Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs more in vegetarians because the best food sources of this vitamin are animal products.
So the idea is to have a healthy vegetarian diet, with less oil and sugar and rich in fiber, calcium, magnesium and trace minerals. You can get vitamin B12 from your diet, or from supplements. Exactly how much you need depends on your age.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can happen if you have certain conditions, such as:
- Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
Surgery that removed part of your stomach or small intestine, including weight loss surgery
Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
Long-term use of acid-reducing drugs
The greatest loss of Vitamin B12 content is from cooking in water. Boiling meat will lead to a greater loss than baking.
Seafoods concentrate Vitamin B12 well. If you don’t eat seafood daily, you’ll need three or more land animal foods in the diet each day to make sure you get enough B12.
Also, if you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to eat breads, cereals or other grains that have been fortified with Vitamin B12, or take a daily supplement.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the formation of red blood cells, as well as for the proper functioning and health of nerve tissue. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as B12 deficiency, can lead to anemia, as well as nerve and brain damage, which may eventually become irreversible.