What exactly is B12 and how do you know if you need more? To find out, we asked naturopath Holly Fennell.
What exactly is a B12?
Found in animal products such as eggs, meat nad milk, B12 plays an important role in the metabolism of every cell in your body! It promotes healthy blood cell formation, nerve cells and proteins in the body. It also contributes to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, and is vital for energy production in the body.
How do you know you need more B12?
Symptoms of low B12 include low energy and fatigue, decreased concentration, decreased memory and even symptoms of depression, anxiety or irritability.
People with a more severe deficiency may report a sore mouth and tongue or numbness and tingling in the extremities. Vegetarians and people with gastric issues can be more prone to low B12.
Many drugs can reduce B12 levels. You should note, however, that nicotine can reduce B12 absorption, as can excess alcohol consumption.
People with a condition called Pernicious Anemia require B12 injections; it's a condition in which the intestines cannot properly absorb B12 because the stomach cells do not produce intrinsic factor, which ios required to do so.
What is the biggest myth about B12 injections?
Many people promote B12 for weight loss. It's important to understand that B12 can increase your energy and boost your metabolism, thus allowing you to exercise more thus promoting healthy weigh management
What's the difference between tablets vs. injections?
Injections and tablets can be given in three forms B12 : hydroxycobalamin, methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin Methyl being the most bioavailable to your body.
Both tablets and injections are acceptable, but often injections are given to ensure absorption. Both methods will treat a B12 deficiency. Holly often uses injections to be certain the patients will absorb the B12. When going the tablet route, it is best absorbed in a sublingual form, meaning the tablet dissolves under your tongue.
How long before it takes effect?
Injections can be done once a week to once a momnth as needed. If taking oral supplementation Holly often doses it daily. Please make sure you are injecting a trusted source of B12 that is preservative free, and be sure that a qualified professional is administering your injection.
In Holly's practice she most commonly injects with Methylcobalamine, a very active form of B12 that effectively treats not only deficiencies but helps with symptoms of low energy, anxiety, depression and even diabetic neuropathy.
What are the side effects?
B12 is considered a very safe vitamin, thus toxicity is rare. Although an allergy is also rare, it should not be given to people with cobalt or cobalamin allergies. Symptoms of toxicity include diarrhea, rashes, difficulty breathing or swelling of the body.