If you follow our blog, then you know we’re huge fans of vitamin B12. You could say we’re B12-lievers? No? Yeah, it was a bit of a stretch. The effects of vitamin B12 are no joke, though.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all of your cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, a blood condition that makes people tired and weak.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is common in the US due to dietary restrictions, age, and medical conditions.
Certain groups of people may not get enough vitamin B12 or have trouble absorbing it, such as:
People over 50.
As you get older, your stomach creates less hydrochloric acid, which helps absorb vitamin B12 in food. To help get more in your system, you’ll need to rely on IV therapy or supplements.
People with Atrophic Gastritis
If you have this autoimmune disease, you likely have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 as it leads to too little hydrochloric acid and an intrinsic factor in their stomach.
People with Pernicious Anemia
Those with pernicious anemia do not make the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12. Doctors usually treat pernicious anemia with vitamin B12 shots, although very high doses of vitamin B12 given by mouth might also be effective.
If you’ve undergone intestinal or stomach surgery, such as a gastric bypass, your stomach may not be able to make enough hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor to absorb vitamin B12.
People with Crohn’s Disease
People with disorders of the stomach and small intestine, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, might not absorb enough vitamin B12.
Vegetarians and Vegans
Vegetarians and vegans might not get enough vitamin B12 from their diets because it is only present in animal byproducts such as red meat. When pregnant women and women who breastfeed are strict vegetarians or vegans, their babies might also not get enough vitamin B12.
How Much Vitamin B12 Do I Need?
The amount of vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in micrograms (mcg):
- Birth to six months: 0.4mcg
- 7-12 months: 0.5mcg
- 1-3 years: 0.9mcg
- 4-8 years: 1.2mcg
- 9-13 years: 1.8mcg
- 14-18 years: 2.4mcg
- Pregnant women: 2.6mcg
- Breastfeeding women: 2.8mcg
What is Vitamin B12 Good For?
Vitamin B12 can do so much for your body. On top of helping improve your metabolism, B12 can help increase energy production and help prevent memory loss. It is also super important for DNA production. Don’t believe us? Check all this out.
Dementia and Cognitive Function
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in seniors.
The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia.
One study in people with early-stage dementia showed that a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed mental decline.
Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. As a result, supplementing with this vitamin may improve memory, even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency.
Energy and Endurance
All B vitamins play an important role in your body’s energy production, though they don’t necessarily provide energy themselves. Currently, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin B12 supplements can boost energy in those with sufficient levels of this vitamins, however, they do help you metabolize food and turn glucose into energy, which is why many people report feeling more awake when they take B12 supplements.
On top of that, if you’re significantly deficient in vitamin B12, taking a supplement or increasing your intake will likely improve your energy level. In fact, one of the most common early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy!
So if you want to try B12 for yourself, schedule an appointment with us at IV Revival. Our registered nurses will come right to your door and administer an IV of your choice. Reach out today!