Vitamin B 12
This supplement will give you super powers!
Vitamin B 12 is another nutrient in which most Americans are deficient and don’t know it. B vitamins are too vital to our bodies to be ignored. If you don’t think they are important just consider the popularity of energy drinks and check their contents. Most contain a healthy shot of B’s (along with many toxic chemicals that you definitely do not want).
Risk factors for vitamin B 12 deficiency are age (over 50), vegan diet, imbalanced bacterial flora in the GI tract, or use of proton pump inhibiting drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid used to treat esophageal reflux disease, ulcers, and hiatal hernia.
Vitamin B 12, although a water-soluble vitamin, is stored in body tissues and organs such as the liver and kidneys making deficiency hard to detect. Signs of deficiency may take years to surface. Fatigue is the most common sign of deficiency, however, muscle weakness, memory problems, mood changes, and mental fogginess may also be signs of deficiency. If there has been a diagnosis of pernicious anemia or a blood test showing high homocysteine levels, vitamin B 12 deficiency may be a precipitating factor. Chronic deficiency can cause Alzheimer’s, dementia, infertility, cancer, and heart disease.
Poor absorption is to blame for most cases of B 12 deficiency. An aging gut has a less-than-optimal balance of bacterial flora due to the use of medications, poor nutrition, and thinning of the lining as we age. Add to that, a decreased ability to convert B 12 to its active metabolites. A leaky gut or irritation from consumption of wheat flour can cause poor absorption as well.
Vegans and Vegetarians
Vegans must supplement B 12 as it is not available in plant foods. Sea vegetables, fermented foods and algae contain B 12 analogs that block the uptake of B 12 making them inefficient supplement choices.
Supplementation Cheap and Easy
Supplementation of B 12 is very safe, however, care must be taken when choosing the proper form of supplementation for best efficacy. For severe deficiency, B 12 injections are recommended. For B 12 maintenance a sublingual (taken under the tongue) or oral drops form may be chosen. The best chemical form of B 12 to buy is methylcobalamin.
Absorption issues apply to all the B vitamins; therefore, I believe it is important to supplement them as well. I use a product called B Activ made by Xymogen. It is available at natualhealthyconcepts.com. B Activ is a B complex, which contains the entire spectrum of B vitamins including 400mcg (6,666% DV) of methylcobalamin.
Eat Your B's
Foods rich in B vitamins include nutritional yeast, beans, potatoes, and lentils. I made a delicious soup last night with cauliflower, broccoli, onions, celery, garlic, ¾ cup raw cashews blended in my Health Master, poultry seasoning, smoked paprika, Not Chicken broth, and a heaping quarter cup of nutritional yeast flakes for a “cheesy” flavor. Delicious. You can probably do the same with these ingredients but I will try to duplicate it and write down a recipe to pass along in the future.
B sure to supplement B vitamins! You will B glad you did!
All the best,