A blood test here in Canada showed that yet again, I am deficient in vitamin B12. This comes after spending seven months in Thailand and Cambodia. Why is this important? It’s lack of red meat.
I thought I’d update this topic, which I reported on back in October, 2010. In this post, Keep eye on your vitamin B levels if on Thai food diet, I said that a doctor would normally check for vitamin B12 if you’re over 50. He did and discovered that I was on the low normal side of the numbers.
This time I was lower in the low normal range. Not surprising because, again, I hadn’t had much in the way of good sources of B12. Also, adults over 50 are more susceptible and need to take supplements or fortified foods, the latter is a source of readily absorbable B12.
Specificially, good sources of B12 are: shellfish (clams), red meats (lamb, beef), fortified cereals, freshwater fish, fast-foods (believe it or not), each of which provide more than 30 per cent of the daily value of B12. Yoghurt, haddock, clams, tuna, milk, pork, eggs, some cheeses and chicken breast provide the lowest daily values. (See the entire list at the brilliant U.S. National Institutes of Health website.) The first two in the list are the top sources of B12.
During my recent stay in Southeast Asia, I was occasionally taking a supplement, sourced in Canada. Maybe I wasn’t taking it often enough. It was a good brand but it didn’t seem to be doing its job. I was suspicious of its potency and wondered whether it was a poor knockoff, when I considered the segment of town I bought it in. It was cheaper than what I would normally pay for this brand. This is all speculative.
This time I bought a similarly respected brand at a legitimate health food store. And I will take the supplement (1,000 mcg per tablet) regularly. This regimen worked before after the first diagnosis.