Vitamin B12 is an important B-vitamin used widely in the body for red blood cell production, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, and it is involved in many facets of metabolism.
B12 deficiency is common. It occurs more frequently in vegetarians and vegans, as dietary sources of B12 are mostly found in animal products. The elderly are often deficient as we need certain factors to facilitate absorption which decline with age. Absorption can also be impacted by digestive issues and medications like acid-blockers.
Animal food sources include: meat, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish. Vegetarian sources are products which are fortified with B12 such as nutritional yeast, and possibly some seaweeds, mushrooms and fermented foods. Many people take a B12 supplement, but it can also be given as an injection as we can store B12. With an injection, it bypasses the digestive tract. A B12 injection is a simple shot into the shoulder, is relatively painless, and only takes a few minutes.
Did you know that most B12 liquids for injection contain parabens as preservatives?
Our ND uses a preservative-free form of B12 for injections. Learn about getting your levels tested, how to supplement, or about B12 injections from a licensed care provider such as an our ND, Dr. Clare Craig.