Why Vitamin B12 is Important for Senior Health

The Role of B12 in Senior Health

By Will Reid, 8:00 am on

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, around 15% of seniors over 60 years old do not get the recommended 2.4 daily micrograms of vitamin B12 from food sources, which is compounded by an increased difficulty for the body to absorb the vitamin with age.

At Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati, our Balanced Care Method highlights the importance of a well-balanced diet for senior adults and we wanted to share how vitamin B12 plays a critical role in supporting healthy eating and overall living in the golden years.

Undeniable Benefits of Vitamin B12

Research conducted by the Chicago Health and Aging Project tested the B12 levels of more than 120 seniors and tracked how regular consumption of B12 affected memory and thinking skills over a four year period. The results of the study, published in Neurology, shared MRI images of the participants’ brain and concluded that low levels of B12 were associated with smaller brain volume and were six times as likely to exhibit brain atrophy over time.

Along with improved brain functioning and thinking skills, B12 is a vitamin important for:

  • Long-lasting energy
  • Healthy immune and nervous systems
  • Hormone balance
  • Nerve function
  • Protein synthesis
  • Red blood cell production

Other research has found that B12 also plays a role in reducing the incidence of cancer, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, and stroke in older adults.

Boosting B12 in a Senior’s Diet

Cincinnati senior care specialists and dietitians recommend older adults avoid getting vitamin B12 from supplements and instead turn to food sources such as:

  • Lean meats such as chicken, and turkey
  • Salmon, trout, and mackerel
  • Eggs and low-fat dairy products
  • Fortified cereals and soy products (tofu)

Are you interested in learning more about healthy senior living? Contact Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati at (513) 891-2273 and learn how our caregivers are helping seniors in the local community enjoy healthy, happy lifestyles at home. Along with hourly care on an as needed basis, we provide Cincinnati live-in care services so seniors can enjoy extra assistance, safety monitoring, and companionship. Call us today – we look forward to speaking with you!