Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Are you getting enough?

Print Article

Image of hand holding periodic symbol for Vitamin B12 - Cooper Complete, B12 benefitsVitamin B12 is one of many nutrients in the family of B vitamins.  These B vitamins work together to help the body convert food into fuel needed for daily use.  Vitamin B12 individually is crucial for its role in DNA synthesis, normal brain function, and red blood cell production.

Unfortunately, vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through diet or supplementation. It is naturally found in animal products such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs or dairy. Also, breakfast cereals are often fortified with B vitamins and most multivitamins include a good collection of them.

Yet in spite of these food sources, the NIH has found that up to 15% of the US public are deficient in B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

While most of us consume enough B12 in our diet, deficiencies do occur.  Many groups are at risk for deficiency as their condition’s lower the body’s ability to absorb the nutrient when consumed.

Groups at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency because of low intake of B12:

  • vegetarians
  • vegans
  • people over the age of 50

A strict vegan or vegetarian diet can is a risk for vitamin B12 deficiency due to lower consumption of animal products high in B12. This can make even a healthy vegan lifestyle a challenge for consuming enough B12.  In addition to this choice in diet, a vitamin B12 supplement is a good option to ensure adequate intake.

In contrast, for some people consuming enough B12 is not an issue.  Instead, a reduction in stomach acid greatly impairs the body’s attempt to extract this nutrient from food. There are many reasons a person might be experiencing a reduction in stomach acid levels.

Here is a list of common reasons for low stomach acid:

  • heavy drinking
  • weight-loss surgery
  • pernicious anemia
  • proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, etc.)
  • frequent antacids use
  • Chron’s disease or Celiac’s disease

A person who fits the above categories should consult their physician about B12 levels in their blood.

Another common problem in determining B12 deficiency is the ability of folic acid to mask or hide this issue.  Folic acid and B12 share roles in the body on creating red blood cells and caring for DNA.  However, B12 has a very important unique function of maintaining proper brain function.  While blood functions will most likely remain normal, lack of B12 will impair the body to regulate brain function.

Vitamin B12 Benefits – Symptoms of Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency can be confused with signs of aging for many. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include memory issues, moodiness or depression, muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, numbness or tingling in arms and legs, shakiness, an unsteady gait and incontinence.

First, It is important to consult a physician about these symptoms to confirm a diagnosis.

Second, the only way to know for sure if your B12 level is low is to get a blood test. A physician will determine what steps will need to be taken to raise blood levels to the appropriate levels. This often consists of a mix of solutions from dietary change, lifestyle change and supplements.

For those who need additional supplementation, here at Cooper Complete we off a physician formulated liquid B12 supplement. It supplies 1,000 micrograms B12 for each standard-sized serving.

Click here to shop our full line of Dr. Cooper’s vitamins and supplements at Cooper Complete.

Convenient Vitamin Subscription Plan Saves Time and Money

To ensure you always have a supply of Cooper Complete multivitamins and mineral supplements, join our Vitamin Delivery Subscription Program. You choose how often you would like a shipment, with 30, 60, 90 and 120 day options. If you have two or more bottles (of the same product or mix and match among products) shipped at the same time, you get free shipping!

Vitamin Subscription Enrollment Is Easy

Display the production information for the first item you would like to add to your cart, and click on the blue “Get Started” button to create a subscription. From there, choose a shipping frequency of 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or 120 days and the quantity desired, and add the item to your cart. Repeat this process for as many different products as you like, and choose a shipping frequency that best matches your use of that product. For example, you might want Advanced Omega-3 fatty acids and Joint Health supplement every 30-days, and a bottle of Basic One Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement every 60-days. Click here to start your subscription for Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3.

Learn More