Vitamin B12 How Important Is It In Your Diet? Carnivores and Omnivores Alike!

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Vitamin B12

First things first, what role does vitamin B12 play in your diet? Because, once we know its value, it makes it a whole lot easier to ensure it is a priority in our diets – would you agree?

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. 

Now, I will try not to get too technical on you – but there are two (2) important steps you should know about Vitamin B12 and your role in its consumption. 

First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body.

How Much of This Vitamin Do You Need?

The amount of vitamin B12 required to remain at healthy levels varies by age. An adult generally requires 2.5mcg, the levels are lower for infants and children and are higher in women who are breastfeeding. 

What Foods Contain Vitamin B12?

Let’s start first with those of you who regularly consume meat versus a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

  • Beef liver and clams (Best noted source) 
  • Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, which also contain vitamin B12.
  • Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products that are fortified with vitamin B12.

To verify if vitamin B12 has been added to a particular food product, check the product labels to also check for the amount available per serving. 

Now, for those who follow a vegan diet the following recommendations are made by ‘The Vegan Society“;

  1. Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day
  2. OR  Take one supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms
  3. OR  Take a weekly supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms

This, is the only vitamin that is not recognized as being a reliable source from a varied wholefood, plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, together with exposure to sun.

Many herbivorous mammals, including cattle and sheep, absorb the vitamin produced by bacteria in their own digestive system. 

Arguably, it can also found to some extent in soil and plants – however, this doesn’t help in a humans ability to consume it – dirt pie anyone?

Worried About Being Deficient? 

Here are a few signs in the event you are concerned with being deficient in this area. The most common are anemia and nervous system damage. Now – these are both things that can prevented, and corrected in the event that is it solely due to a result of lower vitamin levels. 

In adults, typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes.

Often these symptoms can develop gradually over several months and up to a year before being recognized as being due to B12 deficiency. They are usually reversible on administration of B12. Definitely something that if you are concerned to have checked regularly or at the very least consult with your doctor. 

Overall, I hope these few tidbits were helpful and if anything have you ‘in the loop’ because Vitamin B12 is an absolute important vitamin in our bodies and with simple adjustments through knowledge it never has to be a factor. 

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcomed and appreciated. 

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
Ki's Kitchen

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace


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