Vitamin B12 Dosage For Seniors

Vitamin B6. Food Sources: Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources of vitamin B6 include fish, beef liver, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit (other than citrus).

Vitamins and Minerals for Older Adults

Vitamins and minerals are two of the main types of nutrients that your body needs to survive and stay healthy. Find information on some of the essential vitamins recommended for older adults and how to get the recommended amount within your diet.

Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins — vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate).

Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.

Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.

How can I get the vitamins and minerals I need?

It is usually better to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than a pill. That’s because nutrient-dense foods contain other things that are good for you, like fiber.

Most older adults can get all the nutrients they need from foods. But if you aren’t sure, always talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals. Your doctor or dietitian may recommend a vitamin or dietary supplement.

It’s important to be aware that some supplements can have side effects, such as increasing the risk of bleeding after an injury or changing your response to anesthesia during surgery. Supplements can also interact with some medicines in ways that might cause problems. For example, vitamin K can reduce the ability of the common blood thinner warfarin to prevent blood from clotting. If you do need to supplement your diet, your doctor or pharmacist can tell you what supplements and doses are safe for you.

When looking for supplements to buy, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of choices at the pharmacy or grocery store. Look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Read the label to make sure the dose is not too large. Avoid supplements with megadoses. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, and you might be paying for supplements you don’t need. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend brands that fit your needs.

Here’s a tip

Different foods in each food group have different nutrients. Picking an assortment within every food group throughout the week will help you get many nutrients. For example, choose seafood instead of meat twice a week. The variety of foods will make your meals more interesting, too.

Measurements for vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are measured in a variety of ways. The most common are:

  • mg – milligram (a milligram is one thousandth of a gram)
  • mcg – microgram (a microgram is one millionth of a gram. 1,000 micrograms is equal to one milligram)
  • IU – international unit (the conversion of milligrams and micrograms into IU depends on the type of vitamin or drug)

Recommended sodium intake for older adults

Image linking to 5 tips for choosing healthier foods as you age infographic

Sodium is another important mineral. In most Americans’ diets, sodium primarily comes from salt (sodium chloride). Whenever you add salt to your food, you’re adding sodium. But the Dietary Guidelines shows that most of the sodium we eat doesn’t come from our saltshakers — it’s added to many foods during processing or preparation. We all need some sodium, but too much over time can lead to high blood pressure, which can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

How much sodium is okay? People 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful. Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get. Try using less salt when cooking, and don’t add salt before you take the first bite. If you make this change slowly, you will get used to the difference in taste. Also look for grocery products marked “low sodium,” “unsalted,” “no salt added,” “sodium free,” or “salt free.” Also check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much sodium is in a serving.

Eating more fresh vegetables and fruit also helps — they are naturally low in sodium and provide more potassium. Get your sauce and dressing on the side and use only as much as you need for taste.

Key vitamins and minerals for people over age 51

Explore details about the following vitamins and minerals and recommended amounts for older adults:

Vitamin A. Food Sources: Vitamin A can be found in products such as eggs and milk. It can also be found in vegetables and fruits, like carrots and mangoes.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 900 mcg RAE.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 700 mcg RAE each day.
See also  Can You Od On Weed

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin). Food Sources: You can find vitamin B1 in meat – especially pork – and fish. It’s also in whole grains and some fortified breads, cereals, and pastas.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 1.2 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 1.1 mg each day.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Food Sources: You can find vitamin B2 in eggs and organ meat, such as liver and kidneys, and lean meat. You can also find it in green vegetables, like asparagus and broccoli.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 1.3 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 1.1 mg each day.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Food Sources: Vitamin B3 can be found in some types of nuts, legumes, and grains. It can also be found in poultry, beef, and fish.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 16 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 14 mg each day.

Vitamin B6. Food Sources: Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources of vitamin B6 include fish, beef liver, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit (other than citrus).

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 1.7 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 1.5 mg each day.

Vitamin B12. Food Sources: You can get this vitamin from meat, fish, poultry, milk, and fortified breakfast cereals. Some people over age 50 have trouble absorbing the vitamin B12 found naturally in foods. They may need to take vitamin B12 supplements and eat foods fortified with this vitamin.

  • Men Age 51+: 2.4 mcg every day
  • Women Age 51+: 2.4 mcg every day

Vitamin C. Food Sources: Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes can be a large source of vitamin C.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 75 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women 51 and older should aim for 90 mg each day.

Calcium. Food Sources: Calcium is a mineral that is important for strong bones and teeth, so there are special recommendations for older people who are at risk for bone loss. You can get calcium from milk and other dairy, some forms of tofu, dark-green leafy vegetables, soybeans, canned sardines and salmon with bones, and calcium-fortified foods.

  • Men Age 51+: Men age 51-70 need 1,000 mg each day. Men age 71 need 1,200 mg each day. Don’t consume more than 2,000 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: 1,200 mg each day. Don’t consume more than 2,000 mg each day.

Vitamin D. Food Sources: You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, fish liver oils, fortified milk and milk products, and fortified cereals.

  • Men Age 51+: If you are age 51–70, you need at least 15 mcg (600 IU) each day, but not more than 100 mcg (4,000 IU). If you are over age 70, you need at least 20 mcg (800 IU), but not more than 100 mcg (4,000 IU).
  • Women Age 51+: If you are age 51–70, you need at least 15 mcg (600 IU) each day, but not more than 100 mcg (4,000 IU). If you are over age 70, you need at least 20 mcg (800 IU), but not more than 100 mcg (4,000 IU).

Vitamin E. Food Sources: Vitamin E can be found in nuts like peanuts and almonds and can be found in vegetable oils, too. It can also be found in green vegetables, like broccoli and spinach.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men age 51 and older should aim for 15 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women age 51 and older should aim for 15 mg each day.

Folate. Food Sources: Folate can be found in vegetables and fruit, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, and oranges. It can also be found in nuts, beans, and peas.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men age 51 and older should aim for 400 mcg DFE each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women age 51 and older should aim for 400 mcg DFE each day.

Vitamin K. Food Sources: Vitamin K can be found in many foods including green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale and in some fruits, such as blueberries and figs. It can also be found in cheese, eggs, and different meats.

  • Men Age 51+: Most men 51 and older should aim for 120 mcg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women should aim for 90 mcg each day.

Magnesium. Food Sources: This mineral, generally, is found in foods containing dietary fiber, such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds. Breakfast cereals and other fortified foods often have added magnesium. Magnesium is also present in tap, mineral, or bottled drinking water.

  • Men Age 51+: 420 mg each day
  • Women Age 51+: 320 mg each day

Potassium. Food Sources: Many different fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy foods contain potassium. Foods high in potassium include dried apricots, lentils, and potatoes. Adults get a lot of their potassium from milk, coffee, tea, and other nonalcoholic beverages.

  • Men Age 51+: Men need 3,400 mg each day.
  • Women Age 51+: Most women age 51 and older need 2,600 mg each day

Sodium. Food Sources: Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get.

  • Men Age 51+: Men 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about 1 teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful.
  • Women Age 51+: Women 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about 1 teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful.
See also  How Long Is Strep Contagious

What to Know About Vitamin B12 Dosage for Older Adults

As you age, it is important to take care of your body more than you might have in your youth. There are certain necessary vitamins and minerals that with time, become harder for the body to process or create on its own.

One such vitamin is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and plays a major role in cognitive functioning, amongst other things. The way to know if you have a B12 deficiency is by taking a blood test. Treatment usually means ingesting B12 through supplements or changing your diet to eat more foods rich in this vitamin.

Older people are more likely to get vitamin B12 deficiencies because it is absorbed from food by stomach acid. As you age, however, your stomach acid starts to decline. That’s why it is important to get tested for a vitamin B12 deficiency as you age.

If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, don’t worry. It is the most common vitamin deficiency in the developing world. It is a perfectly natural deficiency for an older person to have, and there are many ways to treat it.

What Does Having a Vitamin B12 Deficiency Feel Like And What Are the Consequences?

Often, having a vitamin B12 deficiency can look or feel like symptoms associated with normal aging. A B12 deficiency can mimic or exacerbate these conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders
  • Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer

However, sometimes B12 deficiencies can look a lot tamer and possibly go unchecked. Often, it can cause memory loss, cognitive decline, foggy brain, decreased mobility, and pain throughout the body.

Some physical signs that you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands, legs, or feet
  • Difficulty walking
  • Anemia
  • Swollen, inflamed tongue
  • Yellowed skin
  • Paranoia or hallucinations
  • Fatigue

Often, more long-term consequences of an advanced B12 deficiency in older people involve weaker red blood cell formation, lower metabolism, impaired nerve functioning, and weaker bone health. B12 deficiencies are also heavily linked with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Dosages for Older People

When you’re in your 60s you should officially start getting blood tests to test for vitamin B12 deficiency. Around this age, you should be getting around 2.4 micrograms of B12 a day.

Not only does this mean consciously eating foods that contain vitamin B12 but it also means that you should ingest this vitamin as a supplement. By taking supplements, you will ensure that your body absorbs vitamin B12. Additionally, there is no way that you will overdose on B12, so don’t worry about taking too much.

This number is also higher in certain European countries as well as the fact that vitamin B12’s benefits have been speculated to be even more widespread than traditionally thought.

How Do I Treat a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Supplements

Depending on your situation, you can either supplement B12 through taking oral pills or getting high concentrated shots of b12. As you get older, you should be taking more of these pills since your stomach acid declines.

Foods

Typically vegans and vegetarians are most at risk for vitamin B12 deficiencies because the only reliable food sources for B12 are animal products. Some examples with vitamin B12 rich foods include:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Eggs
  • Ham
  • Chicken breast
  • Rainbow trout
  • Beef liver
  • Cooked Clams
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Haddock
  • Salmon

If you are an older adult, you should be taking a supplement for B12 as well as trying to incorporate B12 into your diet. It is vital for good health and cognitive functioning. Studies continue to show all the ways it is beneficial for your overall health.

So next time you go to the doctor, check and see if you need some B12 in your life.

Show Sources

AARP: “Drugs & Supplements.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Vegetarians, elderly may not get enough vitamin B12, says the Harvard Health Letter.”

Mayo Clinic: “Vitamin B-12 Supplements Recommended for Older Adults.”

National Care Planning Council: “Vitamin B12 and Aging.”

National Institue of Health: “B12.”

Vitamin B-12 Supplements Recommended for Older Adults

Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to email Share to print

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic experts routinely recommend that older adults consider B-12 supplements or food fortified with this critical vitamin. The September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers the importance of vitamin B-12, problems associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency and how this condition can be avoided.

Vitamin B-12 plays a role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and bone health. A deficiency of vitamin B-12 can be associated with tingling or prickly feelings in legs or hands, difficulty walking, forgetfulness, changes in personality, weakness and anemia (shortage of red blood cells).

From 5 to 15 percent of adults have vitamin B-12 deficiency. It develops slowly and is more common with increasing age. Since the symptoms are similar to many other conditions associated with aging, it’s sometimes overlooked.

The primary natural sources of vitamin B-12 are meats, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk. Some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin B-12. Deficiency can occur due to diet. But most often, a deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t properly digest and absorb vitamin B-12. Causes can be changes due to aging, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or prolonged use of some medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease or other stomach problems. The diabetes drug metformin also is associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Diagnosis of vitamin B-12 deficiency typically involves several blood tests. Once it’s diagnosed, other testing may be indicated to look for an underlying cause.

Treatment involves addressing the underlying condition, if possible. A doctor may recommend injections of high doses of vitamin B-12 or high-dose oral supplements. The body responds rapidly to high-dose vitamin B-12, with nerve symptoms subsiding over weeks to months. Typically, the degree of improvement is influenced by the severity and duration of the nerve symptoms. In advanced cases, nerve problems may not improve.

People who eat meat or cereals fortified with vitamin B-12 are likely getting the recommended daily intake of 2.4 micrograms. Older adults may benefit from a daily supplement to prevent deficiency. Vitamin B-12 is not toxic so there are no concerns about an overdose.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit Mayo Clinic Health Letter Online.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

About Us

Family Medicine

Family MedicineIn 2024 our team of doctors and nurses provide a comprehensive range of family planning services. Our doctors have expertise in antenatal care, preconception planning, and STD checks. Contraceptive advice including Mirena and Implanon insertion is available.

  • Early detection of illness;
  • Family planning;
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle;
  • Skin cancer checks;
  • Sports injuries;
  • Weight reduction;
  • Workers compensation and third party.

  • Children's Health

    Children's HealthBaby Weighing Service. Babies can be booked with our Nurse for weighing, a doctors appointment is not required to use this service. Contact reception for a appointment to have your baby weighed.

    Immunisations. At Tuggeranong Square children's immunisation is regarded an important part of your childs health care. Our doctors take immunising children very seriously. and to ensure all children are immunised Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice doctors BULK BILL for all childhood immunisations. Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice also ensures the Practice Nursing Staff are highly trained in childhood immunisations.


    Women's Health

    Women's HealthOur practice is dedicated to treating a wide spectrum of women’s health concerns. We offer pre-natal, antenatal and postnatal care, contraceptive options, pap screening, and preventative health care advice. We provide assistance, advice and support through all stages of life, recognising the many issues many women may face from adolescence through to the peri and post-menopausal period.

    • Cervical Screening tests;
    • Reproductive health. Including Mirena and Implanon insertion;
    • Shared antenatal care.

    Men's Health

    Men's HealthWe encourage men to present routinely to their GP to discuss all aspects of their health. We provide comprehensive advice and support for men to address the prevention and management of various health conditions. This may include assessments for cardiovascular risk, diabetes, cancer prevention, mental health assessments, STD screening, sports injuries and the importance of sleep as it relates to other areas of health.


    • Preventative Healthcare. Including cardiovascular screening, mental health and cancer checks;
    • Prostate examination.
Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
View All Articles