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Vitamin B12

Ensure you are not deficient in this critical nutrient vitamin B12

Saturday, September 17, 2011 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: vitamin B12, nutrients, health news

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(NaturalNews) One of the most critical but overlooked vitamins in the world is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body. It is crucial for processes such as DNA synthesis and energy production. B12 deficiencies are a hidden epidemic in our society. Boost your energy and mental clarity with high quality sources of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is very critical for neurological, cardiovascular, digestive, & immunological function. Together, B12 and folic acid reduce the metabolic end-product homocysteine. This pathway is responsible for the body's entire sulfur-based detoxification system. With normal amounts of folic acid and B12 the body is able to convert homocysteine into glutathione and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). Folic acid and B12 deficiencies cause the body to produce less glutathione and elevated unmetabolized homocysteine. This is a red flag warning sign of elevated inflammation and tissue degeneration.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are associated with chronic diseases. B12 deficiencies lead to high homocysteine which is a strong risk factor in cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar are very much associated with B12 deficiencies. Researchers found that a diet deficient in folate, B12, & B6 caused cognitive dysfunction and a significant reduction in the length & density of brain capillaries.

Many researchers believe that the standard American tests that measure serum B12 levels are far too low. In America, B12 deficiency is evidenced as a serum level below 200 pg/ml (145 pM). In Japan, a deficiency is found in levels under 550 pg/ml (400pM). Most B12 researchers and advanced functional nutritionists agree with the Japanese model.

About 10% of the population appears to have normal serum B12; however, their bioavailable B12 is reduced. The telling sign of this is elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid despite normal folic acid, B6, & B12 levels.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are common in people who have used medications for a period of time. The medications most commonly associated with B12 deficiencies include a popular diabetes drug, antacids, anti-ulcers, blood pressure and cholesterol meds, and birth control pills. If you have ever taken any of these medications it is imperative to check your B12 levels and supplement if necessary.

One population group that is especially vulnerable to B12 deficiencies are strict vegans. The most bioavailable form of B12 is found in animal products. Many vegans use blue-green algae as a form of B12. The algae forms are called pseudo -B12 because they are active in tests but do not have the same human biological activity. The best sources of B12 are found in organic meat and eggs. Be sure to find humanely raised, grass-fed sources of these meat products.

Vitamin B12 is a very large molecule compared to other vitamins and requires an enzyme called intrinsic factor to metabolize effectively. High stress, infections, antacids and other medications deplete intrinsic factor.

Without adequate intrinsic factor the body cannot effectively metabolize b12 and deficiencies will occur over time. It is estimated that 60% of Americans over the age of 50 and 90% over the age of 70 do not produce enough intrinsic factor and are currently dealing with some level of b12 deficiency.

For many individuals B12 supplementation is a necessity. The large size of the molecule also makes supplementation a challenge. The most effective delivery system is through microscopic droplets of B12 that come in a fine mist that gets sprayed into the mouth. It is good to take 1-2mg a day in this form. This system does not depend on the presence of intrinsic factor in the gut and is much easier, cost-effective and significantly safer than B12 injections.


About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com

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