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How Common Is It?

In surveys done in the United Kingdom and United States 6% of people 60 years and older are vitamin b12 deficient with the prevalence of deficiency increasing with age, and close to 20% of people having marginal status. In developing countries it is much more common for people to develop vitamin b12 deficiency at a younger age. 

What Role Does Vitamin B12 Have In The Body?

Your body needs vitamin b12 to make red blood cells

Your bones need it. Studies have found that people who have osteoporosis have high amounts of homocysteine and low levels of vitamin b12.

Helps you feel and look younger. Vitamin B12 supports DNA health, aging happens when your cells begin to wear and tear. Free radicals, toxins in blood, high sugar and high levels of Omega 6's can all damage DNA replication.

Plays a key role in how your body makes energy. It keeps your cells happy, and healthy.

Protects your nerves and brain. Supports the way your body replenishes your protective covering called myelin sheaths. These protective coverings keep your nerves safe from harmful toxins and free radicals.

Protects your heart and your entire cardiovascular system. It helps remove a dangerous protein called homocysteine from the blood.

Improved mood. A recent study found that diabetic patients experiencing side effects of depression from Metformin found that those who took vitamin b12 enjoyed a more positive outlook.

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Who Is At Risk?

People who have a vegetarian or vegan diet, and weight loss surgery patients. Since a lot of foods that have vitamin b12 in them are animal products like meat, eggs etc, vegans and vegetarians can be low in vitamin b12.

Foods That Have Vitamin B12

Eggs, Beef, Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Liver (beef), Nutritional Yeast, Yogurt, Swiss Cheese, Fortified Cereal.

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Common Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Numbness or tingling in hands and feet

Difficulty walking  (Staggering and balance issues)

Anemia

Swollen tongue

Jaundice (yellow skin)

Cognitive Issues (difficulty thinking and poor memory)

Paranoia or hallucinations

Weakness & Fatigue

Sources: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/top-10-foods-vitamin-b12/
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-functions-of-vitamin-b12/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116323
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780