As the body gets older, it starts to change. Even if you feel great and aren’t noticing any changes, they are surely happening. One that you can’t see, and may not necessarily feel, is how your body absorbs nutrients.
Many elderly Americans are deficient in vitamin B12. This is due to a host of issues, including malabsorption, reduced appetite, and other potential health problems. It can also be challenging to recognize because many of the symptoms feel like a part of “normal aging.” These can include fatigue, trouble walking, memory problems, to name a few. It’s estimated that up to 20-percent of Americans over age 50 are borderline deficient.
Over time, too little B12 can have more serious health implications like neurological disorders and blood diseases.
Finding ways to include more vitamin B12 in your diet is the best way to reduce the risk for a deficiency and potentially ease the aging process. It is highly available in these foods:
- Sockeye salmon
- Beef liver
- Rainbow trout
- Nutritional yeast
- Fortified cereal
You’ll notice that there aren’t many plant-based foods on there, which can put vegetarians or vegans at higher risk for a B12 deficiency. For these people, supplementing is very important.
For non-vegetarians and vegans, trying to include a serving of B-12 per meal can help. The recommended daily intake for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day, which would be only about 1.5 ounces of sockeye salmon. But because of potential absorption issues, eating a little bit more is recommended.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can creep up without you noticing, even if you think you’re eating enough rich sources.
The next time you see your doctor, have them check your B12.