May is here and we will be looking at vitamin B12 this month. Vitamin B12 is an essential water soluble vitamin that we unfortunately cannot produce ourselves. We must get all of our vitamin B12 through food and supplements. B12 can be found naturally in a number of different animal meats but is also found in fortified foods and supplements (1).
Vitamin B12 Month
Studies have shown that there is a good percentage of the population that is low in or has a vitamin B12 deficiency (2, 3). The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for adults and 2.6 for pregnant women (4).
There are a number of roles that B12 plays in the body. B12 is needed for the creation of red blood cells, nerve cell functionality and DNA (5). For all of these reasons we need to make sure that we are getting our daily B12.
As mentioned before, many of the sources that provide B12 are animal based. Specifically, animal livers and kidneys, clams, sardines, beef, tuna, trout, salmon, fortified cereal or milks and eggs. The other way to receive your daily dose of B12 is through fortified foods like cereal, non-dairy milks and nutritional yeast or through supplements like a daily vitamin.
Unlike many other vitamins, B12 is more easily absorbed in the body in the crystalline form that is found in fortified foods compared to the B12 found naturally in animal products (6).
While most people will have no problem getting the needed B12 in their diet, there are certain people that have a higher risk of being deficient. This includes people who have HIV, have an immune dysfunction, drink alcohol regularly or are vegans. Some of the signs that you might be deficient in B12 are shakiness, muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, fatigue and low blood sugar (7).
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Join Our Community: Find out more about our Challenge and participate by joining our private Facebook group, SPHappinessreset.
THIS MONTHS CHALLENGE: For the month of May try to incorporate the appropriate amount of vitamin B12 in your daily diet.
Now you might have noticed that this newsletter is a little on the light side. Our lives have all the sudden become very busy with Elena’s new job and we received our second COVID shot today. I am pretty sure I have a fever as I write this. So, Elena and I will be taking a self care day tomorrow and we will not be putting out a recipe post this week.
I hope that everyone has a great week and we will talk again soon. Stay safe everyone! To end on a happy note here are the young goslings and baby turtle that we came across on our most recent walk.