Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin. When we eat processed foods, valuable vitamins and nutrients are lost. I had no idea until after I delivered my first son that I was severely deficient in Vit B12. A blood test confirmed this after I had nursed him for about 10 months. I had the early signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency. I wish I had known this information before conception, during pregnancy, and of course while breastfeeding; so that I could properly nourish my own body and my child. I was also diagnosed with anemia and postpartum depression….two things that diet could have helped me resolve and prevent. It is unfortunate that we are not more aware of what vitamins and nutrients we individually need. These blood tests should be standardized and health insurance should cover it (which in my case it didn’t).
Deficiencies can manifest themselves in many forms: (these are long term forms)
dementia and psychiatric disorders
obsessive compulsive behaviors
Many cases diagnosed as Alzheimer’s are actually the result of inadequate B12. ~Nourishing Traditions 227
A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient. Well worth the few hundred dollars, especially if you have any symptoms. “Early signs of B12 deficiency include fatigue, tingling in the hands and feet, sleep disorders and a tendency to irrational anger.” (Nourishing Traditions 227). My paternal grandfather and grandmother both died very young with many of these symptoms present- cancer, fatigue, anemia, Alzheimer’s, and tingling in hands and feet.
What can you eat to help with this issue? “Usable Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. It is absorbed though a complex process involving an “intrinsic factor”, secreted by parietal cells in the stomach. B12 is rendered unusable by pasteurization.” (Nourishing Traditions 227). It is not surprising that most Americans are deficient in B Vitamins because about 98% (my guess) of all dairy products sold in grocery stores are pasteurized. That is why you should buy your diary products local or from a grass-fed dairy farm.
Red Meat, Eggs, Raw Yogurt, Raw Kefir, Raw Milk, Oysters, Raw Cheese, etc