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In memory of Mother: Understanding vitamin B-12 for the aging

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I know there was not enough information about stomach acid when Mother was still living and that was sad. Adults 50 years and older should get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (2.4 micrograms) mainly from fortified foods or a supplement, says the Institute of Medicine. Mother didn’t take a supplement!

That’s because an estimated 10 to 30 percent of older adults do not make enough stomach acid to separate the B-12 from protein in foods. One doesn’t need stomach acid to absorb the B-12 in supplements and fortified foods because it isn’t bound to protein.

Vegans (who eat no dairy, eggs, seafood, poultry, or meat) should also get B-12 from a multi or fortified food because plant foods have no B-12. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to irreversible nerve damage and dementia.

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