Are you getting enough vitamin B12? You will be convinced that you must do this to stay healthy.
Vitamin B12 does a lot for your body. Helps build DNA and red blood cells.
Your body does not produce vitamin B12, so you need to get it from animal foods or supplements. And you need to do this regularly. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver for up to 5 years, but if your diet doesn’t help maintain levels, you may eventually develop a deficiency.
How much do you get?
The answer depends on your age, dietary habits, health and medications you take.
Average recommended amounts, measured in micrograms, vary by age:
Infants up to 6 months: 0.4 mcg
Children 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
Children 1-3 years old: 0.9 mcg
Children 4-8 years old: 1.2 mcg
Children ages 9-13: 1.8 mcg
Teens 14-18 years: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant, 2.8 mcg per day while breastfeeding)
Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day while breastfeeding)
Food sources of Vitamin B12
You can get vitamin B12 from natural animal foods or from fortified foods.
Animal products include dairy products, eggs, fish, meat and poultry. If you’re looking for foods fortified with vitamin B12, check the Nutrition Facts label for your product.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Most people in the United States get enough of this nutrient. If you are not sure, you can ask your doctor for a blood test to check your vitamin B12 levels.
With age, this vitamin becomes more difficult to absorb. This can happen if you’ve had weight-loss surgery or other surgery that removes part of your stomach, or if you drink a lot of alcohol.
You may also be more likely to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if you:
Atrophic gastritis with thinning of the gastric mucosa
Pernicious anemia makes it difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B12
Conditions that affect the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or an overgrowth of bacteria or parasites
Drinking too much alcohol can make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients or prevent you from eating enough calories. A sign that you do not have enough vitamin B12 is gingivitis, or a swollen and sore tongue.
Immune system disorders such as Graves’ disease and lupus
Take certain medications that interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12. These include some heartburn medications, such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and proton pump inhibitors such as cimetidine (Tagamet). . famotidine (Pepcid AS); Certain diabetes medications, such as metformin (Glucophage).
If you follow a vegan diet (meaning there are no animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, or eggs) or you are a vegetarian who does not consume enough eggs or dairy products, you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Meet your vitamin B12 needs. Either way, you can add fortified foods to your diet or take supplements to meet this need. Learn more about vitamin B supplements.
Pregnant or new?
Are you a vegetarian or vegan pregnant woman planning to exclusively breastfeed your baby? You should talk to your doctor before giving birth so that you can plan how to get vitamin B12 to keep your baby healthy.
Without enough vitamin B12, your baby may experience a developmental delay and may not grow and develop properly.