I always knew B12 was an important addition to my supplementation regime. But After reading A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan I will never miss my daily does of B12 again. Its plays such a vital role in the health of our brain and is more commonly known for boosting your energy level. However, B-12 is an essential nutrient needed for optimal health and is needed throughout your entire body. B-12 is essential for your brain, heart, nervous system and mental health, just to name a few.
“Some two-fifths of the pupulation are severely deficient in B12 for a variety of reasons, from poor diet and dysbiosis (a disrupted gut flora) to use of medications like acid-reflux and diabetes drugs. Deficiency is traditionally defined as being below 150 to 200pg/mL (picogram/mililiter), but you want to be above 600 pg/mL.
It turns out that testing for deficiency by blood levels is not always a reliable indicator of what is going on in the brain or functionally in the body. Which is why it helps to look at levels of homocysteine and methylmalonic acid — two surrogate markers for levels of B12 as well.” Page 220, A of A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan
B-12 also called cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin that comes from microscopic organisms created in soil-based material. Like a probiotic, it is not created by plants or animals. Our body does not produce Vitamin B-12. Much like many other vitamins we must get this from our food in the form of animal protein or from a quality B-12 supplement. Vitamin B-12 is not toxic and is relatively safe even at high doses and it is very hard to get too much of it. I take anywhere from 2,500mcg to 5,000mcg a day. I would rather have a second dose of B-12 in the afternoon than caffeine.
Food sources of B-12
- Antibiotic free, Pasture Raised, Grass-Fed Cows Liver
- Organic fed, pasture raised Eggs
- Kombucha (has varying levels)
- Red Meat Medium to medium rare (antibiotic free-grass fed animal)
- Raw dairy (from a grass- fed, pasture raised animal)
- Shell Fish (most all ocean life is polluted with radiation and mercury)
The reason so many people are deficient in B-12 must be due to the fact that as we age it becomes harder to digest animal protein, which is filled with antibiotics and fed GMO soy and corn so the animals are deficient in B-12 as well. Most people have issues of one kind or another with their digestive systems and they are not able to absorb the B-12 they consume. Our colon is 35 feet long and just like our teeth it builds up a hard plaque on the walls hindering us from absorbing our vitamins and minerals. It’s always a good idea to cleanse your organs at least once a year to keep them in optimal condition. Most vitamins are water soluble and easily absorbed; B-12 is not and requires that our digestive system work properly along with many other factors that can affect B-12 absorption. Our bodies are dependent Intrinsic factor to bind to B-12, protecting it on its journey through the stomach and eventually reaching the small intestines where it is absorbed into the body. Intrinsic factor is a substance secreted by the parietal cells in the salivary glands and the stomach; it’s a glycoprotein. This is one more reason to consider a full body cleanse to clean out the colon and your other organs to get them working properly again. And maintenance afterwards with oxy-powder (globalhealingcenter.com) is necessary for optimal colon health.
“Intrinsic factor has a brief but very important life. Intrinsic factor is key for supporting energy, metabolism, and mental health by working with one nutrient – vitamin B-12. ~Dr. Edward Group
B-12 has an incredible effect on the nervous system and in healing damaged nerves. It acts as a neuropathic pain reliever especially for people suffering from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
Notes from Dr. Groups webinar on YouTube: Everything you need to know about B-12
Microwaving your food completely wipes out B-12 from your food
- Not just vegans are deficient in B-12, in fact almost everyone is deficient in B-12
- Most meat eaters are B-12 deficient
- It plays a significant role in DNA synthesis and formation
- Plays a key role in red blood cell creation and brain function
- Many people over the age of 30 have problems absorbing B-12
- It’s not that you are not eating enough B-12; it’s the fact that you are not absorbing enough B-12 due to an unhealthy digestive system
- Synthetic vitamin D is made with Cyanocobalamin
Notes from Dr. Groups webinar on YouTube: Everything you need to know about B-12
Things that can affect B-12 absorption:
- Stomach surgery can affect absorption
- Parasites and Tape Worms are known for stealing our B-12 before we can absorb it
- Our body is dependent on having enough intrinsic factor to carry the B-12.
- Genetically modified food that contains the BT toxin inhibits intrinsic factor production which is needed to carry the b-12 to the ileum to be absorbed, leading to leaky gut.
- Gluten effects the parietal cells in the stomach effecting your absorption of B-12
- Not creating enough intrinsic factor (in this case regular injections of B-12 may be necessary)
- Gastric Bypass surgery
- Ulcerative gastritis
- The immune system can attack intrinsic factor from a gluten reaction, eventually causing pernicious anemia
- Graves’ Disease
- Addison’s Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
“B12 supports myelin, the sheath around nerve fibers that allows for nerve impulses to conduct. So, when this vitamin is deficient it’s suspected to drive symptoms such as an impaired gait loss of sensation as well as signs of dementia and multiple sclerosis. Clinical B12 may be best known for its role in red blood cell production. If you are deficient you may end up with pernicious anemia.” -Kelly Brogan, MD
The term B-12 is a term used to describe a group of vitamins called cobalamins. There are four types:
Superior: Adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbI, 5’-deoxy-5’-adenosylcobalamin)
Also, known as dibencozide, cobamamide and cobinamide. Adenosylcobalamin is one of the two co factors of B-12. The second active form, this type of B-12 does not have to be converted in the body to get into the mitochondria where it is stored and predominantly used. The mitochondria are responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. Adenosylcobalamin is essential for providing coenzymes to different parts of tissues and plays a key role in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Adenosylcobalamin is required by the human body to produce energy at a cellular level. Without this all cellular processes will dismiss causing methodical failure and eventually lead to death if gone untreated.
Adenosylcobalamin is not stable in pill form. You can only get it from food containing adenosylcobalamin (and have a healthy digestive system to absorb the proper amount) or you can get it in a liquid supplement. It’s not found in supplements often due to its high cost of anywhere from fourteen to fifteen thousand dollars per kilogram. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered Dr. Group’s VeganSafe B-12, a beautiful combination of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin mixed in a non-GMO vegetable glycerin base. The glycerin protects the B-12 from some of your stomach acids and helps it make it to the small intestines where it is readily absorbed. I take 2,500 and sometime 5,000 micrograms a day.
Most readily absorbed in the body: Methylcobalamin (MeCbl)
This specific coenzyme form of B-12 is the first active form of B-12, structures an octahedral cobalt center and can be obtained as bright red crystals. It’s needed for your heart, vision and nervous system health, and is easily absorbed by the body. All forms of B-12 convert into methylcobalamin, requires no conversion and does its job without expending extra energy. Methylcobalamin has been known to aid in normalizing your 24hour internal clock, improving your quality of sleep and allowing you to sleep less while feeling refreshed when waking, in turn regulating the release of the stress hormone cortisol. If you suffer from numbness, tingling, loss of feeling, burning sensations, muscle cramps, nerve pain and slowness of reflexes you are probably deficient in B-12 and should supplement with Methylcobalamin. If you are constantly on a computer, you may suffer from a reduction of “visual accommodation” and Methylcobalamin has been shown to can improve this. Methylcobalamin combines with folate and can greatly increases homocysteine levels. Low homocysteine levels are an indication that you are deficient in Methylcobalamin. Homocysteine levels are directly related to heart disease and other health conditions.
Not harmful, yet not easily absorbed by the body: Hydroxocobalamin (HOCbI)
Hydroxocobalamin is the form of B-12 that pharmaceuticals have patented and is most often used as an injectable. It’s not bad but it’s not easily absorbed into the body. Injections are great and are fast acting but they do not contain Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin.
Bonded with cyanide and very poor quality: Cyanocobalamin (CNBbI)
Avoid this form of B-12 and any company/products that use this form of B-12. This is basically cobalamin bonded with cyanide, commercially produced by bacterial fermentation for low cost, cheap vitamin and food fortification, conventional cereal and other processed foods on the market today. It’s in about 99% of B-12 supplements. If you see this in the list of ingredients on anything you should avoid everything from that company, they are not a good company. I gave this information to a client of mine who suffers from Crohn’s disease and must take prescription B-12 supplements and injections on a regular basis. She called her doctor to see exactly what kind she was taking for all these years and to her dismay both the sublingual form and the injection she was receiving had cyanocobalamin in them. Her doctor had never even heard of Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin. She is now taking the same B-12 I take and is doing much better.
I use VEGANSAFE B-12 from Global Healing Center which is a 80/20 blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. It’s Vegan safe cultured from bacterial cells, made with a cold processing technique in vegan vegetable glycerin base. This product took Dr. Group 2 years to research how to process it properly and to find the most pure and safest form of B-12. I can honestly say that I felt a rush of energy after taking my fist dose and every time after that I notice the change in my energy level after consuming. I have never in my life felt a noticeable difference immediately after taking a vitamin supplement, not even after a B-12 shot.
“Vitamin B-12 is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the human body.” ~DR. Edward Group
Benefits of taking the proper B-12 supplement
- Promotes normal wake/sleep patterns by normalizing your internal 24-hour clock
- Promotes healthy energy levels
- Supports the cardiovascular system
- Promotes homocysteine
- Supports adrenal function
- Supports adrenal function
- Essential for Cell growth and reproduction
- Essential for DNA production
- Methylcobalamin is good for the heart
- Methylcobalamin is already broke down and easy to absorb
- Fights heart disease
- Prevention and treatment of anemia
- Contains Anti-aging properties
- Contributes to a stronger central nervous system function
- Aids in rebuilding damaged nerves
- Hydroxocobalamin is readily available in an injectable form
“Vitamin B12 is among the most important vitamins when it comes to depression and mental health.” ~Kelly Brogan, M.D. Author of A Mind of Your Own
Signs of B-12 Deficiency
- Movement amoralities
- Lethargy (Fatigue)
- Afternoon crashes
- Memory loss
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Burning sensations
- Slow reflexes
- Weight loss
- Poor memory
- Mental Cloudiness
- Low sperm count
- Bleeding Gums
- Muscle Cramps
- Pale skin
- Nervous disorders (ALS, Parkinson’s, Bell’s Palsy, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Epilepsy, Neuralgia, Dizziness, Cervical Spondylosis)
- Perceptual disturbances (hearing you name called and others)
- May lead to megaloblastic anemia (pernicious anemia), a fatigue ridden condition where red blood cells don’t develop properly and can’t carry oxygen efficiently.
My Boyfriends sister Jen, has suffered from Chron’s disease since she was 17 years old, in her 30’s she has had surgery which removed the part of her colon (terminal illum, right where the large intestines meets the large intestines, where the appendix is) that is responsible for absorbing B-12. When we met she was getting weekly injections of B-12 and taking high doses of sublingual B-12 and was still coming up as deficient when she had her blood work done. She was very depressed and suffered from horrible anxiety, felt like she couldn’t deal with life as a wife, a mother of two and a business owner she was desperate for answers. She has always tried to treat her condition with natural remedies and is sure that the medication the doctors had her on is what caused the hole in her intestines causing her to have the surgery in the first place.
I told her about VEGANSAFE B-12, forwarded the Webinar on B-12 from Dr. Group (link is at bottom of article) and told her to check with her doctors and ask what kind of B-12 she as receiving from them. Both her injectable dose and her sublingual were Cyanocobalamin, I was shocked that her injectable was Cyanocobalamin and not Hydroxocobalamin (the patented injectable form). So, she went completely off the B-12 from the doctors and started taking VEGANSAFE B-12 among other Global Healing products, once her depression faded she started a paleo diet (which she has done in the past and felt better). The next time she got her blood work done her numbers were so high it exceeded the highest number, for the first time in over 17 years she was no longer B-12 deficient.
Refrences and Resources:
Dr Group explains B-12 in a webinar: Everything you need to know about B-12
Kelly Brogan, M.D. explains the importance of B-12 in her book A Mind Of Your Own “The Truth about Depression and How Woman can Heal Their Bodies and Reclaim Their Lives, Pages 123 – 126 & Page 220
Disclaimer: The strategies, suggestions and techniques expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The Author, Kira Miller, is not rendering medical advice nor is she trying to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.
If you are under the care of a physician, it is imperative that you consult their advice before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
Kira Miller claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss or damage alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material presented here.