Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is critical for our health. It is responsible for making red blood cells, building and maintaining DNA, creating nerve cells, maintaining a functionally healthy metabolism, and is critical for maintaining a healthy immune system and brain. As a vitamin that plays such a huge role in our health, it is important to make sure you are getting enough of it.
Our body has the unique capability of creating numerous vitamins for itself. When it sees a deficiency it finds and creates a solution to keep everything running smooth. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 is not one of the nutrients that the body is able to manufacture for itself. The only way to get enough of this vitamin is exclusively through a diet rich in animal-based foods or supplements.
Studies indicate that approximately 15% of people are not consuming enough Vitamin B12 in their diets. Of this percentage of people, B12 deficiencies are most commonly found in women above the age of 50. Vegetarians and vegans tend to be deficient in Vitamin B12 as well unless they take a supplement regularly. Infants and children are also susceptible to vitamin deficiency, and if it is not addressed and resolved quickly, it could lead to problems such as anemia and even learning disabilities.
If you are now wondering if you or your children are receiving enough B12 through regular diet, here are a few alarming symptoms that you need to watch out for:
- A loss in clear vision
- Occasional constipation
- Loss of appetite
- A smooth tongue
- Mental issues (such as depression or behavioral changes)
- A shortness of breath
If you or your children are experiencing any of these symptoms or others, you can always consult your doctor or physician and request a blood test for an in depth look at your vitamin B12 levels as well as all other important vitamins and minerals that you may be deficient in. It is a good idea to catch these deficiencies in their early stages before a serious toll is taken on overall health.
Your doctor may prescribe you a supplement to help prevent or correct a vitamin B12 deficiency or they may simply suggest you increase the amount of meat, eggs, dairy, poultry and seafood in your diet. Just a small increase can make a big difference. Each of these foods contain naturally occurring vitamin B12 and other vitamins that are nutritious and essential for good health.
If you would prefer not to add these foods to your diet, there are numerous B12 supplements available to you that will not increase your cholesterol. Popular supplements are made by NatureMade, kyani, Vitafusion. You can even get B12 shots. Where vitamin B12 carries such an important role, it is important to ensure that you obtain a sufficient level that your body demands each day so make sure to follow the suggested dosage carefully. If you are unsure about which B12 supplement is right for you, consult your physician or doctor.