Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the metabolism of fatty acids essential for the maintenance of myelin (a complex protein surrounding nerves). Prolonged B12 deficiency can lead to nerve degeneration and irreversible neurological damage which can further result in strokes and brain hemorrhages.

Deficiency can also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis. In case of insufficiency of Vitamin B12, a range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and poor memory can happen. Paleness, mouth sores, a swollen beefy tongue—these are also the visible signs of a B12 shortage. Taking birth control pills for extended periods of time sets women up for B12 deficiency.

Vegans, who by definition consume no animal products, need to take a supplement of vitamin B12. If your diet largely consists of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, and soy, you’re at risk for deficiency. Heavy drinking each day can cause irritation of the stomach lining and lead to reduced B12 absorption.

There is conclusive evidence, based on the medical literature that vitamin B12 deficiency can be effectively treated using oral (absorption through the buccal mucosa) delivery as a convenient, easy, high compliance alternative to injections.

B12 Deficiency and Diseases:

The most common form of deficiency occurs when there is a failure to effectively absorb B12 from the intestine rather than a dietary deficiency. About 40% of people are B12 deficient. The problem is that as we age we loose our ability to absorb B12 from food. This is called atrophic gastritis which is very common in older people. All people should take B12 regardless of whether you are a vegan or meat eater. Recent studies suggest that intake B12 and other B group vitamins slow down Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to a condition known as megaloblastic anemia. In this type of anemia, the red blood cells become bigger than normal, causing problems with nutrient distribution and, in severe cases, circulation. Vitamin B12 is the standard treatment option if the anemia was caused by a deficiency, and is sometimes used as a supplementary treatment if other conditions were the cause. In all such instances, the advise of a physician should be sought out prior to taking any medication or vitamin B12 supplements.

Deficiency in vitamin B12 has been found to cause some neurological abnormalities and psychiatric conditions. For example, Ataxia, characterised by unsteady step and shaky movements, is linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is also cited as a possible consequence of such deficiency. As some studies found, these  symptoms are already evident even when vitamin B12 level is just slightly below a normal level. This suggests that a higher level deficiency can lead to more dangerous conditions.

Some findings have pointed to the possibility that use of vitamin B12 supplements benefit to Alzheimer’s disease patients. Studies have found that patients with the condition have abnormally low levels of vitamin B12 in their blood. Deficiencies of such a degree often trigger symptoms of  disorientation and confusion, which are very similar to the most prominent symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Clinical trials are looking into whether increasing vitamin B12 in the bloodstream of Alzheimer’s patients can produce a positive result.

Researchers are also looking into vitamin B12 and its effect on breast cancer. It was found that women with breast cancer have much lower levels of vitamin B12 in their diet than those without the condition. This made some researchers suggest that vitamin B12 deficiency leads to an increased risk of the cancer. Currently, more studies are under way to determine whether ther is a concrete connection between breast cancer and vitamin B12 defficiency.

Daily Dosage of Vitamin B12

The daily required intake of vitamin B12 can vary from person to person. The people that would require more vitamin B12 are pregnant women, those who have a liver or kidney condition and those who are hemorrhaging or have hemolytic anemia. Importantly, many people over the age of 50 lose their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods due to a decreased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The people in this age are recommended to take a B12-containing supplement. Some nutrition experts are questioning whether that the recommended daily amount of 2.4 mcg/day (RDA) is enough. For example, Christine Tangney, PhD, a researcher in a cognition and brain MRI study suggests the use of supplements with between 500 to 1,000 mcg a day for people with serum levels less than 350 pg/mL. He also stress that only a small proportion of the B12 from a supplement pill gets absorbed.

Vitamin B12: Sprays vs Injections!

Super Health Vitamin B12 spray contains the natural and the most bioavailable form of B12, called Methylcobalamin. Since it requires no conversion by the liver (as does the synthesised form – cyanocobalamin), you receive our supplement in the form most readily used by the body. Each spray provides a monthly supply based on a recommended daily serving (8 sprays) of 500 mcg. There is conclusive evidence, based on the medical literature that vitamin B12 deficiency can be effectively treated using oral (absorption through the buccal mucosa) delivery as a convenient, easy, high compliance alternative to injections.

Essential for a healthy metabolism of nerve tissues and synthesis of DNA. Helps conversion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins to energy. Highly effective in improving memory. Deficiency can cause brain damage and neurological disorders. Vegans and vegetarians need Vitamin B12 supplements – its main source is meat. A third of people at the age over 50 produce too little stomach acid to release B12 from food. Metformin drugs (Type II diabetes) also degrade absorption of vitamin B12 in pills.