Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) works together with folate in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. It contributes to

  • the normal functioning of the nervous system
  • normal psychological function
  • normal energy-yielding metabolism
  • the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
  • the normal functioning of the immune system

B12 deficiency is far more common than most doctors and the general public realize. Data from the Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study suggest that 40 percent of people all ages have plasma B12 levels in the “low normal range” – but at this range many of them already experienced neurological symptoms.

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The 9 percent that showed actual deficiency were at a more progressed level of deficiency.
Most surprising to the researchers was the fact that low B12 levels were as common in younger people as they were in the elderly.

Anemia is the final stage of B12 deficiency. Long before anemia sets in, B12 deficiency causes several other problems, including fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems.

B12 is found only in animal products. B12 is the only vitamin that contains a trace element (cobalt), which is why it’s called cobalamin. Cobalamin is produced in the gut of animals. It’s the only vitamin we can’t obtain from plants or sunlight. Plants don’t need B12 so they don’t store it.
Plant foods said to contain B12 actually contain B12 analogs called cobamides that block intake of and increase the need for true B12.

Oddly, researchers found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake, even though these foods supply the bulk of B12 in the diet. “It’s not because people aren’t eating enough meat,” Tucker said. “The vitamin isn’t getting absorbed.”
In the elderly, it’s probably because they don’t secrete enough stomach acid to separate the vitamin from the meat proteins that tightly bind it. We can only speculate about the reasons for poor absorption of the vitamin from meat among younger adults or why B12 appears to be better absorbed from dairy products than from meats.

Recommended dietary allowance: 1 capsule

Servings per bottle: 100 capsules

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