Vitamin B12 deficiency: Do your eyes look like this? Warning of a possible deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in many of our body’s most important functions. In fact, the essential vitamin has three major roles in health including helping with the synthesis of DNA and RNA, playing a role in the maintenance of the nervous system and is involved in haemoglobin production. For these reasons, lacking in the vitamin could create a dire effect on one’s body. Experiencing any of these three symptoms in your eyes could mean you’re lacking the essential vitamin.


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The term vitamin is used to describe compounds which are essential for normal function but cannot by synthesized by the human body.

Vitamin B12 must therefore, must be acquired from the diet – or via pills which are known as supplements.

Vitamin B12 belongs to a family of naturally occurring cobalt-containing compounds known as cobalamins.

Lacking in these vitamins could create either eye twitches, blurry vision, or jaundice.

Eye twitch

Eye twitching is not a voluntary bodily function and is also known as Myokymia which is characterised by involuntary twitching of the eyelid muscles.

Myokymia or eye twitching can occur because of stress, tiredness, stain in the eyes or excessive alcohol consumption.

According to consultant nutritionist Dr Rupali Dutta, “Eye twitching can be cased due to a B12 deficiency which may occur as a result of an imbalance in electrolytes sodium and potassium.”

Blurry vision

One symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is blurred vision and this can occur when an untreated B12 deficiency results in nervous system damage to the optic nerve which leads to the eyes.

The damage can disrupt the nervous signal which travels from the eye to the brain, impairing vision.

The condition is also known as optic neuropathy.


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People with a vitamin B12 deficiency often appear pale or have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes. This is known as jaundice.

The condition occurs when there is a lack of B12 and this in turn causes problems with the body’s red blood cell production.

Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the production of the DNA needed to make red blood cells and without it, the instructions for building the cells are incomplete and cells are unable to divide.

Having a vitamin B12 deficiency is very common and the condition can present itself in a number of ways, making it difficult to spot and identify.

If you’re at risk and have any of the symptoms in your eyes, it’s important to speak with your GP.

Thankfully, a B12 deficiency is easily remedied by ensuring you are getting enough B12 in your diet.

This means eating more foods such as beef, liver, clams, tuna or fortified cereals.

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