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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Common: Are You at Risk?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Common: Are You at Risk?
(Copyright AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 02:50 PM

Half of all Americans, if not more, take some form of dietary supplement to boost their health and longevity, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While a vast body of scientific research confirms the health benefits of multivitamins, fish oil, and other supplements, the one-size-fits-all guidelines established by the federal government aren’t appropriate for everyone, expert say.

“Just as different car models require specific grades of fuel for maximum performance, individuals also need different levels of vitamins and nutrients to maximize their personal health,” says Dr. Sherry Kelishadi, vice president with NutraGlow Inc., a California supplement maker.

Kelishadi tells Newsmax Health many Americans are lacking in certain vitamins — particularly B12, which is critical to the body’s production of red blood cells. And that can lead to a host of problems, including include fatigue, lack of energy, sluggishness, and dizziness.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency has become a silent epidemic,” she says. “A vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest in a multitude of different ways.”

Here are six surprising details vitamin B12 and its critical role in body functions and health:

Certain diets limit B12. Vegetarians and especially vegans are at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, Kelishadi says. Those who have dietary limitations that include dairy, meat, and other animal-derived foods may also have limited vitamin B12 intake in their diets.

Few natural food sources. B12-rich food sources are few; dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry and fish provide the richest amounts of B12. “There are other foods, like some cereals, that are enriched with B12,” she says. “But overall, there are a limited variety of options for adequate B12 consumption.”

B12 is depleted quickly. Your body doesn’t store vitamin B12 for long period of time, leaving us vulnerable to deficiencies.

B12 helps make your DNA and RBCs. B12 is critical to our DNA and red blood cells production. “B12 doesn’t just make us feel better; it helps our body to produce crucial elements of existence,” Kelishadi says.

Drugs, alcohol block B12. Heavy drinking and long-term use of acid-reducing heartburn medications can also inhibit block vitamin B12 absorption. “Heavy alcohol consumption is not good for our bodies for a variety of reasons, the impact on vitamin B12 absorbency being one of them,” she says. “Acid reflux and heartburn are common conditions that are also brought on by deeper-rooted factors that should be looked into. Eliminating the need for medications for this issue would be a win-win situation.

Age reduces absorption. Ironically, we need more B12 as we age, but as we grow older our bodies’ absorbency rates decrease.

“Whether you don’t consume enough vitamin B12-rich foods, or your body does not absorb it well no matter how much you supplement, low vitamin B12 should be taken seriously,” Kelishadi says.

“Be proactive with your health by paying attention to any signs you may suffer from one of the lesser-known (or well known) impacts of vitamin B12 deficiency. Speak with your doctor about getting tested for B12 levels and making sure that you are taking the most absorbable form of vitamin B12 out there.”

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Half of all Americans, if not more, take a dietary supplement to boost their health and longevity. But the one-size-fits-all guidelines established by the federal government may leave some people deficient. This is particularly true with vitamin B12.
vitamin, b12, deficiency
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 02:50 PM
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