Do You Suffer From Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Written by on February 15, 2012 in Nutrition - No comments

You don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to have a deficiency in B12 even though the animal sources of B12 is superior and the ones needed for optimal health. Leaky gut/and or gut inflammation, alcohol, low stomach acid, medications, intestinal dysbiosis, and low stomach acid can also lead to B12 malabsorption.

It can take years for a deficiency to show since the B12 is stored in
the liver, the kidneys, and other body tissues. This is a problem since irreversible brain damage may occur after seven years of B12 deficiency. The  first signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency may be fatigue,
mental fogginess, muscle weakness, and memory problems. It can lead to nervousness, paranoia, depression, permanent nerve damage, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, and behavioral changes.

Many claim that you can get B12 from plant sources such as Spirulina or Brewer’s yeast. Unfortunately you need the B12 from animal sources. The plant sources of B12 actually block the uptake of the real B12.

“The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases.” Mercola

Even though you don’t have be a vegan or vegetarian to be deficient in B12, Vitamin B12 is found in food that vegetarians and vegans don’t eat: 
Beef and beef liver, lamb, venison, snapper, salmon, poultry eggs, shrimp, and scallops.

Vitamin B12 is called the energy vitamin and in addition to energy production, it is needed for:

  •  Healthy energy production
  • Adrenal hormone production
  • Proper circulation
  • Help with regulation of the formation of red blood cells
  • Proper digestion, food absorption, iron use, carbohydrate and fat metabolism
  • Healthy immune system function
  • Promotion of normal nerve growth and development
  • Physical, emotional and mental energy
  • Mental clarity, concentration, memory function
  • Feelings of well-being and mood regulation
  • Cell formation and longevity
  • Support of female reproductive health and pregnancy

Chronic vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to:

  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions
  • Heart disease and cancer
  • Female fertility and childbearing problems

Female Health
” Pregnant women with B12 deficiency carry an increased risk of having a baby born with neural tube defects, a class of birth defects affecting the infant’s brain and spinal cord. Spina bifida, which can cause paralysis, is a type of neural tube defect, as is anencephaly, which is fatal. A B12deficiency has also been linked to infertility and repeated miscarriages.

As we get older
The lining of the stomach loses its ability to produce hydrochloric acid as we get older and the hydrochloric acid releases the vitamin B12 from the food. Therefore, people over the age of 50 most likely don’t absorb the optimum level of vitamin B12. Supplementing with multivitamins is not a very good idea since B12 is a large molecule and it is not easily absorbed. It requires an additional protein, intrinsic factor, that binds to vitamin B12 so it can be absorbed into the blood stream. Indigestion, gastric reflux disease and heartburn compromise the production of intrinsic factor. Dr. Mercola says there is a high quality spray mist supplement available that help absorb the B12 molecule into fine capillaries under the tongue.


What form is best?
As mentioned above, Mercola says the spray mist supplement  increases the absorption of B12. Chris Kresser writes that experts think the B12 injection is the best solution for pernicious anemia or B12 deficiency involving neurological symptoms.

In the US, cyanaocobalamin is the most used form of B12. There is evidence that suggests that the form of B12 used in Europe, hydroxycobalamin, is better. Methylcobalamin may be the superior form of them all. According to Japanese studies, methylcobalamin is superior for neurological disease.


If you suspect that you are deficient in B12 you should go and get tested. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than you think. According to a Framingham Offspring Study  almost 40% of people between 26 and 83 years have B12 levels that are in the low normal range. At this range neurological symptoms are experienced. 16% showed to be near deficiency while 9% showed B12 deficiency.


Dr. Mercola
Chris Kresser

Johanna Pedranti

About Johanna Pedranti

Johanna Pedranti is a an Aromatherapist. She makes her own products especially designed for sport. As an Aromatherapist she designs products specializing in maintaining the wellbeing of the body which is pushed by the sports to the limits of endurance, stamina and skill.

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