B12, the vitamin that’s often thought of as a booster shot, can reduce the risk of heart attack. Studies have found that a deficiency in vitamin B12 has been linked to a primary cause of heart attacks.
Consuming enough vitamin B12 has been linked to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. University of Maryland Medical Center said that patients
with high homocysteine levels are nearly twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease according to studies.
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An excess of homocysteine in the bloodstream could also lead to a condition called hyperhomocysteinemia, which increases the risk of blood clots, according to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
. Blood clots entering and blocking hardened and narrowed arteries is a leading cause of heart attacks, including the infamous widowmaker.
If you want to avoid heart attacks linked to those conditions, the recommended daily allowance of B12 for teens and adults is at least 2.4 micrograms consumed in the diet; at least 2.6 micrograms for expectant mothers; and at least 2.8 micrograms for breastfeeding women.
Because vitamin B12 is a water-soluble mineral, the body doesn’t store it, so consumption of B12 must occur daily. It is also recommended for senior adults to supplement their dietary intake with a multivitamin since they are unable to absorb B12 as well as they did when they were younger.
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If you’re concerned about correcting a deficiency and overdoing it, vitamin B12 is considered nontoxic as well as water-soluble, so do not worry about taking too much of it.
According to Harvard Medical School
, the best food sources for B12 are:
- Meat, such as turkey, salmon, and beef
- Soy milk
- Vegetarian meat substitute, for vegetarians and vegans who can’t get the mineral from non-animal sources
- Fortified breakfast cereals
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