As we grow older, our body goes through many changes. One of the differences that we can expect is that our body will no longer be able to absorb nutrients as efficiently as when we were young due to our inability to produce as much stomach acid and other digestive compounds as before. This means that older adults have a greater tendency to suffer from vitamin deficiencies, leading to adverse effects on their health and physical capabilities.
Older adults in the United States are most commonly deficient in vitamins like calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B. Vitamin B in particular, is especially important for a person’s overall health. Not only are they essential for energy production, nerve function preservation and maintaining healthy blood cells, but vitamin B12 may also contribute to preventing some types of anemia and degenerative diseases. Learn all about vitamin B12 and the recommended B12 dosage for seniors now!
What Is Vitamin B12?
To begin with, what exactly is this vitamin that makes it so special? Well, vitamin B12, otherwise known as cobalamin, is normally found in dairy products, as well as in fortified cereals, fish, and meat. In fact, most types of meat are rich in vitamin B12. For those with decreased appetite or are vegan, it is also possible to supplement your intake with supplements that are created with bacterial fermentation.
The role of vitamin B12 is to help create red blood cells and to produce nerve tissue that helps with transmitting brain signals to your cells. On top of this, it is essential for cell function as well.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B12?
Everyone knows that getting enough nutrients and vitamins is important for good health. Vitamin B12 in particular is important for older adults because it has a crucial role in brain function, blood health, metabolism, and nerve cells. It is especially helpful for older adults as this vitamin has been connected to helping slow cognitive decline in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
On top of this, vitamin B12 has also been linked to osteoporosis and reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
What Happens if You Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Some of the symptoms include, but are not limited to, confusion, difficulty remembering or recalling information, depression, and fatigue. A prolonged and severe deficiency can also lead to digestive issues, loss of appetite, and weight loss, decreased motor function, balance issues, and even tremors and numbness.
For more severe cases, vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause changes in the nervous system and brain, becoming a risk factor for infections, anemia, psychosis, and dementia.
Get Nutritious Meals at TerraBella Windsor Lake
Sometimes, deficiency in certain nutrients or vitamins isn’t due to picky eating or a loss of appetite. It can also be because you or your loved one is struggling to prepare adequately nutritious meals or obtain the groceries for doing so. This is why as part of our senior living community, our residents enjoy nutritious restaurant style dining under our exclusive Sensations Dining program.
For more information on our different senior living options or the services that we offer our residents, contact us today and our senior living coordinators will get back to you shortly.