Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin found in mostly animal based foods. A deficiency is rare but can be a problem if you have one. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 1.5-15% of the population.
Who is at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?
Those on a vegan diet and people who have had weight-loss surgery are at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegetarians should be okay as long as they eat dairy products, eggs or foods fortified with vitamin B12. Plants do not make vitamin B12 and therefore, vegans need to have foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 or take a supplement.
People with weight loss surgery are at risk because their body has a hard time extracting vitamin B12 from food. Also, celiac's disease and Crohn's disease can cause issues with vitamin B12. If you are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from the intestinal tract, you may want to consult a health care professional.
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*The statements made herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.