B12 is essential for health, but not all forms of B12 are created equally…
- Vitamin B12 is necessary to convert carbs to glucose. This leads to increased energy to counteract fatigue and lethargy.
- Vitamin B12 benefits us in the regulation of the nervous system, helping reduce stress, depression and helping with healthy brain function.
- Vitamin B12 benefits the body in the prevention of heart disease and related cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and high blood pressure. Vitamin B12 is necessary to regulate cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin B12 Benefits the body’s cell reproduction and is therefore essential to skin and hair as well as all other vital organs.
- Vitamin B12 benefits the body in the protection against cancer. Making sure you get enough vitamin B12 (as well as other vitamins) helps the body to battle many forms of cancer.
- Vitamin B12 is vital to cellular reproduction and maintenance. It is absolutely essential in the metabolizing of fats and carbohydrates, and is necessary to the metabolism of every cell in the human body. Vitamin B12 is necessary to the creation and maintenance of DNA (the body’s genetic material). Without it, cellular reproduction cannot occur.
Vitamin B12 Benefits Weight Loss
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the many trillions of cells. The increased metabolism as a result of increased oxygen delivery allows the body to function at a much higher level of efficiency. This higher functioning metabolism means the body can burn those unwanted calories much more efficiently. If you’ve been struggling to burn off those unwanted pounds after years of poor dietary habits, you may very well be suffering from a lack of vitamin B12.
Why do I need to supplement with B12?
The older you get the more likely you are to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The two ways that you become deficient in vitamin B12 are from not getting enough in your diet and from losing the ability to absorb it.
The older you get the more your digestive system breaks down, especially if your diet has not been that great! Specifically the lining of your stomach gradually loses its ability to produce hydrochloric acid which releases vitamin B12 from your food. The use of antacids or anti-ulcer drugs will also lower your stomach acid secretion and decrease your ability to absorb vitamin B12.
However the main cause of vitamin B 12 deficiency is a term researchers call food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome. Cobalamin is the scientific term for vitamin B12. This typically results when your stomach lining loses its ability to produce intrinsic factor which is a protein that binds to vitamin B12 and allows your body to absorb it at the end of your small intestine.
Well, the answer simply put is… not all types of B12 (cobalamins) are created equal.
There are generally three main types of cobalamins used in B12 supplements…
Even though cyanocobalamin B12 is probably the most popular form of B12 in supplements (because it’s the least expensive), it is the least effective. That distinction goes to methycobalamin (methyl B12).
And methyl B12 is the cobalamin compound of choice in injection therapy because…
- Studies suggest that methyl B12 may be better utilized and retained in the body.
- Methyl B12 is the active form of vitamin B12 and evidence indicates it has some applications not shared by other forms of vitamin B12.
- With other forms of B12, your body must convert them into a coenzyme form for you to benefit. Not so with methyl B12… it’s already in the active coenzyme form naturally in your body.
You can eat plenty of meat, poultry, lamb’s liver, brewer’s yeast, clams, eggs, herring, mackerel, kidneys, milk, dairy products, or seafood — and still have low levels of B12. How can that be?
It could be because your body is unable to absorb it from your gut. You see B12 needs the help of a protein in order to be absorbed. That protein is called intrinsic factor. And because the lining of your stomach makes intrinsic factor, people with less-than-optimal gastrointestinal health often need to supplement with B12.
Likewise, most people over the age of 50 have a limited ability to absorb B12, too. Thus, the need for supplementation
Most of them contain 100-200 micrograms of B12. But, if you actually took 500 micrograms of B12, you’d get an absorption of about 1.8 micrograms. Let me repeat, only 1.8 out of a total of 500 micrograms. That’s an absorption rate of only one third of one percent! But, that’s only half of the story.
The late Victor Herbert, a renowned B12 researcher, said that many multivitamin products on the market today contain dangerous B12 analogs.
In other words, analogs get created when crystalline B12 interacts with other nutrients in multivitamin products, such as vitamin C, iron and copper — increasing your body’s need for B12. Does the company selling the multivitamin tell you this vital bit of information? Probably not!
Most multi-vitamins sold today are a complete waste of money when it comes to their B12 quality and performance.
Injectable B12 (methylcobalimin) is the best way to get B12, it avoids “first pass effect” which means it enables full absorption without being affected by the stomach lining and the liver.
A bit about homocysteine
Homocysteine is amino acid found to be linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Deficiencies of the vitamins folic acid (B9), pyridoxine (B6), or B12 (cobalamin) can lead to high homocysteine levels. Taking B vitamins helps to transform homocysteine into compounds which are helpful in the body – SAM-e and glutathione. High homocysteine is also associated with cognitive decline. Recent research suggests that intense, long duration exercise raises plasma homocysteine levels, perhaps by increasing the load on methionine metabolism (homocysteine is metabolized into methionine – that’s how your body tries to reduce it – with the help of b vitamin coenzymes, using up the B vitamin stores).
Methionine is a protein-based amino acid which assists with metabolic function, breaks down fat, and is the primary source of sulfur in the body. As one of the compounds known as a lipotrophic, a fat burner or antioxidant, methionine is also critical for the removal of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, from the body. Some of its other primary purposes include ensuring healthy liver, kidney, bladder, and artery functions; the maintenance of healthy nails, hair, and skin; and it is essential for muscle growth and energy.