Vitamin B12 is one of those nutrients you may think you’re getting in spades, but in reality, you could use a little boost. After all, B12 is an essential nutrient that helps keep energy and cognitive function high and blood and nerve cells working at optimum levels.
Essential to the human body, vitamin B12 can only be found naturally in meat, seafood, and dairy, so it tends to elude those who choose to follow diets low in or devoid of meat or animal byproducts.
Others who might need a B12 lift? Older adults and those with certain conditions are sometimes unable to absorb dietary B12. In fact, 10 to 30 percent of older adults suffer from atrophic gastritis, a condition that decreases the ability to absorb B12 because of a lack of gastric acid. Autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.
You don’t have to have a chronic B12 deficiency to warrant a B12 shot; sometimes they’re prescribed as energy boosters for athletes or those who suffer from adrenal fatigue. In fact, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may want to consider a B12 shot:
Early Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Muscle weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Intermittent constipation or diarrhea
- Inability to concentrate/mental fogginess
What B12 Does For You
B12 is an essential nutrient for brain and heart function, both of which lend themselves to overall health and vitality. It works together with folate to aid in red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. B12 also helps to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine, elevated levels of which are linked to serious conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and dementia.
Vitamin B12 is not naturally produced in the body, so it must be ingested or otherwise supplemented. Since the nutrient is water-soluble, the body can’t store it, so it must be taken on a regular basis.
It’s important for everyone to get the right amount of nutrients, not only those with absorption issues.
B12 Can Help Treat:
- Fatigue, anemia
- Colds, flus
- Thyroid and adrenal imbalances
- Anxiety, depression, insomnia
- PMS, menopause, acne
- Allergies, herpes, psoriasis
- Nerve pain, dementia, brain fog
- Obesity, heart disease and many more…
While the best way to get optimum levels of B12 and other vital nutrients is through fresh food sources, sometimes we need to supplement. B12 can be increased through dietary tweaks, in pill or capsule form or through B12 injections.
Injecting B12 directly into the bloodstream is the most efficient way to treat a B12 deficiency or address ongoing issues with fatigue, depression or decreased cognitive function. Shots are injected directly into the muscle (usually the glutes or upper arm) and are quick and relatively painless. Treatment plans may vary from one injection per month to several over a span of weeks, depending on the condition.
Talk with a doctor
Dr. Brighten works with all of her patients to determine the most effective way to supplement to ensure optimal intake and absorption. If you think you might be deficient or would like to talk with Dr. Brighten about B12 supplementation or dietary changes for optimal health, schedule an appointment.