Beginners Guide to B12

What do you know about B12? Well you might know that it’s a vitamin, you might know that it’s something you have to take to be healthy (like most vitamins), and you might be pretty sure that it’s in the once a day, multi supplement you take.

But what is B12? Why do you need it? And what happens when your body has too little?

Well, if you have any of those questions, you’re in the right place.

B12 is a vitamin which your body needs in order to do things like, make red blood cells, nerves, and DNA synthesis (to name a few). So basically you need to have healthy B12 levels in order for your body to function properly. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to go about your daily life without blood, nerves, or DNA, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Now your body’s awesome, and it does a lot of really cool things (seriously, the human body can accomplish a lot more then we generally give it credit for), but it doesn’t make most of the vitamins it needs, and that includes B12, which means that you need to get it from either the food you eat or from supplements.

Unlike most vitamins though, you can’t get B 12 from plants. The only foods which contain B12 are meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. This means that if you’re vegan or vegetarian (and you’re not taking a B12 supplement) you’re probably not getting the proper amount of B12 which the body demands. You should also be aware if you’re over the age of 50, or someone who has a condition which interferes with food absorption, which can be caused by weight loss surgery, some diseases like Celiac’s, or prescription medication, you’re also at risk for low B12 levels.

Keep in mind there are 4 types of B12, Cyanocobalamin, Methylcobalamin, Adenosylcobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin. Most supplements use Hydroxocobalamin B12, or Methylcobalamin B12, but depending on your bodies genetics these two types of B12 might not be appropriate. So if you’ve taken B12 in the past, and you haven’t seen any change or improvement, it doesn’t mean that your levels aren’t low, it just means that you might need another type or minerals to help with the absorption and functionality.

If you’re unsure about your B12 levels ask your doctor or visit foxnaturalmedicine.com to get some help.

So what are some symptoms of B12 deficiency? If you have fatigue, tingling/numbness in the hands or feet, difficulty walking, anemia, swollen tongue, jaundice, fuzzy brain, paranoia, hallucination, or weakness you might be suffering from B12 deficiency. Unfortunately some of these symptoms (like paranoia and hallucinations) can also be results of other conditions so it can occasionally be a little tough figuring out if the symptom is a result of B12 deficiency or something else entirely. It also means that a B12 deficiency can be over looked or misdiagnosed.

One thing that you can do to up your B12 levels is take a B12 supplement. But you can also get a B12 inter-muscular injection. A B12 supplement is cheaper, and a good option if you’re able to digest and absorb the B12 well. However if your body has one of those conditions listed above which causes your body to poorly absorb food, taking a supplement isn’t going to benefit you as well, this is where the B12 injection works wonders.

B12, unlike what some sources on the internet might claim, is not a miracle vitamin, but it is essential to your body’s function and health. Contact Fox Natural Medicine (foxnaturalmedicine.com) to talk to Dr. Maggie Fox about your B 12 needs and schedule to get a B12 injection or supplements.