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Vitamin B12: Deficiency, Testing, and How to Supplement

b12B12 deficiency is a serious health issue that can lead to permanent
neurological damage.

It is estimated that 25% of people in the US are deficient in B12.

Major symptoms include:

  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Depression, anxiety, mood instability
  • Muscle Pain
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or reflux
  • Memory loss or trouble concentrating
  • Visual issues

B12 is primarily found in animal products.

  • Food Sources of B12
  • Organ meats
  • Grass fed beef
  • Wild fish
  • Seafood
  • Pastured chicken
  • Pastured eggs
  • Grass fed dairy
  • Nutritional Yeast

Absorption of B12

What’s tricky though, is that many people have a difficult time absorbing
B12 from their food.

To be absorbed by the body, this vitamin requires a specific pH and a
compound called intrinsic factor (IF) to be made in the stomach. If you do
not have enough acidity in your stomach, or cannot produce enough IF – you
can consume all of the B12 in the world, but your body will never absorb
it.

And remember, you are what you absorb, NOT what you eat.

If you choose not to eat meat, or suffer from unexplained fatigue,
cognitive issues, or any of the other symptoms listed above – I highly
recommend testing and supplementing.

Testing B12 Status

Your doctor will likely only test serum B12 if you ask them to check your
levels, so make sure you request the following for the full picture:

  • Serum B12
  • Methylmalonic acid (MMA)
  • Homocysteine
  • Complete blood count (CBC)

Let’s say you get your results back and you’re deficient – what next?

If you’re not absorbing enough B12 from your food, sublingual tablets may
be effective.

Taking B12 sublingually allows some direct absorption through the blood
vessels in your mouth – bypassing the digestive process.

I also recommend intramuscular injections, as they provide another way to
bypass inborn absorption issues.

Then of course, we would address the reasons WHY the body isn’t absorbing
nutrients to begin with.

So what the heck should I supplement with?

There are different forms of B12, and I typically recommend methylcobalamin.

Dose depends on the severity of deficiency, but B12 is water-soluble and
your body will eliminate the excess naturally – meaning that overdoing it
simply makes expensive pee.

This isn’t a nutrient deficiency you want to mess around with.

If you live in the Seattle area, call 206.660.2349 to schedule your health
consult today!

Have you ever had a B12 shot? Did you notice a difference?

I have a tendency to be deficient so they always make me feel amazing!

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