Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient. As we all eat food that is more processed, we lose valuable vitamins and nutrients in the "process". I had no idea until after I delivered my first son that I was severely deficient in Vit B12. That was also after I had nursed him for 10 months. 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 help nourish his. I was also diagnosed with anemia and postpartum depression....two things that diet could have helped me resolve and prevent. It is sad that we are not even aware of things are own bodies greatly need. Deficiencies can manifest themselves in many forms, "the living hell of depression, multiple sclerosis, dementia and psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive compulsive behaviors and manic- depression, not to mention life threatening anemia, cancer and heart disease. Many cases diagnosed as Alzheimer's are actually the result of inadequate B12." (Nourishing Traditions 227)
I know that we inherent our parents deficiencies, especially our mothers. My mother probably had no idea that she was deficient too. A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient. Well worth the $100 dollars especially if you have reason to believe you are. "Early signs of deficiency include fatigue, tingling in the hands and feet, sleep disorders and a tendency to irrational anger." (Nourishing Traditions 227). I actually think that my father's side of the family is all deficient. 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). The last part about pasteurization is not very comforting because most dairy products are pasteurized in the United States.
Red Meat, Eggs, Raw Yogurt, Raw Kefir, Raw Milk, Oysters, Raw Cheese, etc
And of course here.