Recent studies show that around 40% of americans are vitamin B12 deficient.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that helps maintain the health of your nerves, brain, and is responsible for creation of your red blood cells.
A vitamin B12 deficiency long term results in nerve damage and may even lead to paralysis.
Even a mild vitamin B12 deficiency can result in impaired mental function and low energy. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, so a deficiency can lead to the production of large, immature cells that are unable to properly carry oxygen.
The benefits of vitamin B12 are vast and include:
- Boosting energy
- Reducing depression
- Decrease sugar cravings
- Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
- Protects against cancer
- Reduces neurological and brain degeneration
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
According to a study from a Harvard hospital published in the New England Journal of Medicine vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:
- Low Sperm Count and Libido
- Weakness and Anemia
B12 deficiency can by masked by adequate levels of folate. Vegans and vegetarians are at risk for B12 deficiency as vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods. Also, those with leaky gut and digestive malabsorption may be at risk of a deficiency.
Other serious risk factors that can lead to a lack of vitamin B12 are taking prescription medications like antibiotics, Metformin (a diabetes drug), those who take Nexium (acid reflux medication) and those who have had lap-band surgery (weight loss surgery).
The RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg/day. The Daily Value is 6 mcg/day.
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods
1) Beef liver
3 oz: 18 mcg (over 100% DV)
3 oz: 7.6 mcg (over 100% DV)
3) Beef (grass-fed)
3 oz: 1.5 mcg (25% DV)
3 oz: 2.5 mcg (41% DV)
5) Raw cheese
1.5 oz: 1.5 mcg (25% DV)
6) Cottage cheese
1 cup: 1.4 mcg (23% DV)
3 oz: 2.07 mcg (35% DV)
8) Raw Milk
1 cup: 1.1 mcg (18% DV)
1 large: 0.44 mcg (7% DV)
3 oz: 1.1 mcg (18% DV)
Source: Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods