What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed for the formation of red blood cells and for a healthy nervous system. It can be stored in the liver for a few years. Not only vegans but also vegetarians and even meat eaters can be deficient of this important nutrient but it is often made out to be something a plant based diet lacks which is not true.
Where does B12 come from?
Vitamin B12 is can not be produced by animals or plants. B12 is made by bacteria and can be found in manure and unsanetized water. Animal foods contain B12 because they come in contact with manure and dirty water, livestock is usually supplemented with vitamin B12 in their feed, often feed is also contaminated with fecal bacteria.
Vitamin B12 used to be naturally found on plant foods which is now not the case due to modern hygienic practices.
Who need to supplement with B12?
A large percentage of people consuming all kinds of diets a[pear to be at risk for B12 deficiencies. Food cobalamin malabsorption due to many health and digestive factors are the reason that B12 deficiencies are not uncommon in the general population, even among those eating large amounts of animal foods.
What are the best sources for B12?
The crystalline form of vitamin B12 is the easiest to absorb because it is not attached to a protein unlike B12 found in animal foods, not the ideal source for absorption and they also come with additional hormones and unhealthy substances humans don’t need. The crystalline form is the vitamin B12 that is used in supplements and fortified foods.
What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?
- loss of appetite
- shortness of breath
- memory problems
Because vitamin B12 is needed for the production of red blood cells a deficiency can lead to anemia. It is also needed for a healthy nervous system to prevent us from a wide variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Who needs take a B12 supplement?
Because of the high percentage of deficiencies found in the population, regardless of one’s diet everyone needs to keep an eye on their vitamin B12 status and / or take a supplement. This is a deficiency that’s usually easy for a medical professional to identify and treat. B12 deficiency has vague symptoms which are not only connected to B12 which makes it for healthy individuals important to check their B12 levels once a year.
This is my favorite B12 spray, easy and made of organic whole foods.