Vitamin B12 deficiency is believed to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, especially among people taking stomach acid-altering medications and antibiotics frequently, along with the elderly and sometimes vegetarians/vegans. (1) For this reason, B12 injections are sometimes used to offset the many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, such as fatigue and weakness, poor moods, and low concentration.
Even more serious is that B12 deficiency can disturb red blood cell formation and elevate homocysteine levels, which negatively impacts neurological and cardiovascular health, in addition to posing risks during pregnancy.
While foods like grass-fed beef, dairy products and fish supply a good dose of vitamin B12, some people abstain from eating these foods or have a harder time absorbing and actually utilizing this nutrient due to digestive/metabolic limitations. Sometimes certain genetic conditions can hinder the body’s use of vitamin b12, and other times low dietary intake plus unhealthy lifestyle habits are to blame. Plus, because b12 vitamin is bound to amino acids (found in protein foods) and is only released when certain enzymes and stomach acids are present, it’s possible to consume enough but still remain somewhat deficient.