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The Case for Vitamin B12

Think you’re getting all of the nutrients you need to be healthy? Have you considered whether you’re getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet? It turns out, it’s easier to be deficient than you might realize. Rodale Wellness discusses these deficiencies and how you can get more vitamin B12.

What is vitamin B12?  It is an important vitamin that is used by your body for making DNA and RNA. The vitamin is also important for nervous system functioning and contributes to other aspects of how your body operates.  

If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and weakness in the muscles. Tingling in the extremities is also a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.  Memory issues can be a symptom too.

The source for obtaining vitamin B12 through food is by consumption of meat. Of course, not everyone eats meat for a variety of reasons, ranging from the ethical treatment of animals to health issues. Rodale Wellness notes that a stereotype associated with vegans is that of the “pale, weak vegan.”  This is due to a lack of vitamin B12. To make up for the deficiency, consider taking a supplement.

Another reason you might be deficient in B12 is alcohol consumption. Regular alcohol use affects the liver, which also stores B12 in the body. Again, if you drink regularly, take a supplement.

Acid reflux medication also hampers B12 absorption into the body. Rodale Wellness recommends taking a supplement to make up the difference here too.

Having diabetes or an autoimmune disease hinders B12 absorption as well. In fact, if you have one of these conditions but still eat meat regularly you may still be deficient. This could make you more susceptible to other health problems like heart disease or mental health problems.

Finally, if you are over 50 you should be taking a B12 supplement. This is because B12 deficiency increases with age, and one experiences memory issues or have a lack of energy.  

Want to learn more about vitamin B12? Read the full article here:  “5 Reasons You Need More B12.”