B is for BOOST…In energy that is

Let’s be honest…the wonderful world of vitamins and minerals can get confusing. From the lengthy list of them to the thousands of sketchy articles it can be hard to tell what is useful information and what is just bogus. Vitamins and minerals are vital (hence “vita“) to our health and so it is important to have a good grasp on understanding them.

To you gain an understanding of them let’s start slow and take a look at some of them one at a time. First we’ll start off with one that has been in the headlines recently in our ever increasingly face-paced world: Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is often talked about because of its perceived ability to boost energy levels. Well, can it actually do this?

It is said that 15 to a whopping 40% of the population is inadequate or deficient in vitamin B12. Those with GI disorders, taking certain medications and/or over the age of 50 are particularly targeted for inadequate B12. Why is this important you ask? B12 is responsible for making DNA for new cells, form new healthy red blood cells, and turn the food we eating into energy to power our metabolism. Without B12, our body can not perform these functions that are necessary to survive. As a result, we can feel fatigued, experience mood changes, poor memory, and pale skin to name a few.

2 kittens taking a nap
2 kittens taking a nap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many times people think they just need a little nap and they will snap back to a livelier self, but in those with B12 inadequacies this is not the case. Check the table below to find your appropriate intake of vitamin B12 based on the current RDAs.

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–6 months* 0.4 mcg 0.4 mcg
7–12 months* 0.5 mcg 0.5 mcg
1–3 years 0.9 mcg 0.9 mcg
4–8 years 1.2 mcg 1.2 mcg
9–13 years 1.8 mcg 1.8 mcg
14+ years 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg 2.6 mcg 2.8 mcg

* Adequate Intake

How can I boost B12?

  • Fortified breakfast cereals (these can provide 25-100% RDA) with skim milk (about 15-25% RDA)
  • Animal foods are the best source! The key here is getting 100% grass-fed meat. Opt for buffalo or bison which have the highest B12 content (they are also low in calories and fat and are highler in omega-3s, an added plus!) If these options are unavailable try grass-fed beef as an alternative
  • Getting clammy? Just 3 oz of clams can provide 100%  of the RDA (Try this yummy recipe for clam pasta!)

It is important to note than if your intake of vitamin B12 is adequate there is no evidence that further increasing intake will lead to an additional increase in energy or athletic performance!

So, if you are constantly tired and just can’t seem to snap out of it it could be beneficial to take vitamin B12 into consideration.

Are there any vitamins or minerals they make you scratch your head? Let me know so I can be sure to touch on them in future posts and clear up any confusion!






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