Vitamin B12 is known as the “energy vitamin” and is essential for many critical functions in your body including energy production, supporting your immune system and helping to regulate the formation of red blood cells.
Found naturally in animal products like meat, fish, eggs and dairy.
B12 is bound to the protein in food.
Hydrochloric acid in the stomach releases B12 from protein during digestion.
Once released, B12 combines with a substance called intrinsic factor (IF) before it is absorbed in to the bloodstream.
Because 10-30% of older people do not absorb food-bound Vitamin B12 efficiently, those over 50 should meet the RDA by eating foods fortified with B12 or by taking a Vitamin B12 supplement.
Recent studies from the US Framingham trial have shown that 1/4 of adults in the US are deficient in Vitamin B12 and nearly half of the population has suboptimal blood levels.
A Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia feeling weak, tired and faint; heart palpitations; looking pale; and shortness of breath.
A Vitamin B 12 deficiency can cause neurological problems. Tingling of hands and feet, changes in ability to walk, loss of vision, memory problems, seeing things that aren’t there, sadness and changes in personality