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How Much B12 Should A Senior Take?

In general, doctors recommend taking 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamins every day for older adults. The required vitamin B12 dosage may depend upon the health conditions of the individuals and how severe the deficiency is. A healthy body also absorbs about 10 mcg from a vitamin B12 dosage of 500mcg. So, a senior will need to supplement vitamin B12 with food and supplements.

As you grow older, your body doesn't absorb vitamins as effectively as it used to because of reduced stomach acids. Vitamin B12 needs hydrochloric acid to separate it from the protein and make it ready for absorption. Seniors on vegan diets and those who’ve had weight loss surgery are at even higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Lacking vitamin B12 can result in depression, fatigue, tiredness, and even digestive issues. It is also known to cause balance problems, tremors, decreased motor function, and numbness.

Accordingly, supplementing vitamin B12 is vital, especially for aging individuals.

This blog explains how much a senior man and woman should consume B12 to keep their health on track.

Read on.

How much B12 should an older woman take?

Older women should take about 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 every day. Women over 50 are recommended higher dosages up to 1,000 mcg because the older you get, the more susceptible you are to a vitamin B12 deficiency due to reduced hydrochloric acid.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for various functions of the body. It helps in DNA formation, metabolism, and red blood cell production. It produces energy from fat and proteins, enhances nerve function, and prevents degenerative diseases. Found in dairy products, meat, and fortified cereals, vitamin B12 also prevents megaloblastic anemia.

Vitamin B12 also helps reduce homocysteine levels – an amino acid whose high levels are associated with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's, stroke, and heart disease. Taking the right dose of vitamin B12 regularly keeps these conditions at bay.

How much B12 should a senior man take?

Aging male adults, especially those over the age of 50, are recommended to take about 2.4 mcg every day. However, factors such as health and age also determine the correct dosage a senior man should take.

Many people can meet the requirements of vitamin B12 through their diet. For instance, if you eat two eggs for breakfast, you can consume about 1.2 mcg of vitamin B12. Then, 3 ounces of tuna at lunch and 2 ounces of beef at dinner can provide around 4 mcg of vitamin B12.

On the other hand, people over the age of 50 are recommended higher doses of vitamin B12. Various studies show that 42% of the population in America is low in vitamin B12.

The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults over 50 take supplements and fortified foods like milk and yogurt to meet their vitamin B12 needs.

We recommend the Why Not Natural Organic B12 supplement. You should take this supplement sublingually (placing the drops under the tongue), making them even faster to absorb. Additionally, the supplement is in the methylcobalamin form. This form of B12 is perfect for treating a deficiency because methylcobalamin is already active and ready to absorb. Why Not Natural is also ideal for all diets, including vegans.

How much B12 is needed for deficiency?

If you're deficient in vitamin B12, you need to take regular supplements to meet your needs. For older adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg. However, the correct dosage also depends upon your age, lifestyle, and your health conditions.

Your body can store vitamin B12 for years. This is why it takes so long to notice a deficient intake of vitamin B12. However, many people report mild deficiency of vitamin B12.

Increasing deficiency in vitamin B12 in older adults may even result in issues such as fatigue, nerve damage, and anemia. The deficiency may occur if you are not getting enough vitamins through the diet or you are consuming medicines like heartburn medications that interfere with the production of the stomach acids.

Further factors can put you at the risk of deficiency if you are not getting enough vitamin B12. These include:

  • Having a vegan or vegetarian diet since plants usually do not contain vitamin B12.

  • Being over 50 years of age since the body does not absorb vitamin B12 as rapidly as your age advances

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease and Crohn's disease since vitamin B12 absorption can be affected by disturbances in the stomach

  • Consuming acid-reducing medicines and metformin since vitamin B12 requires stomach acid to be absorbed

  • Getting surgery on the digestive tract for various purposes, such as bowel resection or weight loss. The surgery directly interferes with the body’s ability to extract vitamin B12 from the sources.

  • Having specific genetic mutations like cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS), which causes toxins to build up in the blood, or methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), which results in developmental deficiency, and Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) that causes genetic disorders like spina bifida

  • Regularly consuming alcoholic beverages as alcohol reduces the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients from food fully

Keep in mind that your body cannot absorb a lot of vitamin B12 from supplements. One study shows that your body can only absorb 10 mcg from a 500 mcg B12 supplement. The amount of B12 absorbed depends on the amount of intrinsic factor (a protein produced by cells in the stomach lining). You need the intrinsic factor to absorb B12. Sometimes reduced intrinsic factor is hereditary.

Therefore, it is important to get proper diagnoses from your doctor to determine the extent of the B12 vitamin deficiency and how much you should take every day.

How many B12 shots do seniors need?

With a severe B12 deficiency, you may need weekly B12 shots. It is recommended to consume around 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 or more every day. However, the required shots depend upon the person's overall health, age, and metabolism. The other alternative to shots is a high-dose B12 supplement, like Why Not Natural, that contains 5000 mcg per dropper-full.

How much oral B12 should a senior take?

Experts recommend consuming about 2.4 micrograms up to 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12 every day. In case you’re correcting a deficiency, opt for a high-dose tablet. Therefore, the medicine a senior takes should provide the required B12 dosage.

How long should a senior take B12?

The body requires a dosage of vitamin B12 every day. Thus, there is no set period for taking B12. Since vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, it is considered safe for consumption in the longer run.


Doctors recommend that seniors should take about 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 every day. But since the body absorbs very little vitamin B12, you will need to take much higher doses at 1000mcg and up. The required dosage comes down to various factors such as age and overall health.

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients for the body. It helps regulate the energy levels in the body, maintains the metabolism, and ensures the healthy production of red blood cells.

Older adults especially require a dosage of vitamin B12 because their diet alone cannot fulfill their needs. As you grow older, your body reduces the stomach acids for absorbing vitamin B12.

Therefore, taking either supplements or shots is recommended to fulfill the body's vitamin B12 requirements.

If you’re looking for a highly effective high-dose B12 supplement, look no further than Why Not Natural Organic B12 supplements that contain 5000mcg methylcobalamin.

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