Who should take b12 supplements?

Vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins that our body needs to function properly. But wait, who needs vitamin B12? Should you take a supplement or not? Is it only for vegans and vegetarians or everyone should take it? Well, worry no more! Let’s dive into the world of Vitamin B12 supplements and find out who should really be taking them.

What is Vitamin B12?

Before getting into details about who should be taking B12 supplements, let’s first understand what this vitamin is all about. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, plays an important role in producing red blood cells and DNA synthesis. It is necessary for proper nerve function and brain health as well [1].

Where can I get enough vitamin B12 from?

Have a look at food items that are good sources of vitamin b-12:

  • Shellfish
  • Fish (such as salmon)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese)
  • Red meat

So if these items are already included in your regular diet then you do not need to consume any additional supplements.

So why would anyone need to consider a supplement?

Well, there could be many reasons where consuming additional supplements might become necessary since every individual has different nutrient requirements depending upon their lifestyle.


If you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet plan which might lack sufficient Cobalamin-rich foods like dairy products and eggs [3], it’s important to note that most plant-based cheese substitutes like coconut oil based Cheddar style blocks etc., soymilks have little/no source of added vitamin-B certainly vegan life benefits thousands but over-restrictive diets due to ethical motives can lead up having critical phenomena . In today’s fast-paced life eating healthy itself becomes challenging especially when sticking onto an extremely restrictive diet leads to deficiency of essential nutrients. In these scenarios, a B12 supplement would be helpful for the individuals as it prevents them from facing any severe health issues in future.

Elderly and Pregnant Women

The elderly population is also prone to Vitamin-B12 deficiency because people lose their ability to absorb this vitamin effectively as they get older mainly due to lower secretion rate of stomach acids [4]. While pregnancy results in an increase in demand for essential vitamins not only for mother but growing fetuses too. Since vegetarian diets are also common among pregnant women today, being deficient could cause developmental concerns which need requirements that cannot be achieved through sustenance alone [5]. To avoid any further complications supplements can play a significant role providing sufficient nutrition required carrying out various functions within our body.

Those Who Have Undergone Gastric Surgery

For those who have undergone gastric surgery (weight loss), absorption capacity often goes down resulting majorly in lesser stimulation of intrinsic factor needed at the small intestine area where most b-12 molecules are absorbed critically causing digestive related problems such as stay bloated or upset if tried ingestion through foods directly [6]. The organ properties responsible kidneys production might have changed after surgery affecting excretion processes altogether making it difficult even more so definitely beneficial undergoing doses artificially externally easier managing consuming pills twice thrice weekly basis dealing with poor digestion mechanisms.

What dosage should I take?

If you belong under one of the categories mentioned above or fall under B-12 deficiency symptomatic patient set then according to National Institute Of Health everybody over 14 years needs about 2 .4 micrograms/day, exceeding prescribed limits may do more harm than good like restlessness weakness etcetera [7].

Are there any side-effects?

Like other supplements consumed orally frequently noticeable symptoms include mild transient diarrhea /anxiety ie: flushing mildly sometimes irritability however they typically wear off quickly by themselves repletion never performing added doses consecutively hours within that period or excessive intake maybe inviting trouble related to kidneys liver and bones [8].


In conclusion, if any of the aforementioned scenarios match your lifestyle, considering adding a B12 supplement might be a lifesaver for you. It’s crucial to stick with the recommended dosage guidelines while consuming supplements as this vitamin is essential for our body functioning yet only in moderate levels. Talk to a medical expert first before starting any supplementation regimen.

So here’s hoping that you found some answers regarding Vitamin-B12 supplementation! Stay healthy!

1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-b12/art-20363663
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18443037/
6.http:/ /jacksonville.surgerycenter.net/Articles/how-to-handle-bariatric-surgery-related-problems.html
7.https:/ /www.nccih.nih.gov/sites/nccam.nih.gov/files/vitb12_.pdf
8.Murad H.A., Tabassum S., Munis M.F.H., Azimullah S.K.M.. Quality assessment of commercially available Vitamin B Complex Supplements in Bangladesh.Int J Med Res Adv Sci 2019;5(1):95–100

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