Vitamin B12 has numerous functions in the body. We require this vitamin to help develop and keep our brain, nerves, blood cells, and various other parts of the body working properly. As is the case with the majority of vitamins, our bodies cannot make B12. We must get this vitamin from our diet or supplements. A low vitamin B12 level in the body is generally the result of either too little in our diets or a lack of absorption. Individuals who suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses like celiac or Crohn’s disease often do not absorb adequate amounts of vitamin B12 from their diets. Furthermore, vitamin B12 requires the acid in our stomach to help with absorption. Therefore those who take medications to reduce stomach acid for the treatment of reflux or ulcers may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. We often see vitamin B12 deficiency in older people because the body produces less stomach acid as a person ages.
Vitamin B12 is commonly found in meat, eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Because plants are unable to make vitamin B12 vegetarians and vegans are at a potential risk of developing deficiency. It is very important that these individuals consume grains that have been fortified with vitamin B12, or take a supplement.
The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are often quite vague and may come on quickly or gradually over time. Some symptoms may include numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet; difficulty walking (due to balance problems); low red blood cell numbers; weakness; fatigue.
Liv9 Balance and Energy is a daily supplement that contains 250mcg of methylcobalamin per vegetarian capsule. This active form of vitamin B12 differs from cyanocobalamin, which requires conversion in the body to methylcobalamin.