What is Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Prevent It

Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients you need for good health. In a relatively short amount of time, lack of B12 can lead to numbness, the sensation of “pins and needles” in the limbs, trouble with movement and walking, joint pain, and shortness of breath. An added concern, severe vitamin B12 deficiency can result in extreme conditions such as fatigue, deep depression, delusions, memory loss, paranoia, incontinence, and loss of senses. We don’t mean to sound alarming, however, the outcomes of vitamin B12deficiency are a reality, so we want you to be prepared and have access to alleviating this condition, which is all-too-common in today’s population.

Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in red blood cell formation and the prevention of anemia. B12 also helps to create DNA which is the genetic material found in cells, and it also assists with nerve, bone, eye, and brain health. All in all, it’s basically a wonder vitamin that we cannot afford to be lacking. The average adult needs 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day and just like other vitamins, it cannot be made in the body--we can only get B12 from food or supplements.

Unfortunately, many people are deficient in this vitamin because not enough B12-containing foods are eaten on a regular basis, while others have a problem absorbing the nutrient. Anyone can have insufficient B12 levels, however, reports show that the older population is particularly susceptible with an estimated 3.2% of adults over 50 having critically low B12 levels, and up to 20% having borderline B12 deficiency.

A variety of situations may result in vitamin B12 deficiency. For example, some vegetarians and vegans do not acquire adequate amounts of the nutrient as common sources of B12 are animal products such as meat, eggs, and poultry. Vegans and vegetarians must carefully choose the proper supplements or fortified foods such as nutritional yeast. Those who have undergone bariatric surgery are also at risk for B12 deficiency as the operation interferes with the process in which the body is able to absorb vitamin B12 from food. In addition, Celiac and Crohn’s disease can cause troubles with B12 absorption as those conditions prevent proper nutrient absorption. Lastly, if you use commonly prescribed heartburn drugs on a regular basis, you may be at risk as these drugs reduce acid production in the stomach and that acid is needed to help absorb B12.

If you are unsure that you consume enough B12 foods (mostly, they come from animal sources), it is important to get your levels checked as it could be an issue that you are not aware of. If you don't enjoy eating B12-rich foods, not to worry, we have a solution for you! Check out our easy to use Patch MD--B12 Energy Plus Vitamin Patch here--it's the best natural method of avoiding deficiency, boosting energy, focusing attention and reducing anxiety without the burden of pills or injections.

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