People who consume foods rich in vitamin B12 could be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. You may not realize it but, we are clearly in the middle of an Alzheimer’s epidemic. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report for 2012, an estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. This figure includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older, and 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
According to a small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years.
Whole Food Nutrients Vs. Synthetic, Fortified Foods
Many people rely on fortified foods to supplement their vitamin B12 intake. Well, real Whole Foods should be the best source. It’s obvious by now vegans and vegetarians cannot just rely on their food source. Supplements are needed to help maintain the body’s vitamin B levels.
Just like processed foods, most commercial vitamins are synthetic vitamins that have been robbed of all of the extra accessory micronutrients that they naturally come with.
In turn, like refined foods, these vitamins can create numerous of problems and imbalances in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time.
Additionally, most fish today are so contaminated. One exception would be small fish like sardines, which are high in B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Small fish are typically less contaminated, compared to larger fish.
Instead, your ideal dietary sources of B12 vitamins would include:
- Liver from organic calf
- Wild caught salmon
- Organic, grass-fed beef
- Lamb (which are typically grass-fed even if not specified as organic)
- Organic, free-range eggs
Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons Dr. Mercola advise against a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases. There are many well-documented cases of blindness and brain abnormalities in strict vegetarians, resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you don’t have adequate vitamin B12 levels in your bloodstream, you might notice some of the following warning signs:
1. Mental fogginess
2. Problems with your memory
3. Mood swings
4. Lack of motivation
5. Feelings of apathy
6. Fatigue and a lack energy
7. Muscle weakness
8. Tingling in your extremities
Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse micronutrient for a whole host of reasons. Your body needs B12 for:
1. Proper digestion, food absorption, iron use, carbohydrate and fat metabolism
2. Healthy nervous system function
3. Promotion of normal nerve growth and development
4. Help with regulation of the formation of red blood cells
5. Cell formation and longevity
6. Proper circulation
7. Adrenal hormone production
8. Healthy immune system function
9. Support of female reproductive health and pregnancy
10. Feelings of well-being and mood regulation
11. Mental clarity, concentration, memory function
12. Physical, emotional and mental energy
As you can see from this list, your B12 level impacts a number of very important systems in your body — everything from your DNA to how happy you feel. If you think you might be deficient in this vitamin, you need to consult with your doctor to take the necessary steps to get your B12 levels into the healthy range.