Vitamin B12 is one the most important our body needs to make red blood cells. Therefore, it is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women to keep this nutrient balanced. Deficiency of this vitamin lead to anemia which leads to fatigue, memory loss and nerve damage. We can balance this vitamin intake through certain diet such as meat, eggs and seafood or through supplements for vegans and those with certain health issues.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Many people don’t notice vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, they associate the symptoms with age. However, individuals who have unbalanced levels of this vitamin may feel fatigue, lightheaded, pale skin, red tongue, bleeding gums, lose weight, loss of memory, diarrhea or constipation and depression
What are the benefits of vitamin B12?
This nutrient is essential to red blood cells development to prevent the risk of anemia, a condition that effects the functioning of red blood cells. Some of other benefits of vitamin B12 are:
- Helps the body to make proteins like hormones and enzymes for digestive system, reducing the risk of macular degeneration. 34% of women who took vitamin B12, B6 since age of 40 had less risk of macular degeneration in later years.
- Pregnancy Health, vitamin B12 benefits for women who are pregnant reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects, miscarry, birth defects and low birthweight.
- Brain health, they health of neurons in the brain. This nutrient is associated with memory loss and dementia. According to research, “older adults with early-stage of dementia who were given vitamin B12 supplements to lower their blood homocysteine levels demonstrated a slower rate of cognitive and clinical decline”.
What source of food is rich in vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is found in various animal products such as, seafood, meat, poultryus, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, fortified foods like cereals, soy milk, and meat substitutes. This vitamin if added to fortified food for those who are vegans. Supplements are suggested to be taken to insure the balance of this nutrient for healthy body function.
Vitamin B12 benefits for women of different ages
To keep your balanced level of vitamin B12, you would probably need to take supplements if no efficient diet is available. Supplements can be taken through form of pills or shots. According to doctor’s recommendation per day; age 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg, age 4 to 8 years: 1.2 mcg, age 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg, age 14 and older: 2.4 mcg, during pregnancy: 2.6 mcg, while breastfeeding: 2.8 mcg.