How can a vitamin B12 deficiency affect my energy levels?

Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics
If, like many Americans, you’ve tried everything to boost your energy, but still feel drained, you may want to start looking for answers elsewhere. Low levels of vitamin B12, a vitamin that lies at the core of our body’s ability to make DNA for new cells, form healthy red blood cells, and turn the food we eat into energy to power our metabolism, is often overlooked. Recent studies suggest anywhere from 15% to 40% of Americans don’t have adequate levels of B12 for optimal health.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can affect your energy level and make you feel tired, weak and even depressed, as well as cause many other symptoms. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is essential for normal metabolism. It helps your body draw energy from the food you eat.

Most people can get enough vitamin B12 by eating foods that come from animals, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. You may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency if you don't consume these foods, or if you take certain medications or have a medical condition that interferes with normal absorption of vitamin B12 from food (such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease or pernicious anemia). Talk to your doctor for more information about vitamin B12 and to make sure you are meeting your vitamin B12 needs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.