Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is one of the water-soluble vitamins. Humans cannot produce vitamin B12 naturally so it must be supplied by food or supplementation. Vitamin B12 supports some of the body’s most important functions, including memory, energy, and mood. It is essential for the development and maintenance of every cell in the body, like DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and metabolism.
Low levels of B12, even just outside of the “normal” range, can cause fatigue, poor memory, loss of appetite, and feelings of weakness. Often vitamin b12 deficiency is confused with the signs of aging.
Long-term deficiency can lead to serious, irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system. It’s more common for seniors to have lower B12 levels. Changes in digestion that come with age antacids and ulcer medications can inhibit B12 absorption. Vegetarians and vegans are also more likely to have lower B12 levels, due to the nutrient being found in eggs, meat, dairy, and fish.
Benefits of B12:
· Increase energy
· Improve metabolism
· Support the nervous system
· Aids in mental and cognitive function
· Helps with red blood cell production
· Reduces inflammation
· Boost immune function
· Treat pernicious anemia, a form of B12 deficiency
When it comes to supplementing with B12, there are two forms- cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is the “active” form, making it more utilizable by the body. Cyanocobalamin has be to converted to the methylated form and for patients who have poor methylation pathways, this form is pretty unusable to the body.
B12 can be taken once to twice daily as a sublingual liquid or lozenge, but a more preferred option is injectable. Intramuscular injections bypass the digestive system to ensure 100% absorption. You can get more therapeutic dosing with a once-weekly injection rather than with daily supplementation.
If you are interested in B12 injections or supplementation, contact us.