The important role of Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is to ensure the healthy production of blood cells in your body that also help your DNA cells. This essential vitamin is also necessary for the nervous system to function well and it helps prevent certain types of anemia, according to the National Institutes of Health.
This vitamin is found naturally in meat, fish, eggs, dairy and poultry. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among the elderly, and those suffering from anemia and clinical macrocytosis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Thus, it’s not unusual to take Vitamin B12 supplements, including Vitamin B12 shots, especially if the person’s deficiency is high.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
As Vitamin B12 is naturally found in meat and dairy products, those on a plant-based diet may be deficient in this essential nutrient. According to a study published in Nutrition Reviews, 62% of vegan or vegetarian pregnant women develop Vitamin B12 deficiency. 21-41% of adolescents and 25-86% of children whom are mostly on a plant-based diet also have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Among Americans, this nutrient deficiency affects 6% of people below 60 years old, according to a study published in the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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