The Amazing Benefits of B12
Vitamin B12, along with thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin, and folate make up the B Complex vitamins. These vitamins work synergistically to help the body’s cells produce energy. B12 is essential to the production of new DNA, red blood cells, proteins, hormones and fats, as well as regulating mood and maintaining healthy nervous and immune systems!
If you aren't getting enough B12 through diet alone, or your body isn't absorbing or using it efficiently, you can become deficient. This can lead to a range of health problems: intense fatigue, compromised immune function, trouble concentrating, anemia, and depression. B12 deficiency affects up to 15% of people in the U.S.
The aging process, a vegan diet, stress, certain medications, and illness can alter your body's ability to utilize B12 from food. Medications, such as those for acid reflux or Type 2 diabetes, affect B12 absorption. Also, if you've had major surgery, have digestive problems, or Celiac Disease you have an increased risk for B12 deficiency due to a compromised GI tract.
For nutrition supplements, B12 is available as
Multivitamin -- often the best approach for people who don't have a deficiency
Intramuscular injection -- the best route of administration
Sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue
A simple blood test can tell you if you’re deficient. Ask your Naturopathic Doctor to run labs and check out the B12 happy hour at Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center every Wednesday from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 10-12 pm!