Why B12 Supplementation Is Important For Everyone
Vitamin B12 protects against nerve damage, the heart, and supports your overall energy level and immune system. Being deficient in B12 for extended periods of time can lead to anemia and even neurological issues. This is especially true for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or older in years. Research shows that deficiency is prominent in these groups of people, and are at risk if diets are not supplemented with B12. Levels are not sufficient in mainly plant-based diets, and absorption ability decreases with age.
Although B12 is an essential nutrient for optimum health, it is only really found in animal products and soil. Animals themselves do not manufacture B12, it is found in the soil bacteria in their guts that make the B12 when they eat dirt. The nutrient, in turn, is transferred to us when they are consumed. In the last 50 years, the way that we grow, process and prepare our food has changed dramatically. Vegetables and legumes are much cleaner nowadays, whereby absorbing B12 in this way is no longer a viable or reliable source for many.
Unfortunately, if you eat animal products regularly, don't be fooled into thinking you don't need extra B12 in your diet. Studies show that about 40% of people around the world are deficient in B12 regardless of diets, and in developing countries the number is as high as 70-80%! It makes sense, then, to get B12 levels checked annually and to add a B12 dietary supplement and fortified foods to ones daily intake. As with starting any new health program, be sure to check with your doctor first.