Vitamin B12 plays an important role in neurological function, making red blood cells, and DNA. Like most vitamins, our body can’t make B12, which means that we need to get it from our food. B12 is found primarily in animal products, including fish, chicken, pork, red meat, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Nutritional yeast is also a good source of B12. Synthetic B12, which often is better-absorbed than the B12 found naturally in foods, is added to breakfast cereals and non-dairy milks such as almond milk, soymilk, and rice milk.
One important yet often overlooked side effect of aging is decreased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which affects 10-30% of adults and leads to decreased absorption of vitamin B12. B12 deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and sores in the mouth or on the tongue. Since many of these symptoms occur as we age, it’s important to rule out a possible B12 deficiency.
Metformin, a common medication used to control type 2 diabetes, decreases body levels of B12 that can lead to peripheral neuropathy or numbness and tingling in the feet and hands. In fact, 10-30% of people on metformin for more than 6 months experience a B12 deficiency.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for B12 is 2.4 mcg per day for women and men age 14 years and older. The Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B12 is 6.0 mcg. In the United States, the estimated average daily intake of vitamin B12 is about 5 mcg per day for men and 3.5 mcg per day for women, which looks like we get plenty of B12. However, because between 10% and 30% of older people are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from foods, the Institute of Medicine recommends that people older than 50 years of age consume foods fortified with B12 or supplements containing B12 to improve absorption.
Use these 4 tips to make sure you’re consuming optimal amounts of vitamin B12:
1. Include protein foods that contain B12 (like fish, chicken, beef, cheese, yogurt, or milk) at every meal.
2. If you don’t use dairy products, choose non-dairy milks that are fortified with B12.
3. Include 1-2 servings of breakfast cereal fortified with B12 in your daily food choices. Add cereal to yogurt or enjoy a bowl of cereal and milk as a snack.
4. Talk with your physician about your B12 status.
(Article Source: foodand health.com)
SAVE THE DATE
• Beginners Zumba is back for June as part of the Healthy You exercises. The class meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. at the Multi- Purpose Building in Coffeeville.
• Sewing for Service will meet at 10 a.m. on June 17 at the Yalobusha County Extension office located inside the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville. This month participants will be working on baby blankets. Supplies are provided, participants are needed to help sew.
• Looped with Love Crochet MHV Club will meet on Thursday, June 20, from 10 a.m. until noon. The group is led by volunteer Karol Jarman. Participants will need to bring the yarn of their choice and a crochet hook. This is a great opportunity for beginners to learn how to crochet, as well as, a good time for more experienced people to get ideas for new projects, or finish existing projects.
• I will be teaching a ServSafe Food Safety Certification on Tuesday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 24, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day at the Lafayette County Extension Office. The cost is $140 and should be paid by cashier’s check or money order. The deadline to register is June 24. Contact the Extension Service for more info.