Many experts previously believed that strict vegetarians were the primary group that could develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you had adequate stores of this important nutrient in your body, the experts believed you were “safe” for many years from developing a B12 deficiency.
Now we know better.
Vitamin B12 depletion and deficiency are much more common than previously thought, especially in the over-60 population. In fact, it’s believed that almost one in four people over 60 have deficient levels of this vital vitamin.
Equally disturbing are emerging signs that other age groups harbor suboptimal blood levels of B12 as well.
Why is vitamin B12 deficiency such a big deal?
Your body depends on vitamin B12 for a host of functions, including…
- Helping to maintain normal energy levels*
- Promoting healthy neurological activity, including mental alertness*
- Supporting normal homocysteine levels for healthy cardiac function*
- Helping to ease occasional stress and sleeplessness*
- Maintaining healthy cell growth and repair*
- Promoting normal immune function*
- Supporting normal metabolism of carbohydrates and fats*
When your blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, one or more of these functions may be disrupted.*
Without adequate blood levels of B12, you can experience symptoms related to low energy, mental fatigue, mood changes, sleep difficulties, and even occasional indigestion.*
Your body relies on the efficient conversion of carbohydrates to glucose – your body’s source of fuel – just like your car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in that conversion in your body.* Likewise, B12 enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well.*