Do you have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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One of the pitfalls of

pursuing a healthy diet is that we are sometimes blind to nutrients we may be

missing. And in the world of healthy eating, one of the most common nutrient

deficiencies involves vitamin B-12, a crucial nutrient for nerve health

and the construction of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common among vegetarians and vegans,

but it’s also surprisingly common in meat eaters, too. Why? Because vitamin

B-12 can only be absorbed in the small intestine, and due to common intestinal

ailments, even many meat eaters who consume high levels of B-12 are

unable

to absorb it in their gut.

This leads to a series of seemingly “mystery” health symptoms that

actually have a simple common cause: Vitamin B-12 deficiency!

Symptoms

of B-12 deficiency

B-12 deficiency is

shockingly widespread. Studies now show that up to 40% of the population

may be deficient in vitamin B-12

Here are some of the most common symptoms of deficiency (do you experience any

of these?):

* Chest pain or shortness of breath

* Fatigue or unexplained weakness

* Dizziness, trouble with balance, and fainting

* Confusion, memory loss or dementia

* Coldness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

* Slow reflexes or diminished nervous system function

* Pale skin or yellowing of the skin

* Sore mouth and tongue

… in addition,

vitamin

B-12 deficiency can actually cause brain shrinkage, according to a

University of Oxford study (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7595423.st…).

Although more work needs to be done, research is already suggesting a link

between vitamin B-12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s.

If you (or someone you know) shows any of the symptoms listed above, I urge you

to immediately investigate vitamin B-12 and determine if a deficiency in

this nutrient may be causing your symptoms!

Again, vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common in vegans and vegetarians

because typical vitamin B-12 sources (meats, yogurt, etc.) are simply not

present in their diets. But even meat eaters can be deficient in B-12 due to

poor digestion. This is especially true for older people who suffer a

diminished ability to absorb nutrients in their small intestine.

In addition, diabetes medications and even pain pills can interfere with B-12

absorption, and intestinal parasites can also strongly block its absorption in

the gut.

Solutions

for vitamin B-12

Traditionally, people who

are deficient in vitamin B-12 have received injections of B-12. This is

extremely effective because it bypasses the digestive tract and goes right into

the bloodstream. But it has one obvious downside: It requires being injected!

So most people aren’t interested in this method.

Instead, most people supplement their vitamin B-12 using nutritional supplements.

But here’s where this can go wrong: The most commonly available form of vitamin

B-12 on the market is the cheap synthetic form that’s actually bound to a

cyanide molecule (yes, cyanide, the poison). It’s called cyanocobalamin,

and you’ll find it in all the cheap vitamins made by pharmaceutical companies

and sold at grocery stores and big box stores.

Action item: If you have any vitamin B-12 supplements, check the

ingredients label right now to see what form of vitamin B-12 they

contain. If they contain cyanocobalamin, throw them out!

Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory. It’s

virtually impossible for you to find this form in nature. Low-end vitamin

manufacturers use it because it can be bought in bulk and added to products

with claims that they “contain vitamin B-12!” What they don’t tell

you is that the vitamin is bound to a toxic, poisonous cyanide molecule that

must then be removed from your body by your liver. Cyanocobalamin is also up to

100 times cheaper than the higher quality methylcobalamin

which we’ll talk about below.

As Wikipedia explains:

“A common synthetic form of the vitamin,

cyanocobalamin, does not occur in nature, but is used in many pharmaceuticals

and supplements, and as a food additive, because of its lower cost. In the body

it is converted to the physiological forms, methylcobalamin and

adenosylcobalamin, leaving behind the cyanide…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12)

Removing the cyanide molecule from the vitamin and then flushing it out of your

body requires using up so-called “methyl groups” of molecules in your

body that are needed to fight things like homocysteine (high levels cause heart

disease). By taking low-quality cyanobalamin, you’re actually

stealing

methyl groups from your body and making it do more work at the biochemical

level. This uses up substances such as glutathione that are often in short

supply anyway, potentially worsening your overall health situation rather than

helping it. This is one of the reasons why low-grade vitamins may actually be

worse for your body than taking nothing at all!

Cyanocobalamin, in summary, is a low-grade, low-quality and

slightly toxic

(cyanide) form of vitamin B-12 that’s used by all the cheap vitamin

manufacturers. I recommend avoiding it completely. It won’t kill you to take

it, of course, but there’s a better solution for B-12.

The

better choice: Methylcobalamin

The proper form of

vitamin B-12 to supplement is called methylcobalamin. This is the form

that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it’s ready for your

biochemistry to put to immediate use. Methylcobalamin has several key

advantages over cyanocobalamin:

* Increased absorption

* Better retention in tissues

* Contains no toxic cyanide

* Supports production of SAMe

As explained by Ed Sharpe:

“The coenzyme form of vitamin B12 is known as methylcobalamin or methyl

B12. It’s the only form of vitamin B12 which can directly participate in

homocysteine metabolism. In addition, converting homocysteine to methionine via

methyl B12 generates an increased supply of SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine), the

body’s most important methyl donor.” (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)

Every informed nutritionist knows that methylcobalamin is far superior to

cyanocobalamin. That’s why companies like Ola Loa (www.DrinkYourVitamins.com)

use only the high-end “methyl” form of B-12.

Why

99% of vitamin B-12 supplements are wasted

Taking vitamin B-12 as an oral dose is largely a waste of money. As much

as 99% of what you swallow is not even absorbed… it’s just passed through

your body. (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)

There are really only three methods for absorbing vitamin B-12 that reliably

work:

#1) B-12 injections, with no presevatives or cyanocobalamin, which is hard but

not impossible to find.

#2) Sublingual absorption.

#3) Skin absorption.

B-12 injections obviously require injections from a trained medical

professional, so few people pursue this route. Sublingual absorption is a

viable route, but nearly all the sublingual B-12 products use the cyanocobalamin

form of the vitamin (with the cyanide molecule).

A vitamin B-12 skin patch is now available that delivers methylcobalamin

through the skin, using a small medical-grade patch placed behind the ear. Each

patch delivers 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin (1,666% DV) in a steady

release over a 1-2 day period, after which the patch may be removed and discarded.

If you need help with a possible B12 deficiency please give us a call

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

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Posted on April 14, 2015, in Vitamins and Supplements and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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