I see so much B12 lacking in everyone I see for LBA - almost an epidemic... and not all for the same reasons. As more and more (young) people switch to eating vegan - for whatever reasons - environmental, spiritual or financial - and often doing it on the advice of advertorials in dastardly "health" magazines that are covertly plugging products such as soy and spirulina and such. I shudder.
Also quite "shuddering " is the misdiagnoses of a B12 deficiency due to masked symptoms from those we trust with our health! So here are some details just in case it may have any bearing on your health today.
I always assumed GPs tested for B12 once in a while to make sure all patients are doing well... lack of B12 causes many issues that mimick symptoms that receive many suggestions, meds and diagnoses and labels in mainstream medicine – depressions, anemia, chronic fatigue, etc.
The most important thing to know is that there are several kinds of B12 and are not at all created equal.
For example, Analog B12, the kind that you cannot absorb, is removed from the body thru the stool. If your doctor's lab tests your stool for B12 then it’s Analog (not human active) that they will find and they’ll say it’s fine as after all they have just found it! You can actually be quite deficient of the real active B12 in spite of mainstream medical tests. We take in the analog B12 mostly from eating plant based foods and it can block the good B12 from metabolizing.
Analog is found in spirulina, chlorella, sea vegetables, tempeh, barley, malted syrup, shitake mushrooms, and above all (the ultimate culprit) unfermented soy (beans, flower, filler, tofu, milk, etc) and more. It’s presence blocks the absorption of any good B12 - Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine.
Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine. are the two bio-available B12’s which are found mainly in liver, clams-mussels-oysters and some other shell fish, sirloin beef, wild salmon, trout, haddock, tuna, eggs, yoghurt, cheeses and milk. (An example - one egg has the same amount of useable B12 as 1/2 a chicken). An omnivore who turns into a vegetarian can become very deficient in as little as 4 months! We store B12 in our livers.
B12 - the Hydroxocobalamine and Methylcobalamine variety - is what you want to see your supplements and possible B12 shots made of. This is the kind our bodies need, absorb and store. Without we can become very ill. Look carefully for the right kind at quality health food stores as a lot of poor quality abounds - it is very telling which companies will spend a bit more on quality content and which ones want us to blindly swallow the analog variety - the kind also known as cyanocobalamine.
B12 deficiency can parade/mimic as many conditions such as inflammation, indigestion, constipation poor co-ordination, mood swings, depressions, the beginnings of MS, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, infertility and increases in existing autism symptoms.
When B12 is bioavailable (through food and supplements), then there is help with improving sleep quality, degenerative neurological diseases, depression, detoxing thru methylation and many more important chemical reactions - B12 is intricately involved with the work of the bone marrow and the nerve supply.
What kind - some is useless - some is spot on?
Cyanocobalamine B12 supplements – the kind most often seen on the store shelves (almost in all the big box stores) is ineffective and requires higher dosages for little advantage.
B12 is part of a complex dance – the stomach's hydro-chloric acid and R-protein has to be in good supply and these tend to decrease with age when not given attention. The enzyme Pepsin and intrinsic factor in the small intestines has to be in goodworking order, too, and can only be so with good healthy intestinal vila and no dysbiosis (leaky gut syndrome).
Low hydrochloric acid in the stomach doesn’t control the bacteria there properly and creates more of the analog B12 that blocks the good B12 that you may be getting from food and supplementation and this leads to bloating and lack of bacteria also reduces the necessary intrinsic factor in the intestines. Many people have this situation – and is easy to fix.
GP’s can offer tests for B12 – as long as they are not blood tests as these often deliver false positives and false negatives and also measure the free analog B12 – dumb idea. It's of no value to know that you are circulating the stuff you don't want and then be told that there you have it! Your B12 is fine! (These standard tests' numbers above 550 pg/ml are deemed as okay and healthy – as set in Japan but lower numbers required in North America as normal and okay).
The most useful test is a methyl malonic acid (MMA) urine test (and hopefully it’ll be above .58 to 3.56 MMA ug/mg.)
Your GP will offer B12 shots – a great idea if your mercury fillings have been removed from your teeth – otherwise there will be more harm than good delivered to the nerve endings. Again, check to see what kind your physician or naturopath is actually using - they may have had an eager salesperson persuade them to get the cheaper cyanocobalamine variety.
Eating your way to B12 health is a wonderful alternative option - the best option. Eat the right foods and maintain a healthy intestinal track to metabolise your fine B12 containing foods and get this essential health factor working in your favour at all times - important while healthy and important while healing.
Important is also to use a live blood analysis session to see how you're doing and where you're at, so that there is no guessing.
That’s it from me – talk to you soon,