It is estimated that up to 20% of people aged 50 years and over may be low in vitamin B12. As we get older, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 tends to decrease.
This is due to often developing problems with the acids and stomach enzymes needed to process the vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is important for making red blood cells and maintaining effective function of nerve cells.
Common problems of the lack of Vitamin B12 include:
Anemia – low red blood cell count that carry oxygen in the blood. Can cause fatigue or shortness of breath.
Neuropathy – nerves in the body are not working well causing tingling, numbness, burning and poor balance.
Cognitive Impairment – nerve cells in the brain are not working effectively causing memory problems, irritability and even dementia.
Vitamin B12 can be gained naturally by eating meat and dairy products. However, you can easily obtain it via supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is often slow to come on and the symptoms may not be noticeable. If you have any concerns, it is advisable to get a blood test from your Doctor to check your level. Especially if you are vegetarian, suffer from health conditions relating to the stomach, pancreas, or intestines.