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Some vitamins are more difficult to obtain from food than others, either through a lack of vitamin-rich foods, or through a genetic disposition impeding their absorption. Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin, is known as an energy enhancing and vital vitamin, yet many people are not getting enough of it, including the elderly, vegans, vegetarians, and those with a B12 malabsorption disease known as pernicious anemia.
As it turns out, people low in vitamin B12 are also at a higher risk of experiencing depression. When B12 levels remain too low for a number of years, irreversible brain and nerve damage can occur, including dementia.
A B12 deficiency can be detected through a blood test known as the
Schilling test. If detected early, no permanent damage will result from the deficiency. Consumption of B12, through supplements or B12-rich foods such as oysters, beef, lentils, spinach, and broccoli (to name a few), will increase energy and improve mood.