Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are numerous and have been linked to impaired brain function, psychological disorder; there is evidence suggesting B12 deficiency may be linked to many ailments, neurological complaints (numbing of the extremities and nerve damage) several forms of enema and of course, ongoing complaints of tiredness and low energy.
Vitamin B12 is a member of the B vitamin family where there are eight major players; B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 (Biotin), B9 (folate or Folic Acid) and B12. Working together, as a group, these water soluble vitamins, preform multiple metabolic tasks in the human body and are recognised for their contribution to the product of energy. Individually they preform very unique biological functions directly and/or indirectly relating to energy production
B12 (cobalamin) is distinctive in its contribution to energy production. B12 and folate are vital in the product of red blood cells. If the body is low in B12, usable folate can become low, slowing production of new red blood cells in the bone marrow. This can lead to low levels of iron as old red blood cells wear out and die but are not replaced. B12 is also the catalyst in the conversion of enzymes which are vital for the utilization of fats and protein for energy production.
It has been noted in numerous health communities that B12 deficiency is a common problem. Whether it has been diagnosed by a medical or naturopathic Dr. or it is simply an undetected problem, the source of this deficiency is often linked to our digestive track. B12 is liberated from the protein that we consume through the action of hydrochloric acid (HCL). Once B12 is released from the protein it is bound to a protein called intrinsic factor, which is secreted from the parietal cells in the stomach where the issues with B12 often begin. Inadequate production of both HCL and intrinsic factor results in B12 remaining locked in the protein and ultimately not being absorbed into the blood stream through the small intestine.
The solution to B12 deficiency or simply just a nagging complaint of low energy, can be as simply as a visit to your local health food store. There are several forms of B12 supplements on the market. The body utilises two forms of co-enzyme B12 dependant on the biological need. As far as supplement options are concerned, there is methylcobalamin (one co-enzyme form used in the human body) and Cyanocobalamin which is a form of B12 that converts to both coenzyme forms of B12. The main difference between these two forms, is that Cyanocobalamin has the ability to convert to both coenzyme forms of B12 where methylcobalamin does not.
Multiple options are available in form and strength, from pills to tablets to powders and liquids. Recently manufactures are creating supercharged vitamin B12 supplements to help address B12 deficiency issues or simply as an instant energy solution over the caffeinated and other stimulant containing options of the past. For instant energy or a possible solution to fatigue issues, choosing a higher dosed B12 supplement is a healthier option over simulants and often provides long term benefits as well.
Marva Ward CNP