The importance of proper nutrient intake can’t be understated. Nutrients, such as vitamins serve an important role in enabling our bodies to perform at optimal levels. There are 13 essential vitamins (vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12) that our bodies require. Unfortunately, there are many of us who aren’t adequately supplying our bodies with the vitamins it needs to be healthy (especially as we age).
One of the more common deficiencies happens to be B12.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 is an essential component to the development of blood cells, as well as nerve and brain function. Every cell in our body relies on B12 to perform properly, and due to the fact that our bodies can’t naturally produce the compound, we must find alternative ways to get it. Such as in our food, supplements, and/or injections.
Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12 that is found only in supplements. While methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring form that you can get through either food sources or supplements. It can be found naturally in animal products such as beef, clams, dairy, and fish. When cyanocobalamin is used, this synthetic form contains a cyanide molecule that needs to be converted to methylcobalamin.
While it’s easy to acquire this essential vitamin, the problems arise when our body attempts to process it. Some people lack the enzyme to convert B12 into its active methylated state. Additionally, Cobalamin or B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which means it dissolves quickly as it passes through our body.
Both of these factors, the difficulty some may have in absorbing it and the speed at which the vitamin dissolves, can contribute to B12 deficiency.
Who is Most Likely to be Deficient in Vitamin B12?
- Vegan & Vegetarians – According to Healthline, around 80-90% of all vegans and vegetarians may be B12 deficient due to their strict diet.
- Those who take acid reflux medicine called proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, protonix etc) this can inhibit B12 absorption from the stomach into the bloodstream.
- Those who take the diabetic drug metformin
- Those who have frequent alcohol consumption
- Pernicious Anemia – Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disorder that usually affects individuals 50 and over. In order for the body to absorb B12, the vitamin needs to bond with a stomach protein produced by the cells in the stomach lining called intrinsic factor. For people who have pernicious anemia, their immune system erroneously attacks these cells, which prevents the intrinsic factor from binding with vitamin B12, hindering the body’s ability to absorb it.
Other disorders that could contribute to B12 deficiency include, atrophic gastritis, and any condition that affects your small intestine, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Weakness and exhaustion
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Smooth tongue
- Irregular bowel movements
- Vision loss
- Nerve problems like numbness or tingling
- Depression or other psychological issues
What are the Benefits of Vitamin B12 Injections?
Reduce your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. When you receive a B12 shot, the nutrients are directly absorbed into the bloodstream. This is opposed to taking oral supplements or eating B12 rich foods, which increases the risk of diminishing the potency of the vitamin because it has to travel through your stomach first.
B12 injections can have many benefits. Such as helping to provide energy, clarity of mind, enhanced sleep, improved mood, a boosted immune system, increased physical stamina and potentially aid in weight management.
At The Hydration Room, we use the methylated source of B12 while avoiding the synthetic cyanocobalamin. Although the amount of cyanide in vitamin B12 supplements is not thought to be especially toxic or dangerous, it is not something that we at The Hydration Room would want to give our patients who want to improve their health and wellness.
For those interested in experiencing the benefits of B12 injections, find a location near you, and book an appointment today!