Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin needed for normal cell activity, DNA synthesis and regulation, and formation of blood. B12 is important for the mood-affecting substance called SAMe (S-adenosyl L-methionine), as well as energy production.
Vitamin B12, along with vitamin B6 and folic acid, control the human body homocysteine levels reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin B12 is found in many animal foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Most people should not have to worry about lack of vitamin B12 because an average diet will provide more than enough for your daily needs. In addition, most multi vitamins supply significant amounts of B12, boosting energy levels.
However, vegetarians could be lacking this important vitamin because people should not rely on vegan sources for sufficient quantities of B12. Vegans could become deficient after many years but taking a supplement will give all the B12 needed.
Lack of vitamin B12 may cause anemia, stress, depression, pernicious anemia and high homosysteine, as mentioned before. Vegans should take 2 to 3 mcg daily in order to prevent any health concerns.
Vegans are not alone when it comes to deficiency of vitamin B12, as elderly people struggle to absorb enough B12 from their diet. Studies have proved that lack of B12 may affect balance, memory and mood.
So, perhaps the reason we get a little grumpy when we are old is just as simple as not getting enough vitamins, more specifically, vitamin B12.
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