Vitamin B12 - Who Should Take It?
Patricia Zifferblatt | October 15, 2003

All bodies require B12, also known as cobalamin, but especially people who follow a vegetarian diet. Better Life Unlimited suggests that all vegetarians, including vegans and lacto-ovo-vegetarians, should take a B12 supplement regularly to avoid health problems. The reason for this advice is because B12 is found most often in animal foods--fish, organ meats, dairy products, and egg yolks. And these are some of the foods many vegetarians avoid.

In addition to vegetarians, older people may be deficient in B12 because as we age, absorption of some vitamins and minerals declines. Some younger people may have a difficult time absorbing B12, and that can lead to health problems. In this situation, regular injections of B12 may be necessary. This is yet another reason for regular medical check-ups--especially if health challenges arise.

How much should I take--can I overdose on B12?
All of the B vitamins are water soluble--that means they can't be stored in body tissues and must be replenished regularly through diet and supplementation. This makes it very difficult to overdose on B12.

Why is B12 so important?
Vitamin B12 has many important and specific uses in the body:
  • Treats anemia and fatigue.
  • Aids production of new cells, especially red blood cells.
  • Helps stabilize the nervous system.
  • Assists metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • Facilitates the increase of the hormone melatonin in the brain.
  • Helps the body to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A if the body needs it.
In addition, B12 works with folic acid (another B vitamin) to:
  • Help the body produce energy.
  • Assist the body's immune system in staying strong.
  • Help keep the nervous system healthy.
Since vitamin B12 is so important and is one of the most rapidly depleted vitamins in the body, it's also necessary to take in the other vitamins and minerals that are important for B12 absorption: calcium, iron, and vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine. In cases of anemia, folic acid, vitamin C, protein, and B12 are necessary for successful treatment.

At Better Life Unlimited, we believe better health means more than an expensive pair of athletic shoes or the right diet. Better health means that your life includes a complete program encompassing diet, supplementation, exercise, mind, body, and spirit. It's a complete package!
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