Butt… and how even the most needle-phobic patients grow to love their morning vitamin B shots! B12 is a life saver – problem is, after age 40 or if one is under alot of stress, oral B12 is difficult to absorb. The IM shots are 100% absorbed!
Warning: Potentially Life Threatening Vitamin Deficiency Affects 25% of Adults
www.mercola.com By Dr. Mercola
Vitamin B12 is fittingly known as the energy vitamin, and your body requires it for a number of vital functions. Among them: energy production, blood formation, DNA synthesis, and myelin formation. Myelin is insulation that protects your nerve endings and allows them to communicate with one another.
If you know or suspect you’re vitamin B12 deficient, you’re not alone. Recent studies from the U.S. Framingham trial show one in four adults in the United States are deficient in this vitally important nutrient, and nearly half the population has suboptimal blood levels.
How You Get Vitamin B12 Deficient
Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons I advise against a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. There are many well-documented cases of blindness and brain abnormalities in strict vegetarians, resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency.
The older you get the more likely you are to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The two ways you become deficient are through a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet, or through your inability to absorb it from the food you eat.
I recently visited India, which is primarily a vegetarian based culture. Current studies there show about 80 percent of adults are deficient in vitamin B12.
Vegans and Vegetarians
Vitamin B12 deficiency is extremely common in strict vegetarians and vegans. B12 is not readily available in plants, so if you do not eat meat or animal products you are at risk.
Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, including foods like beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry and eggs.
The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases.
If you are not a vegan/vegetarian, and are including food sources of B12 in your diet and are still deficient in the vitamin, it is likely due to one of the reasons I’ll discuss later in this report.
Why Vitamin B12 is So Important for Your Health Vitamin B12, also known by the scientific name cobalamin, is water-soluble. Unlike other water-soluble vitamins, B12 doesn’t exit your body quickly in urine. It is stored in your liver, kidneys and other body tissues. As a result, a deficiency may not show itself for a number of years, depending on your diet and your body’s ability to efficiently absorb B12.
This time lag is a serious concern, because after about seven years of B12 deficiency, irreversible brain damage can result.
Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse micronutrient for a whole host of reasons. Your body needs B12 for:
•proper digestion, food absorption, iron use, carbohydrate and fat metabolism •healthy nervous system function •promotion of normal nerve growth and development •help with regulation of the formation of red blood cells •cell formation and longevity •proper circulation •adrenal hormone production •healthy immune system function •support of female reproductive health and pregnancy •feelings of well-being and mood regulation •mental clarity, concentration, memory function •physical, emotional and mental energy As you can see from this list, your B12 level impacts a number of very important systems in your body — everything from your DNA to how happy you feel. If you think you might be deficient in this vitamin, you need to take steps to get your B12 levels into the healthy range.
I’ll discuss the proper test to determine your B12 blood level as well as the latest information on what constitutes a healthy range a little later in this article.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you don’t have adequate vitamin B12 levels in your bloodstream, you might notice some of the following warning signs:
2.problems with your memory
4.lack of motivation
5.feelings of apathy
6.fatigue and a lack energy
8.tingling in your extremities
One of the most important functions of vitamin B12 is building the myelin which insulates and protects your nerve endings and allows them to communicate with one another.
If you’re B12 deficient and your myelin is depleted, you can experience health problems as widespread as depression, dementia and even symptoms which mimic multiple sclerosis.