Vitamin B12 plays many important roles in your body, with many benefits, including: forming healthy red blood cells and DNA, helping with brain function, boosting energy levels, and may reduce risk of macular degeneration.

But if you don’t produce enough of a protein called “intrinsic factor” that helps your body absorb Vitamin B12, or if you don’t eat enough Vitamin B12 foods, you may develop a deficiency.

You may also have a higher risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency if: you’re 65 or older, are vegan or pregnant; if you’ve had bowel-removal surgery; and if you take medications for diabetes or heartburn.

If you want to increase your intake of Vitamin B12, put down that bottle of vitamins! Unless you have a diagnosed vitamin or mineral deficiency, nutritional needs are best met with food, not supplements.

Find out what foods are a good source of Vitamin B12.

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