What Is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is important for the development of DNA and red blood cells in your body. Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. This is how B12 increases energy levels.
B12 also has important roles in the functioning of the nervous system and production of bone marrow.
This vitamin is produced in the body by the large intestine, however most of this is passed before it can be absorbed by the body, as absorption occurs in the small intestine, therefore it is essential to get this vitamin through diet or supplementation.
The Four Types of B12
Cyanocobalamin is the form most commonly used in vitamin B12 fortified foods and vitamins, as it is not sensitive to oxidation. It is also the most common form used for B12 injections.
Hydroxocobalamin is not normally present in the human body, as it is produced by bacteria. This form of B12 can be used as an antidote to cyanide poisoning. This is the form we use for all of our IV blends.
Adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin occur naturally in the body. Reserves of adenosylcobalamin are stored in the liver and converted to methylcobalamin as required.
Dietary Sources Of Vitamin B12
Natural dietary sources of B12 include dairy, eggs, fish, meat and poultry.
Eggs have the lowest bioavailability of these sources for humans, at less than 9%, where the bioavailability for humans from fish, meat and poultry ranges from 40% to 60%.
Vegetarians and vegans should check food packaging for foods fortified with B12.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms
If you are worried you may be at risk of B12 deficiency, watch for the following factors:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Vision loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your doctor can check your B12 levels in your blood.
Risk Factors To B12 Deficiency:
Since vitamin B12 is absorbed in the small intestine, illnesses that impact how your body absorbs nutrients from food can put you at risk for a vitamin B12 shortage.
Additionally, dietary B12 is bound by a substance called intrinsic factor in the stomach, which transports it to the small intestine for absorption.
Since the stomach secretes intrinsic factor when there is stomach acid present, any illness or condition (Grave’s, Crohn’s, colitis) that affects the stomach and small intestine can interfere with the absorption of B12.
We include hydroxocobalamin in all of our IV blends and have methylcobalamin available for those who need that specific form of B12 and we use Cyanocobalamin for IM injection. We have many ways to help you increase your B12 levels and feel great!