Why Vitamin B12 Is Important to Your Health


Lack of vitamin B12 is associated with increased risk of fractures among older men between the ages of 70 and 81, according to a study published in Osteoporosis International.

Researchers found that among the 790 participants, those with the lowest levels of B12 were 67 percent more likely to break a bone, regardless of other risk factors. Absorption of the vitamin decreases with age, and certain drugs, including aspirin, proton pump inhibitors for heartburn, and metformin for diabetes, can also deplete the body’s stores of B-12.

Recommendations for daily supplement doses vary among nutritional experts, from 100-400 mcg.

Foods rich in vitamin B12 include:

1. Shellfish: clams, oysters, mussels

2. Beef liver

3. Fish: mackerel, smoked salmon, herring, tuna

4. Crustaceans: crab, shrimp, lobster

5. Soy products: tofu

6. Fortified cereals: bran

7. Red meat: lamb

8. Dairy: nonfat yogurt, skim milk

9. Swiss cheese

10. Eggs: chicken eggs and goose eggs

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