Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?
When I hit the 50s, I became more serious about how aging was affecting my health. Fifty percent of older adults are deficient in one or another vitamin. Our bodies produce only some of the vitamins we need so we must rely on our diet . Our diet does not just give us the vitamins but it also feeds the gut flora which produces some vitamins and makes others available to our bodies. Vitamin b-12 has a deficiency rate in older adults of 10 to 15 percent. Why is vitamin deficiency so prevalent in our society? Look at breads, cereals and other foods in the supermarket and everything is vitamin fortified. So why are we not getting all of our vitamins ? One reason has to do with the age and health of a person’s gut. As we get older our gut just does not absorb as much as a young, healthy gut.
Vitamin B12 is bound to healthy protein in food and needs stomach acid to be released from food. The vitamin B12 that is included in fortified foods and also nutritional supplements is already ready to be used and does not require this splitting up action. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor which allows it to be absorbed in the small intestine. You can see the whole process is quite complicated and a lot can go wrong.
Facts About Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means we cannot store this long term and we excrete excess via urine. It helps in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. It is also vital in the formation of blood. The metabolism of every cell in your body requires vitamin b12. Vitamin b-12 is essential to the body’s everyday health.
Food sources Vitamin B12
- beef and chicken liver
- organic yogurt
- raw milk
- beef tenderloin
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough B12
I used to work in a clinic in Frisco, Colorado. They had a vitamin b12 clinic there and a lot of people were on a B12 protocol. Why were these young people (40 and younger) on the vitamin b-12 regimen in Frisco (which actually has a very healthy population). The 3 most common reasons in that age group for needing supplementation are diet (vegetarians or vegans), bariatric surgery, and medicines such as heartburn drugs. Other common causes of Vitamin b-12 deficiency are taking metformin (diabetes drug) and chronic abdominal problem such as colitis or Crohn’s Disease.
vitamin b-12 and what it can do for you
Vitamin B12 deficiency has some distinct symptoms. One reason that your doctor will start looking for B12 deficiency is because someone has a low blood count (anemic). You get larger, but less red blood cells if you have vitamin b-12 deficiency. Other symptoms are numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, memory loss, difficulty thinking, weakness, and fatigue. Some athletes get vitamin b-12 shots to boost their performance. I get a Myer’s Vitamin IV infusion once a month to boost my vitamin B levels. The perks of having the staff and equipment to get this done.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
- Helps keep up energy levels
- Helps with memory and decrease risk of neuro diseases
- Mood booster and help the nervous system work properly
- Role in heart health (homocysteine levels)
- Keeps skin and hair healthy
- Keeps healthy gut bacteria happy
- You need for a healthy baby during pregnancy( folic acid too )
- Helps with cancer prevention
- Helps prevent anemia (pernicious anemia)
Myers cocktail vitamin iv infusion Vitamin B12
I talk about the Myers Cocktail in another post . This solution has a multitude of B vitamins, magnesium, electrolytes, calcium, and vitamin C. I talk about some other common vitamin problems in other blogs. Just click on the vitamin category for more information on that. Vitamin C infusions is a specialty of the Riordin Clinic and they use it for cancer treatment .