Health & Wellness

Vitamin B12: The Energy Vitamin

The next time you're killing it in spin class you can thank vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is just one B vitamin that is important for making energy and providing you with energy boosts when your body needs it. And it's essential for the immune system and a healthy brain. Without B12, your metabolism would be off kilter, your red blood cell production would go down, and you might find yourself feeling disoriented and exhausted. Older people who experience the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes be diagnosed as having dementia.

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, and some of the best food options for vitamin B12 include beef, chicken, salmon, and trout. Just one serving of any of these options delivers nearly or more than 100% of your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Eggs and milk are also great options for vitamin B12.

If your diet mostly consists of plant-based foods, such as beans, fruits, and vegetables, you might be at risk for B12 deficiency, and you might need to include vitamin B12-fortified foods into your diet. There are several foods fortified with B12, including breakfast cereals, meat substitutes, and non-dairy milks.

Additional consequences of a B12 deficiency might include an inaccurate pap test result, a specific type of anemia (pernicious), lowered immunity, having trouble keeping your balance, and tingling sensations. The only way to determine if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency is to have a blood test. If you have been experiencing any symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency, you should see your doctor.