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Vitamin B-12

 –  When your body is lacking in one of the essential nutrients needed for good health, you simply can't be at your best. Fortunately, there are solutions available to help you make up for a shortage of key nutrients if you're having a difficult time maintaining a healthy diet. drugstore.com has all of the dietary supplements that you need to complement your diet and adhere to your doctor's guidelines. We carry many vitamin B-12 supplements with something for nearly every need.
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What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B-12 is among the 13 vitamins that are essential to human life and is one of the eight nutrients included in the B vitamin complex. Also called cobalamin, vitamin B-12 helps keep the nerve cells in your body healthy. Your body also needs vitamin B-12 in order to make red blood cells, the part of the blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body. This makes the vitamin incredibly important to the function of the entire anatomy. Your body can't manufacture vitamin B-12, so it is important that you get enough through your diet. The nutrient is found naturally in foods like organ meats, shellfish, meat, poultry eggs and dairy products. It is also sometimes added to breakfast cereals.

How Common Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Many people in the United States get enough vitamin B-12 from their diet. However, a lack of vitamin B-12 is not uncommon among older adults. Many older men and women lose the ability to absorb this nutrient from foods due to low levels of acid in their stomachs. Some studies indicate that about three percent of all adults over the age of 50 are deficient of vitamin B-12 and another 20 percent are in danger of becoming deficient.

Who Is At Risk for Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

People who have undergone weight loss surgery, vegans, individuals with certain digestive diseases and those who take medications that affect stomach acid production are also at an increased risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency. Those who do not get enough vitamin B-12 may experience tingling sensations in their extremities, yellowing of their skin, problems concentrating or remembering things, weakness and fatigue and swelling of the tongue.

Do I Need Vitamin B12?

If you think that you may be suffering from vitamin B-12 deficiency, your doctor can help you decide if a vitamin B-12 supplement could help you, and if so, can recommend a dosage.

What Is Vitamin B12 Good for?

While vitamin B-12 supplements are often used to address deficiencies, some people may use them to help with specific medical concerns. Some of the proposed uses of vitamin B-12 supplements include improving vision in people with age-related vision loss, reducing the frequency of canker sores and lowering the risk of health complications from or decreasing symptoms of heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Scientists are continuing to study vitamin B-12 to understand how it affects health. More research is needed to determine if vitamin B-12 is beneficial for any of these conditions. If you're interested in adding a vitamin B-12 supplement to your diet to address a medical concern, your doctor can help you decide which dosage is right for you. Some doctors also prescribe cyanocobalamin injections for Vitamin B-12 deficiencies.

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