What Is Vitamin B12 Good For?
Vitamin B12 has many known health benefits from assisting in maintaining a healthy nervous, circulatory, immune, and liver system. * People can get vitamin B12 from foods such as eggs and red meat; however, at times dietary supplements are needed to increase your body's B12 levels.
What are the benefits of taking B12?
- Supports healthy nerves and muscles*
- May protect long-term cognitive ability*
- Contributes to a strong immune system*
- May improve blood flow and volume*
- Supports detoxification of toxins from the body*
- May increase energy and focus*
What form of B12 is best absorbed?
Now, whether you chew, drink, or swallow your vitamin the biggest issue is that the vitamin must survive the stomach acids and then the pancreatic fluids introduced in the small intestine, get absorbed by the intestine, and finally survive the liver-bypass metabolism that all food must go through when swallowed.
Minimal of the original vitamin that was swallowed remains to be absorbed. If that was not bad enough vitamin B12 requires to be bound to a protein called Intrinsic Factor (IF) to be absorbed into our body. As we age our body makes less and less IF and hence, we absorb less B12. Many complain of chronic fatigue or tiredness as they reach their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and worsens with advancing age. What is your best option if you do not want to get a B12 shot in the butt? An excellent source of under the tongue B12 currently available in the market allows bypass of the harsh environment of the gut or the need for attachment to IF. Under the tongue B12 is absorbed directly into the bloodstream by osmosis as described above without the need of Intrinsic Factor (IF).
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in the body as the methylated form Methylcobalamin, which is slightly more biologically active than cyanocobalamin and is thought to have better retention rate because of its bioavailability, however, many vitamin companies only offer Cyanocobalamin.
The liver is an amazing organ that acts like a laboratory in our body, breaking down all types of toxins and storing them or deactivating them before they can harm us. Our ancestors did not put their livers under the kind of stress that our modern diet does daily. Many are aware that carbohydrates such as simple sugars are not a good source of nutrition. Research has shown that most carbohydrates that we consume such as sugar or white rice are lacking any useful vitamins and minerals, hence the liver must store them as fat. However, due to persistent sugar intake in our daily diet the liver continues to be clogged up by fat that it intends to put away in other storage areas and eventually this can be a possible contributing factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Sugars that are found in fruits and vegetables are mildly better since they come with their own dose of vitamins which can help the liver process the sugars much easier.
New research is showing the importance of vitamins in liver disease, and it may lead the way to simple preventive therapies.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver disease worldwide. For many years’ researchers had seen a link between low levels of vitamin B12 in patients with liver disease. However, a new study is showing a direct link between low levels of Folic Acid (B9) and vitamin B12 and progression of fatty liver disease. The “study demonstrated that low levels of folate (B9) and vitamin B12 can be used as independent predictors of the histological severity of” liver disease. *
You must always consult your doctor prior to starting on any new vitamins or supplements regimen.
The most critical issue is vitamin absorption which will be touched upon in the next section. However, after bariatric surgery there is a period of hair loss which can be decreased with Biotin supplementation. Most individuals are also B12 deficient since they do not have the portion of the stomach that assists in B12 absorption and in production of Intrinsic Factor. Iron deficiency is also quite common due to fact that aside from nausea and constipation iron supplements require acidic stomach to activate the swallowed pills for absorption. Other commonly found deficiencies are folate, vitamin C, zinc, and copper.
Vitamin B12 has many proven benefits and one is in the production of red blood cells. Without the benefit of B12 the body will be unable to produce adequate red blood cells which carry oxygen to the body and that is known as a form of anemia.
Vitamin B12 may help in depression. In a recent study subjects injected with B12 and treated with antidepressants fared better than the group that was only treated with the antidepressant.
Vitamin B12 may assist the body in hair and nail growth and avoid the skin disease Vitiligo, were patches of discolored skin form.
A recent medically reviewed article discussed the benefits of B12 regarding neurological preventative diseases. Vitamin B12 may assist with prevention of dementia in elderly. A study in the American Academy of Neurology monitored 107 patients over 61 years of age for 5 years showing greater rate of atrophy on MRI studies in subjects that were B12 deficient vs. controls. Vitamin B12 appears to be crucial for a well-functioning brain and nervous system. The study concluded that “Low vitamin B12 status should be further investigated as a modifiable cause of brain atrophy and of likely subsequent cognitive impairment in the elderly”.
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that your body needs and engages in many metabolic processes. For those of us who are having a challenging time absorbing this important vitamin an under the tongue alternative may save us from the need for injections by the doctor.
As always talk to your doctor is the best, to determine the best course of treatment.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Vogiatzoglou, H. Refsum, C. Johnston, S. M. Smith, K. M. Bradley, C. de Jager, M. M. Budge, A. D. Smith
- Neurology Sep 2008. 71 (11) 826-832; DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000325581.26991.f2
- 5 science-backed benefits of vitamin B12 and how to get enough of it in your diet. News.Yahoo.Com, 2022.
- Folic Acid 1000 Mcg - Frunutta. Frunutta Dissolvable Vitamins, 2022.
- Vitamin B12 - Methylcobalamin 1,000 Mcg. Frunutta Dissolvable Vitamins, 2022.
- Intrinsic Factor Deficiency | Genetic And Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – An NCATS Program. Rarediseases.Info.Nih.Gov, 2022.
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