Do You Know These Sources of Vitamin B12?

You might not know it, but you owe your life to bacteria. That’s because they are the only creatures on the planet that create vitamin B12, a vitamin you cannot live without. If you become deficient in B12, your mental health suffers, your metabolism slows, you feel fatigued, and you can develop heart disease, osteoporosis, and anemia. So it’s important you get enough and know where to get it. Vegans are especially at risk, but surprisingly they can get it readily these days from supplements.

5 Sources of Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in meat, dairy, fish, and poultry. According to the USDA, the richest forms of natural B12 come from clams, beef liver, trout, salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt, and cheese. [1] And since your body can only absorb as much B12 as your body produces intrinsic factor (a protein that makes B12 digestion possible), you need to get plenty of these foods if you’re not vegan. There are no plant sources for vitamin B12. So for vegans and vegetarians, deficiency can be a problem. But they are not the only ones suffering from B12 deficiency. It’s estimated 40% of the American people are B12 deficient.[2] So for many, it’s time to turn to other sources.

B12 Shots

B12 injections have been used in place of dietary B12 to treat extreme B12 deficiency and to deliver B12 in cases where the body no longer makes intrinsic factor, such as with the condition known as pernicious anemia. These shots deliver B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. These are medicinal forms of B12. While B12 shots do provide an effective dose of the vitamin, they come with two drawbacks. Chicken of the Sea Pre... Best Price: null Buy New $16.56 ($0.55 / Ounce) (as of 01:25 EST - Details)

One, who wants to get a shot? Also, the shot commonly delivers cyanocobalamin, a form of B12 the liver must break down before it can be used. This process steals methyl groups from the body (read more about methylation here) and forces the body to deal with toxic cyanide molecules. Not such an appealing option anymore, is it?

B12 Gels

Another medicinal form of B12 comes in the form of an intranasal gel. You rub this gel on the inside of your nose, absorbing through the membranes in your nose directly into your blood. One study found 90% of veterans treated for B12 deficiency preferred the gel to the shot. [3]

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