Even if you’re not vegan, you can still have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It’s sad but true. If you have low energy levels, you might be suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you just feel “blah” and icky you could be suffering from a B12 deficiency. Did you know you can even get a B12 injection at the doctor to give you energy? Okay, enough rambling.
Let’s start with the basic facts first.
Vitamin B12 does a ton of stuff for your body – including making red blood cells and also synthesizing your dna (1).
Red blood cells and dna – I think we can agree those are important.
Here’s another fact – Vitamin B12 isn’t synthesized anywhere in your body. Nowhere. 100% of the Vitamin B12 your body gets comes through your diet.
Take The Quiz: Which Veggies Fight Abdominal Fat?
If you’re not eating enough Vitamin B12, you’re going to have a vitamin deficiency. Your body can’t produce it on its own.
What Are Some Things That Increase My Chances Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
I’m glad you asked! There are a few conditions that increase your chances drastically:
Immune system disorders like lupus or Graves’ disease (2)
Prior surgery that removed any portion of your stomach or small intestine – this includes weight loss surgery
Using stomach-acid reducing drugs for a long period of time
Pernicious anemia will harm your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin B12
Excessive or heavy drinking
Atrophic gastritis – otherwise known as the thinning of the stomach lining
There are some other things that greatly increase your chances of having a Vitamin B12 deficiency. For instance, if you live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, there’s a good chance you’re not eating enough of the foods that give you the Vitamin B12 you need. (Animal products – including baked chicken – are a great way of getting Vitamin B12).
Plus, vegetarian mothers often give birth to babies who are Vitamin B12 deficient – which can be solved by eating