Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is vital for the nervous system and for creating DNA and RNA in every cell in your body, and also helps cells absorb proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the required volume. And despite the fact that vitamin B12 is necessary for the body to optimize many processes – from mood to digestion – people sometimes have no idea about the signs and symptoms of its deficiency. We explain where this vitamin can be obtained and who is at risk when it comes to a critical shortcoming.
Where does vitamin B12?
It is important to understand that vitamin B12 is not synthesized either by animals or plants, and its content in particular products depends solely on how well an animal or plant retains this vitamin. Traditionally in animals, this is better, so that almost all sources of vitamin B12 are of animal origin.
To add to the diet of B12, first of all you should pay attention to veal liver, salmon, beef, mutton, scallops, shrimps, sardines and cod. If you are more interested in plants, choose algae (kelp or blue-green), brewer’s yeast, miso sauce and tofu. In the latter case, however, remember that the content of their vitamin in any case is several times less than in products of animal origin.
You are a vegetarian or vegan.
The only way to get vitamin B12 in its entirety is to consume meat. So if you avoid products of animal origin, then without adequate additives, the B12 deficit is guaranteed to you. There is no need to make a moral choice: you can continue to adhere to the principles of a vegetarian diet, taking vitamin B12 in capsules or as part of a complex remedy.
Your age is over 50 years.
Age brings wisdom and freedom of action, but unfortunately, age-related changes also reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. By the way, symptoms such as memory changes and decreased concentration occur in older people precisely because of a deficiency of B12.
You regularly drink alcohol.
Regularly does not mean every day and in unlimited quantities. Two glasses of wine after working as a Friday tradition is also considered. The point here is that our liver plays an important role in storing B12: so enjoy sitting around at the bar in a pleasant company, but always order a burger with a salmon or medium steak to avoid unpleasant consequences.
You have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
Even if you constantly eat meat, in case you have diabetes mellitus, you probably lack vitamin B12. At the same time, a low level of B12 in the long term may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, associated with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as symptoms of Alzheimer’s, autism and mental illness. Bottom line: The B12 deficit can be devastating, but this can easily be avoided by taking supplements. Remember that with the amount of B12 it is almost impossible to overdo it – as it is a water-soluble vitamin, it is naturally eliminated from the body in case of excess of the norm.