Facts About Vitamin B
Are you feeling less than great? You should learn more about Vitamin B.
There are so many components to great health, but Vitamin B12 (or B Complex) is absolutely essential. Without adequate Vitamin B12, our systems systems can breakdown and cause a variety of signs and symptoms and serious ailments. If left without diagnosis or treatment, B12 deficiency can lead to a serious medical condition, Pernicious Anemia.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:
*The number one symptom for Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and fatigued…
- shortness of breath
- brain fog
- mood disorders
- rapid heart rate
- loss of appetite
- tingling and numbness of hands and feet
- sore mouth
- unsteady gait, especially in the dark
- tongue problems
- impaired smell and bleeding gums
Vitamin B12 Sources
Due to changing diets, busy lifestyles, and highly processed food, there has been a significant increase in Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is found in red meat, eggs, dairy, and fish. There are no known sources of Vitamin B12 in vegetables. At one time it was quite common to feast on organ meat, but you would be hard pressed to find many people serving steak and kidney pie or liver and onions these days!
The modern diets has led to a decline in nutritionally balanced diets. The highest sources of B12 can be found in mollusks/clams (85 micrograms per 3oz portion) and beef liver (47 micrograms per 3oz portion). Note, however that over cooking can lead to the breakdown of the vitamins. Salmon, trout, and beef are moderate sources with about 5 micrograms per 3 oz portion.
Vitamin B12 supplements are also available but it is absolutely critical to choose the right one. There are a number of different forms of B12, but you want to choose Methylcobalamin, which is the naturally occurring form of B12.
Methylcobalamin is a coenzyme form of Vitamin B12 which is biologically active. This means that your body can use it as is, and does not require any metabolic steps to make it body-friendly.
Cyanocobalamin on the other hand is a synthetic and inactive form of Vitamin B12 that requires a number of metabolic processes to gain any benefit. This can be incredibly problematic in many people who often wonder why they feel worse after starting supplementation. It is best to avoid the cyanocobalamin form of B12.
Reasons for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are a number of reasons why a person may have Vitamin B12 deficiency. Some people lack the proper intrinsic factor to properly digest this molecule. Many times this will show up at a young age but may occur as you age. However, many times it is not diagnosed properly.
Further, people with conditions where the intestinal lining has been compromised can often have Vitamin B12 deficiency because even though they may be consuming it, they are not absorbing it properly. This would include people with malabsorption conditions such as Celiac disease, low stomach acid, leaky gut, or those who have had stomach or intestinal surgery. Any stomach condition may result in poor absorption of nutrients.
Another culprit for B12 deficiency is gastric acid-blocking products and medication, which can lead to decreased Vitamin B12 levels.
Vegans and Seniors
Vegans also may be deficient because their diet does not allow them to eat sources of food derived from animals. Unfortunately, Vitamin B12 is only found in animal sources. Vegans must supplement with B12 Vitamins to ensure that they get no issues.
It is also recommended that elderly people take Vitamin B12 supplements. It has been shown in studies that 15 percent of people over 65 have Vitamin B12 deficiency. This is partially caused by a decline in the gastric system, which results in poor absorption of nutrients. The preferred source of B12 for the elderly is sublingual or injectable forms, since they bypass the digestive systems.
Vitamin B12 is a very safe and affordable supplement with real benefits.
If you are concerned about your vitamin B12 level, schedule an appointment with your physician to have blood work done to check your level.
NOTE: A high intake of Folic Acid can hide B12 deficiency so it is important to rule that out.
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