Do you find yourself lacking in energy? Maybe often times dizzy? Forgetful? Perhaps you find yourself dealing with constant fatigue…..I know a myriad of people that struggle with those problems.
They struggle with those things daily.
Have you thought about what could be wrong with you?
Maybe you went to bed early & you still find yourself overwhelmingly tired.
You might have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Unfortunately, it’s one of the largest invisible epidemics in both adults and children.
Vitamin B12 deficiency affects 40% of people over 60 years of age – and many of today’s health problems – from cancer, and infertility to autism, autoimmune disease and more – all share the common signs and symptoms of this deficiency. Your ability to to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age. Certain medications (ie. for heartburn), and a lack of meat in your diet (vegetarians or vegans), can contribute to the epidemic.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 and folate work hand in hand in the synthesis of DNA & red blood cells. It plays a huge role in the formation of the brain and nervous system, as B12 helps towards the production of myelin sheath around the nerves (and the workings of nerve impulses). That myelin sheath protects the area around the nerves much like insulation protects your home from outside elements.
Vitamin B12 helps with proper red blood cell formation, circulation, and proper immune system function.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Your body needs sufficient vitamin B12 for proper circulation, for a healthy brain and to help you with emotional stability.
So how do you get vitamin B12? What is the best source?
Vitamin B12 is naturally present in animal products – from raw milk to eggs, cheese, meat, poultry and fish The top 5 most foods concentrated in Vitamin B12 are:
- Organic meats (liver)
- Wild caught fish (salmon)
- Grass fed, pastured beef
- Pastured eggs
- Shellfish (clams and crab)
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can actually happen even if you are eating foods that contain large amounts of Vitamin B12. Constant fatigue, weakness, memory loss and psychiatric problems can signal a deficiency in vitamin B12 – and eventually lead to anemia. Anemia is a sign of an autoimmune condition that signals the body’s lack of intrinsic factor – a protein that is necessary for your body to absorb B12.
A deficiency in B12 may lead to a series of psychiatric problems and eventually contribute to depression. By boosting your B12 intake, you will see improvement in 3 major areas:
- Your Brain: a deficiency in B12 can lead to greater risk of Alzheimers.
- Your Emotional well being: B12 is need for the synthesis of a neurotransmitter related to regulating mood (ie. depression)
- Cancer prevention: a deficiency in B12 prevents folate from being converted into active form. And… DNA cannot properly replicate – thus becoming faulty. Cancer can result from damaged DNA.
Do you have a B12 Deficiency?
If you are deficient in B12 or you simply struggle from B12 malabsorportion, you can deal with leaky gut, inflammation in the gut, gastritis (low stomach acid), anemia (autoimmune), and fertility problems.
B12 is the only vitamin that contains cobalamin – a trace element. This element is produced in the gut of animals – you cannot obtain it from plant-based items OR sunlight. Plants don’t require B12 so they don’t store it.
Unfortunately, you cannot get B12 from plant sources – fermented soy, seaweed, or spirulina . Even more, plant foods that do contain B12 have what is known as B12 analogs called cobamides – these copamides block the intake of and increase the need for “real” B12. As a result, most vegans and vegetarians are deficient in B12.
Rather than supplement like crazy and put more vitamins, minerals and omegas into your flavored yogurt or bread, it makes more sense to get your nutrients from food.
B12 is no exception.
But sometimes, a multivitamin can cause more harm than good…
The late Victor Hebert, a noted B12 researcher maintains that many multivitamin products contain spurious and even dangerous analogs of B12, possibly formed with crystalline B12 interacts with other nutrients in multivitamin products – such as vitamin C, iron and copper.
Thankfully there are many ways you can overcome a deficiency:
…supplement with large doses of crystalline B12 or by eating foods rich in B12 that can treat deficiencies caused by a compromised protein digestion, lack of R-protein intrinsic favor or pancreatic enzymes.
Eating raw, whole foods rich in B12 is always better than taking a vitamin B12 supplement. In the end, you should always take care to know where your animals, milk, and food come from and that they are raised and pastured humanely.
Sometimes, a deficiency in B12 can be hidden by adequate levels of folate. People who have leaky gut and problems with digestion can be at a greater risk of deficiency. The RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg/day. The daily value is 6 mcg/day.
Some of the best foods to enrich your B12 intake are:
- Tuna 3 oz = 2.5 mcg (41% daily value)
- Raw Milk 1 C. – 1.1 mcg (18% daily value)
- Eggs 1 large = 0.44 mcg (7% daily value)
- Salmon 3 oz = 1.1 mcg (18% daily value)
- Grass fed beef 3 oz = 1.5 mcg (25% daily value)
- Beef liver 3 oz = 18 mcg (100% daily value)
- Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods
- Vitamin B12 Absorption Mechanism
- Vitamin B12: a Nutrient for Good Health
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency: A Silent Epidemic with Deadly Consequences