these three types of B12 insufficiency and what this could mean for you.

B12 Level (pg/mL) Interpretation Explanation
Above 300 Normal B12 levels are within the healthy range
200 – 300 Borderline B12 levels are slightly below normal. Can signal early stages of deficiency or variations in absorption but you need further investigation by a doctor
Below 200 Deficient B12 levels are significantly below the recommended range, indicating a clear deficiency. At this level, you need immediate medical attention

When vitamin B12 is too low (below 200), it can cause several  health complications such as: 

  1. Headaches
  2. Anemia 
  3. Fatigue
  4. Depression
  5. Difficulty concentrating and cognitive impairments
  6. Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, nausea, constipation, bloating and gas


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Factors Affecting Vitamin B12 Deficiency Recovery

Various factors affect how you recover from vitamin B12 deficiency. 

These include:

A. Age and Lifestyle

Our bodies have the capabilities to absorb the essential minerals and nutrients, from what we consume.

Therefore, the food we eat determines whether we contribute to excess, normal, or inadequate production of these nutrients.

And vitamin B12—a vital nutrient—is affected by our eating patterns.

However, as we age our ability to absorb vitamin B12 diminishes, leading to a deficiency.

Besides our age, our lifestyle and dietary preferences play a role in determining our vitamin B12 intake.

And since most vitamin B12 from food comes from animal sources, the likelihood of deficiency increases if you adhere to a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. 

You can still follow your preferred eating plan as long as you include more plant-based foods high in vitamin B12 in your diet. These include:

  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk
  • Rice milk
  • Oats
  • Bran
  • Corn

If you don’t follow a strict diet plan, it’s still important to include foods high in vitamin B12 in your daily meals.

B. Underlying Conditions

If you have any underlying medical concerns your recovery time for vitamin B12 insufficiency may be impacted.

For example, digestive illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease might impair vitamin B12 absorption. This is because an inflamed or damaged stomach lining prevents vitamin B12 absorption.

Some acid reflux and heartburn medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may affect the absorption of vitamin B12. PPIs have the potential to harm the stomach cells that generate intrinsic factor—a protein necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12—leading to a deficiency.

As a result, using vitamin B12 injections for life may be necessary in some cases.

Adherence to Treatment

Once a healthcare professional determines your level of vitamin B12 deficiency, they recommend the appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

These might include:

  • Taking supplements
  • Eating more foods that are high in vitamin B12
  • Receiving larger doses of B12 through injections

However, deviating from the suggested treatment course may make recovery time longer.

This is due to the fact that your body is still not getting the 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 that is needed daily for adults over the age of 14.

Purchase High-Quality Vitamin B12 from Vitamin Armor

To ensure that your body is absorbing the correct amount of vitamin B12, you should consult your doctor so that they can prescribe the right dose depending on the category you fall into.

  • Then, you should purchase only high-quality vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin Armor ensures that you get the best ingredients and just what the doctor ordered.

This enhances your recovery rate since consuming high-quality, carefully formulated vitamin B12 supplements ensures that you receive the maximum benefits of this essential nutrient.

Get 100% of your daily essential vitamins and minerals and take a step closer to a healthier you with Vitamin Armor’s vitamins and supplements.

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