B12-keeping some pep in your step, your heart happy and your mood sunny!
There are so many fads and frankly too much information circling around these days it’s hard to keep your facts straight and know what to believe and what to ignore. You’ve probably heard the topic of B12 supplementation come up many times, but I’m here to set the facts straight… for one thing at least! B12 is arguably one of the most important B-Vitamins your body needs to function properly.
It is considered the “all rounder” vitamin because of how vital it is to many functions throughout your body.
|Produces adrenal hormones||Metabolizes folate|
|Metabolizes fats and carbs||Forms red blood cells,|
|Aids in iron absorption||Helps ensure proper circulation|
|Promotes reproductive health||Aids in digestion|
|Supports nervous system function||Optimizes nerve growth and function|
Was that loud? Well, it promotes energy production in not one but three ways. It converts the carbohydrates you eat into glucose- which is the fuel your body uses for energy. B12 supports your adrenal glands and red blood cell formation providing you with the appropriate balance you need for thinking and moving throughout the day. It also helps to speed up your metabolism and keep you feeling full for longer!
In order to keep your heart and entire cardiovascular system happy, B12 removes a dangerous protein called homocysteine from your blood. The presence of homocysteine damages your arteries leading to inflammation and heart disease.
Protects your brain health and improves your mood
It is a huge regulator of your nervous system- which helps you to concentrate and provides emotional and mental energy while also offering calming effects to balance your mood.
Keeps you looking and feeling young
Aging happens well, as your get older, but the cells inside your body are more succeptible to wear and tear and actually age faster when your DNA doesn’t replicate correctly. B12 supports your DNA health by creating new DNA and keeping your cells younger. When your cells are young, you look and feel young too.
Since B12 helps with red blood cell creation, a lack of it can lead to a deficit causing anemia, characterized by megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, tingling in hands and feet, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Additional symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. It’s common that it is accompanied with folate deficiency as well so keep lots of green leafy vegetables in your diet!
B12 can be naturally found in all animal products including fish, meat, chicken, eggs and dairy. For vegans: fortified foods such as almond, soy, hemp or coconut milk, nutritional yeast, blackstrap molasses, kelp or nori.
While it will take a blood test to confirm deficiency, there are certain groups of individuals at a higher risk of B12 deficiencies:
- You’ve spent years consuming MSG, gluten, high fructose corn syrup – You may be on a better track now, but years of eating processed foods, drinking soda, and eating takeout wreck havoc on B-12 production.
- You’re a long term hormonal birth control user – Studies show that pills higher in estrogen are associated with B12 deficiencies, leading us to assume that estrogen interferes with absorption
- You’re a vegetarian – B12 is primarily sourced from animal products and the plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases.
- You’re over the age of 50 – As you age, vitamin absorption decreases due to stomach acid decreasing. This depletion of stomach acid, coupled with an increased intake of medications, and deficiency increases with age. As many as 30% of adults over 50 are unable to absorb B-12 in food, making supplementation the best source.
- You suffer from GI issues, or digestive problems and/or take heartburn medication – Prescription heartburn meds suppress stomach acid production, which is essential for B12 absorption (Pepcid, Nexium, Zantac), if you take these regularly, B12 deficiency can be of concern.
- You have more than a few drinks daily (on average) – Frequent alcohol use irritates stomach lining and contributes to low stomach acid, which contributes to reduced B12 absorption. B12 is produced in the ileum, but stored in the liver, therefore impaired liver function contributes to depletion of B12 stores.
- You’re pregnant or lactating
In addition to the right supplement, these are three things crucial for B12 absorption:
- Elevated Probiotics – Bacterial imbalance will prevent absorption, elevating probiotics can combat this. A regimen of minimum 100B probiotics daily is recommended
- Enzymes – Taking Enzymedica Digest Gold ATPro with meals is a great way to boost enzyme production
- Celery Juice – Juicing fresh, organic celery daily for 2 weeks will increase the production of HCL in the stomach, allowing for better absorption of B12. Approx. 16 ounces each morning or a small bunch juiced will do the trick.
What B12 should I take?
Your B12 supplement should be Methocobalamin (the best form to absorb) combined with Adenosyclobalmin. This is the perfect combo for supplementation because methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are bioavailable, these are more easily absorbed in liver, brain, and nervous system.
Avoid any B12 supplement with cynoclobalamin, this is not easily absorbed by the body
My favorite one is Global Healing B-12. This is a liquid supplement and has a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bioactive forms of vitamin B-12, that are more absorbable and bioavailable. Plus, this supplement is vegan friendly. If you don’t want a liquid, I recommend Designs for Health Ultra B12 Folate.