B12 - #1 Vitamin Deficiency Damaging Our Brain - It's Many Masks, Useless Tests and some Self-Help Details

You can begin enjoying a really sharp mind in only a few days! And there's no need to be cranky and negative all of the time. I see so much vitamin B12 lacking - deficiency in almost everyone's live blood analysis - and for varied reasons.

More and more (younger) people switch to eating vegetarian and vegan diets - and often doing this with nudges from advertorials in "health" magazines that are covertly plugging products - such as unfermented soy products, spirulina etc. For whatever reasons - environmental, spiritual or financial - people have abandoned foods that once offered good basic essential B12 nutrition. 

Quite gob-smacking is the mis-diagnoses of a B12 deficiency by standard medical blood tests. The lack of B12 and lack of proper B12 diagnosis leave many issues unanswered - and this lack mimics symptoms that lead to receiving / promoting the taking of many prescription medications such as for depression, anemia, chronic fatigue, some nervous disorders, etc. that could easily be remedied.

Depression, for example, is never considered as a possible coming together of three related issues: a real B12 deficiency, a low thyroid (AND poor T3 and T4 thyroid hormone uptake at the cellular level) AND fatigued adrenals - all plagued by poor, up-side-down or inappropriate tests and a lack of mindful medical corroboration (the research exists!). So, anti-depressants (with their numerous side-effects) are handed out as a first choice not a last resort.

B12 deficiency can mimic as many other health conditions: inflammation, indigestion, constipation, poor co-ordination, mood swings, depressions, the beginnings of MS such as numbness and tingling in the limbs, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, infertility and increases in existing autism symptoms, poor sleep quality, and various neurological challenges.

Sufficient B12 is intricately involved with the health of the bone marrow (where all your red and white cells as well as stem cells are created and almost all of them stay till these cells mature). B12 is also, as with so many complex factors in our body, a co-factor in OTHER intricate chemical pathways and as such is a necessary and essential requirement that is not just directly related to bone marrow and nerve health.
One example of this is that B12, together with folic acid (B9), is a critical co-factor for the production of enzymes which deal with methylation which in turn is depended upon, for neurotransmitters, hormones and energy production at the cellular level, as well as detoxification.

Here are some B12 details, that may have some bearing on your health choices, symptoms and questions. I hope it makes a difference!

I always assumed that the GP's tests for B12 were exact ... but not so! The standard B12 blood and urine tests are completely lacking and often false (see more on this at end of this article).

The most important thing to know, for starters, is that there are several kinds of B12 available in supplement form and they are NOT AT ALL created equal.

Analog B12, also called cyanocobalamine, the kind most commonly sold, is the kind you cannot absorb well (this is known by the supplement companies). We also take in analog type B12 from eating some plant based foods such as algae and spirulina and it, too, is cyanocobalamin and a form that absorbs in very small quantities, and it can actually block the good-and-proper B12 from metabolizing and being absorbed.


Methylcobalamine and Hydroxocobalamine are the magnificent B12's that are absorbed through the intestines and taken by our blood straight to our bone marrow and nervous system - the two systems that require B12 uniquivically.
There's always a need and so our blood transports this proper B12 and delivers it as soon as we absorb any from what we eat or from a methylcobalamine food or supplement. If there's an overage, then it is stored in the liver - up to a year's worth! Therefore there is never any excess B12 running around in the circulating blood - looking for storage or to the exit via the kidneys - neither in blood or urine.
Unless you took your methylcobalamine B12 supplements or ate your methycobalamine B12 foods just before your lab test blood-draw, there should be NONE in your urine or blood to be found. That would leave you with a test result stating that you were deficient, when in fact you could be, or, might not be at all deficient - you'd never know!

Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine are the two bio-available kinds of B12’s. These are found mainly in red meat - significantly in liver (which should be organic, ofcourse), beef, lamb, buffalo and bison; less but still some is bio-available in shell fish such as clams, mussels, oysters (but watch for the pollutants); and also some in wild salmon, trout, haddock, tuna and most other fish; and we find a bit in egg yolks.
There is virtually NO B12 in chicken and pork - white meat. (For example - one egg has the same amount of useable good B12 as in 1/2 of a chicken - and this is still very little).
More easy info at https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/g1967/vitamin-b12-super-foods-47012607/ (more comprehensive than the Dieticians of Canada public information page which has misleading information).

The Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine B12 varieties - are also what you want to see your possible B12 shots / injections made of. This is the kind our bodies need, use, absorb and store. it is very telling which companies will spend a bit more on quality content and which ones want us to blindly swallow the cheaper analog variety - the cyanocobalamine.

​The Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine B12 varieties - are also what you want to see your possible B12 intravenous shots to consist of. Only in the past few years are my clients able to get their GP's onside to write them a methylcobalmine prescription for their shots and then have that prescription filled at a natural pharmacy (this is difficult - we only have one so far in Greater Vancouver).
Then my clients take the B12 ampules home and refrigerate these. When they see their physicians for their shot, they take their B12 ampule with them. GP's normally would write up the prescriptions which are ALL filled as cyanocobalamine by all major pharmacies - and that kind does not require refrigeration - easy-peasy... but not very useful. 

There's a nice surge of energy right after the inital cyanocobalamine B12 shot which quickly subsides. A tiny bit of the huge amount of B12 of the cyanobobalamine reaches the nervous system and bone marrow after the first few hours or day after the shot. The rest remains in circulation (found in blood tests) and is eventually pee-ed out (also found in tests). So, check to see what kind your physician or naturopath is actually using - get a look at the box the ampule was in and read the insert - the GP may have had an eager salesperson persuade them to get the cheaper cyanocobalamine variety. When we often consume spirulina and algae, for example, in a green drink - then we are consuming a lot of cyanocobalamine. A bit will absorb and the rest will circulate till pee-ed out. A good day for an old-fashioned B12 lab test would be on a day or two after no cyanocobalamine is consumed.

In clinical tests vegans have the lowest vitamin B12 status when compared to lactose-ova-vegetarians and omnivores (assuming no B12 vitamins were simultaneously consumed). At the same time elevated methylmalonic acid in omnivores is negligible, relatively high in the lacto-ovo groups and extremely high in vegans. Vegan research subjects and, to a lesser degree, subjects in the lacto-ovo vegetarian groups had metabolic features indicating vitamin B12 deficiency that led to a substantial increase in total homocysteine concentrations as well. So it's a basic health issue - not to be ascertained with our everyday silly tests.

Health aspects of vegetarianism should be considered in the light of possible damaging effects arising from vitamin B-12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia.

Your GP may even kindly offer B12 shots – even the right refrigerated methylcobalamine or hydroxocobalamine kind - AND then one more HEADS UP! If you have mercury fillings then that's a contra indication, too – otherwise there will be more harm than good. Your alternative, then, is methylcobalamine supplements - sublingual or regular.

Sublingual methylcobalamine B12 supplements will do (not great) if your intestinal tract is compromised and until your gut is repaired, this is the best form of B12. An intestinal tract in good repair has all the factors that allow the B12 to be absorbed and sent to the bone marrow and nervous system. B12 intestinal tract absorption is part of a complex dance – the stomach's hydro-chloric acid, intrinsic factor, R-protein, the enzyme Pepsin's availability, the intestinal bacteria viability and the intestinal-wall villi's health - all have to be in good working order. NO DYSBIOSIS!

People taking drugs such as Omeprazole (Prolosec), Tagament, Pepsid, Zantac, Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Losec and Metformin and people with celiac disease, malabsorption and / or Chrohn's or colitis challenges and meds are more likely to have stomach and intestinal tract absorption issues - even when eating careful and making the right food sources.

When the digestive system is compromised, then sub-lingual (under the tongue) B12 supplements are the way to go - and you can be expecting gradual improvements. Just keep at it!

These intestinal requirements tend to become a bit more difficult with age - when not given attention. AND they can be completely depleted and lacking from medications, anti-biotics, chemo-therapy, incorrect colon cleansing, illness and neglect... And all of this can cause dysbiosis (leaky gut syndrome).

Low hydrochloric acid in our stomachs is but one cause for less control of the bacteria's environment in the intestines. Then that improperly creates more of the analog B12 that blocks the beneficial B12, inspite of good food choices and supplementation. Many people have this challenge – and it is easy to fix. Guess-work is not advisable with an unhappy intestine. ASK!

When there is a true B12 deficiency - for whatever reason - then a resultant homocysteine elevation can be measured in blood lab tests that your doctor / GP should be suggesting (low levels are good for the heart - and high levels are a concern). 

Live Blood Analysis will also show where other weaknesses are.

Another useful test is a methyl malonic acid (MMA) urine test as methyl malonate is elevated in the urine in people with a true B12 deficiency. In BC this particular urine test must be demanded or else the standard tests are trotted out! ASK for a homocysteine test, too - far cheaper and easier to get. Certainly much cheaper for the health care system than unhappy hearts and kidneys! 


Only medical doctors are legally allowed to diagnose and treat any named diseases but we may be able to help alleviate or shed light on many of the related underlying reasons for the symptoms and look for the root causes.  We have 22 years of experience in nutritional microscopy and it's interpretation with dark field, brightfield and phase contrast.


Best qi,
Merrie Bakker B.Sc, M.Arch, CN


we’re in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, BC
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Merrie Bakker - Live Blood Analyst / microscopist - Health Educator - Author - Teacher - Speaker - Editor - Hands-on-Healer - Reflexologist - Dowser - Reiki Master - Nutritional Coach - a life-long student of holistic medicine and preventative health who believes with a passion that cellular disorganization can be prevented or reversed by ortho-molecular medicine, emotional healing work, environmental detoxification (many areas of concern) and nutritional and lifestyle re-balancing (many possibilities). Combined with vigilance, monitoring and team work, clients are encouraged to detox, rebuild, re-nourish, resolve and re-educate.

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Only medical doctors are legally allowed to diagnose and treat any named diseases but with live blood analysis and no-guessing nutrition, we may be able to help alleviate or shed light on many of the related underlying reasons for symptoms and find root causes.  We have 23 years of experience in nutritional microscopy and it's interpretation with dark field, brightfield and phase contrast.

Obligatory medical disclaimer:
It should go without saying... but we know and you know that you take full legal responsibility for whatever decisions you make regarding your health care.
What we offer on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The whole point here is that you think clearly for yourself and make your own decisions.


Merrie conveys information with anecdotes, stories, examples and a few sarcastic jokes here and there. My LBA was a lively experience. She is compassionate and patient.
She was completely open and nonjudgmental as to my past poor lifestyle choices. My long standing deficiencies on my vegan diet were laid out in front me – no guessing – nothing vague – just clear information. I recommend this to anyone who has been ill; anyone who has made severe diet changes; anyone who has been on serious meds for a long time.

Kirsten V.

By using Pacific Holistic, information / service either via the internet, email, in person or phone, you are deemed to consent to the terms and conditions of the following disclaimer: You hereby agree that you voluntarily seek the alternative health care services from Merrie Bakker that are intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your own physician or other healthcare professionals.
All information that is provided by Merrie Bakker online and elsewhere, is done so in an effort to educate and is complementary and holistic in nature.