Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin or cyanocobalamin, is essential for every cell in the body.
B12 is involved in- DNA synthesis; growth and development; needed especially in the intestines and blood; B12-related enzymes aid in homocysteine being recycled back into methionine; maintaining myelin and which protects nerves from damage; energy production from fats & proteins; methylation; hemoglobin & RBC synthesis; maintenance of DNA & RNA; glucose metabolism; heart health; brain function.
Absorption- connects with intrinsic factor proteins in stomach's digestive secretion; Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that does not stay in the body for very long, usually requiring frequent support to maintain proper B12 levels.
Reduced Absorption- People (60 or older) who consume a low-protein diet have reduced intrinsic factor and decreased absorption of B12; having gastrointestinal surgery; GI disorders. Those with B12 deficiencies might have reduced absorption or processing of oral supplements and should see a doctor, as they may recommend B12 injections or another supplementation.
Causes of B12 Deficiency- being a vegetarian (Vegan), as animal products are the primary sources of vitamin B12; low secretion of glycoprotein intrinsic factor by the stomach; alcoholism; poor diet; hypochlorhydria (atrophic gastritis, H. pylori infection, pernicious anemia, H2 blockers, PPIs); antibiotics; diabetic meds: cholestyramine, chloramphenicol, neomycin or colchicine; FUT2 mutations.
Deficiency side effects- depression, forgetfulness (memory loss), trouble walking, incontinence, fatigue, pale skin, numbness, tingling feet or hands, personality, and mood changes. Typically, only 1/3 of B12 deficient people will develop these symptoms, often it is due to a combination of environmental or genetic factors; slowed DNA and RNA synthesis; anemia (shortage of red blood cells); Interferes with cellular growth which could lead to cancer due to reduced white blood cells.
Higher levels of B12 are seen to improve- balance, energy, and endurance.
B12 can Beneficial in- reducing the incidence and severity of canker sores; people with pernicious anemia and nerve problems related to B12 deficiency; shingles; multiple sclerosis; diabetes; depression; binge eating; delaying progression of HIV to AIDS; increasing glutathione synthesis.
Food sources- Seafood: cooked oysters and clams, Atlantic herring and salmon, shellfish; meats: beef, Lamb; eggs; dairy: milk and cheese; soy products; Nutritional yeast.
Forms of B12- Methylcobalamin; Adenosylcobalamin; Hydroxocobalamin; Cyanocobalamin.
Helps increase B12- Probiotics: L. acidophilus; Bifidobacteria; L. reuteri
Find the Right Kind of B12 for you- Many forms of B12 are not in the active form that is found in food and has to be converted by the body into a form it can use. All forms except cyanocobalamin are used by the body for different reactions.
Folate and B12- both work together to create DNA; It is important to keep a proper balance of for proper cellular health; needed for proper red blood cell production; combining B12, B6 and folate can lower homocysteine levels; B12 along with Folinic acid is needed for both serotonin and dopamine synthesis; common nutritional deficiencies leading to impaired methylation which can cause: low energy, hormonal problems, reduced motivation, and cardiovascular issues; having a Complete Blood Count (CBC) lab test done can determine your ratios: an MCV greater than 91.0 fL could be indicative of a deficiency; an MCV over 97 fL often indicates megaloblastic anemia; depletion of B6, B12, and folate in women is often due to birth control pills and IUDs.
Lithium plays a role in- mood; glutamate regulation; limiting aggression; B12 transportation; often lower in MTR A2756G variant carriers; determine low levels with: hair metal analysis, blood lithium test, or urine essential element test (UEE)); lithium levels need to be balanced before elevating B12 levels.
Sources of lithium support- All in One Multi-Vitamin, Becalm spray or low dose lithium orotate.
B12 Standard Dosages:
- Infants: .4 mcg
- Children 1-3 years: .9 mcg
- Kids 1-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- kids 9-13: 1.8 mcg
- Teens: 2.4 mcg
- Adults: 2.6 mcg