Feeling good and thinking clearly are things to be valued. Unfortunately, many people find their overall energy and mental clarity declining as they age. The presence of Vitamin B12 can affect the levels of clarity and energy in those over 60 years of age.
Some Background on Vitamin B12
The primary functions of Vitamin B12 are two-fold. B12 supports the health of nerve and blood cells, and it contributes to the formation of DNA, which is present in every cell in your body.
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in meat and other animal foods, but not so much in plant-based foods unless they have been fortified with added nutrients. Because B12 does not naturally occur in plant foods, those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet might be prone to become deficient in B12. If you follow a plant-based diet, taking a B12 supplement can prove beneficial.
The Need for Vitamin B12 for Seniors
The other group liable to have B12 deficiency are seniors. Per a 2013 study, vitamin B12 deficiency is common in elderly people, including those whose diet contains enough B12 to exceed the proper recommendations. Why? It is because effective absorption can decrease with age.
The decline in effective absorption of B12 over time can lead to certain issues. The physical issues due to B12 deficiency (megaloblastic anemia and irreversible nerve damage) are a potential reality for anyone who is deficient. Cognitive decline and dementia exist in addition to these physical issues. Supplementing with B12 is recommended in order to prevent these effects.
The Benefits of Supplementing with B12
The vitality which we cherish means being able to think clearly and cogently. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 has been linked to dementia and impaired cognitive function. It’s not conclusive that supplementing with B12 can prevent or treat dementia, but because a correlation exists, B12 is regarded as a worthwhile precaution against dementia.
Vitamin B12 has also been regarded as a means to bolster energy levels for athletic activity. It’s possible that supplementing with B12 can be helpful for restoring physical energy levels in the elderly who are deficient, but this is not supported by clinical evidence.
Because of the cognitive and physical defects associated with B12 deficiency, it is important that elderly individuals ensure they are getting sufficient B12. While the science supporting its efficacy in restoring vitality is not entirely conclusive, the commonality and effects of deficiency make B12 worth prioritizing.