VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY
Why is a lack of vitamin b12 of such concern? In the short term, insufficient vitamin b12 levels can lead to deep fatigue, mood changes, and dementia-like qualities, preventing you from feeling your best and performing at your highest energy level.
If don't you get enough vitamin b12 then you’ll want to make sure that you do, to stay healthy. Vitamin b12 does a lot of things for your body. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, for example.
Since your body creates make vitamin b12, you have to get it from animal-based foods or supplements, and you should do that regularly because your body doesn’t store vitamin b12 for a long time. This is another reason why it can be easy to develop a vitamin b12 deficiency.
How much to get not to develop a vitamin b12 deficiency?
The answer depends on things, including your age, your eating habits and medical conditions, and what medications you take. So this amount may vary considerably from person to person; however, one thing we all have in common is the ability to consume vitamin b12 foods to avoid a vitamin b12 deficiency.
You can get vitamin b12 in animal foods, which have it naturally, or from items that have been fortified with it. Animal sources include dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. If you’re looking for food fortified with b12, check the product’s nutrition facts label.
In the long term, an unchecked vitamin b12 deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage, which is why it's crucial to catch it early.
Symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency
General lack of energy
Strange mood changes
Trouble concentrating or remembering things
Shivering or numbness in hands or feet
Excited, red, cracked tongue
Who's at risk?
As diets, medications and lifestyles have changed dramatically, the question is: What has been the impact on our vitamin b12?
In case you're taking certain medications. An essential step for vitamin b12 absorption occurs in the stomach, where your stomach acid plays a crucial role in unlocking b12 from your food to make it available to the body.
In case you're taking medications that suppress gastric acid production, such as proton pump inhibitors for heartburn, you may be at higher risk for b12 deficiency.
Consistent consumption of aspirin is also associated with a higher risk of vitamin b12 deficiency (approximately 1 in 5 adults is taking aspirin every day or every other day), as is the diabetes drug metformin.
On the off chance that you've undergone gastrointestinal surgeries or have digestive disorders. Gastric bypass or other stomach surgery can compromise the body's ability for normal, healthy absorption of b12.
On the off chance that you have IBS, Crohn's disease or celiac disease, you are also at a potential higher risk, as you may be unable to absorb enough vitamin b12 from your food, or to produce adequate intrinsic factor, a compound needed further along in digestion to absorb vitamin b12 in the small intestine.
In case you're over age 50. Changes in the stomach lining as we age can reduce the production of gastric acid for up to an estimated 30% of the population; in this case, you no longer can unlock adequate amounts of vitamin b12 from the foods you eat.
Therefore, it's recommended that individuals over age 50 consume 25-100 mcg/day of supplemental vitamin b12. What's the difference? In fortified foods and supplements, vitamin b12 is already in its free form and doesn't require gastric acid for separation in the stomach.
Lift vitamin b12 in your diet
Vitamin b12 is naturally found in some foods (animal foods like seafood, poultry, beef, pork and dairy products are the most reliable sources), added to others (like fortified breakfast cereal) and available as a dietary supplement or prescription medication. Here are four of the most potent ways you can start, including more vitamin b12 in your diet.
Start with a breakfast of champions.
Sustained breakfast cereals are an affordable, super-easy way to get the vitamin b12 you need. Check the label and choose your favourite whole-grain cereal that provides 25-100% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin b12. Include 1 cup of organic lowfat or skim milk or yoghurt for another 15-20% DV of vitamin b12, and you can meet your needs before you've cleared the breakfast table.
For a breakfast cereal parfait recipe, click here.
Concoct a buffalo slider
The best natural sources of vitamin b12 are animal foods. One-hundred percent grass-fed buffalo (or bison) is a lean and green superfood, as it's lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat than conventional beef, and higher in heart-healthy omega-3s.
Search for "100% grass-fed" on the label, as some buffalo at the supermarket is corn-fed (in which case, those health benefits disappear). On the off chance that you can't find buffalo or bison, 95% extra lean organic grass-fed beef is a good alternative.
For a mouth-watering buffalo slider recipe that will provide 35% of the DV of vitamin b12, click here.
Air out a clam
Seafood provides some of the best vitamin b12 foods on the planet. Only 3 ounces of canned clams, for example, pack over 100% of the DV for vitamin b12 and is also an excellent source of selenium, iron, zinc and protein. You can also find frozen clams in the freezer section of many seafood counters. Try not to like clams? Substitute 4-5 ounces of sardines, salmon or trout for a nutrient-rich vitamin b12 boost.
Attempt a nutritional yeast
On the off chance that you've eliminated red meat altogether, are a vegan or vegetarian, a nutritional yeast that is fortified with vitamin b12 (be sure to check the label) can also be an excellent source of this vitamin; simply sprinkle 1 tablespoon per day into your lasagnas, smoothies and even desserts for your daily dose of vitamin b12.
While other plant foods may claim to be a source of vitamin b12, these are unreliable as the amount can vary; a fortified yeast (or breakfast cereal) is a better bet.