Importance of Vitamin B12

Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is one of my favorites, and one of the key nutrients or key vitamins in your body and deals with making your red blood cells as well as DNA formation. It helps with your nervous system, and other immune and digestive functions. Why is B12 a really key nutrient?
When your body eats food, it stimulates acid that helps break down those foods in your stomach, and once that happens it kicks off a glycoprotein, which is called an ‘intrinsic factor’, which in turn, makes the B12.

Getting Proper Nutrients
The key thing to know about our standard American diet, is that we often eat certain foods that are nutritionally depleted, so your body is not actually able to make the B12. Also certain medications and pharmaceutical drugs deplete your body’s stores.
For example, PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors) used to control acid reflux or heartburn. When you prevent acid reflux this way, you are also stopping your stomach from producing acid and therefore the glycoprotein which makes B12. So essentially you’re shutting down that basic physiological process.

Medications That Interfere
We also know that other medications, specifically some of the diabetic medications, will also stop your body’s production of B12, things like Glucophage. That’s a little bit ironic because many diabetics are worried about neuropathy. This is a diabetic condition causing shaking, burning, pain, and numbness in the hands and feet. Vitamin B12 is a really positive thing to help prevent diabetic neuropathy.

So it’s really important that people replete their body and take in B12. It’s a little bit hard to get it in food, but it is made in a very convenient sublingual lozenge you can take. My other favorite way of dispensing it is actually giving a B12 shot. We usually do that as an intramuscular injection. Very simple, very painless, very effective.

So I’ve seen B12 help a lot of patients with their energy levels. It helps with headaches, digestive issues, neuropathy, and for overall energy. I have many patients that come in, get a little B12 shot, or take a sublingual B12 lozenge and find it to be very, very effective helping them get the energy that they need to get through the day.

So this is something to think about from a nutritional and pharmaceutical perspective. We need to replete our body’s stores of B12 for optimal health and wellness.
The other key thing about B12 is to take the best form of it, and that is called methylcobalamin. So it’s the methyl form of the vitamin. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and is the most effective and best absorbable form as opposed to hydrocobalamin or cyanocobalamin. So when you check your bottle of B12, look for methylcobalamin on the label.

I just wanted to share this information with you today. This is Dr. Moses Goldberg, Naturopathic Doctor. I hope you’re having a great day. Live well.