Vitamin B12 Dr Mercola

Vitamin B12

Many experts previously believed that strict vegetarians were the primary group that could develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you had adequate stores of this important nutrient in your body, the experts believed you were “safe” for many years from developing a B12 deficiency.

Now we know better.

Vitamin B12 depletion and deficiency are much more common than previously thought, especially in the over-60 population. In fact, it’s believed that almost one in four people over 60 have deficient levels of this vital vitamin.

Equally disturbing are emerging signs that other age groups harbor suboptimal blood levels of B12 as well.

Why is vitamin B12 deficiency such a big deal?

 

Your body depends on vitamin B12 for a host of functions, including…

  • Helping to maintain normal energy levels*
  • Promoting healthy neurological activity, including mental alertness*
  • Supporting normal homocysteine levels for healthy cardiac function*
  • Helping to ease occasional stress and sleeplessness*
  • Maintaining healthy cell growth and repair*
  • Promoting normal immune function*
  • Supporting normal metabolism of carbohydrates and fats*

When your blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, one or more of these functions may be disrupted.*

Without adequate blood levels of B12, you can experience symptoms related to low energy, mental fatigue, mood changes, sleep difficulties, and even occasional indigestion.*

Your body relies on the efficient conversion of carbohydrates to glucose – your body’s source of fuel – just like your car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in that conversion in your body.* Likewise, B12 enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well.*

Contrary to what you might have heard, there’s really no solid evidence that supplemental vitamin B12 helps you lose weight.

Overall, vitamin B12 is a nutrient your body cannot do without for efficient, healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.*

How You Get Vitamin B12 Deficient

The older you get the more likely you are to have a vitamin B12 deficiency.  The two ways that you become deficient in vitamin B12 are from not getting enough in your diet and from losing the ability to absorb it.

I recently visited India which is primarily a vegetarian based culture and current studies there show about 80% of the adults are deficient in vitamin B12. However, vegans are  not the only ones who can become vitamin B12 deficient. 

The older you get the more your digestive system breaks down, especially if you have been following the standard American diet. Specifically the lining of your stomach gradually loses its ability to produce hydrochloric acid which releases vitamin B 12 from your food. The use of antacids or anti ulcer drugs will also lower your stomach acid secretion and decrease your ability to absorb vitamin B 12.  Infection with Helicobactor pylori, a common contributor to stomach ulcers, can also result in vitamin B12 deficiency.

However the main cause of vitamin B 12 deficiency is a term researchers call food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome.  Cobalamin is the scientific term for vitamin B12.   This typically results when your stomach lining loses its ability to produce intrinsic factor which is a protein that binds to vitamin B12 and allows your body to absorb it at the end of your small intestine.


Figure 1. Cobalamin (cbl) absorption and metabolic pathway. (A) Structure of cobalamin (vitamin B12) with a corrin ring bound to a central cobalt atom. (B) The metabolic journey of cbl from nutrient intake to its intestinal absorption. Endocytic receptors and proteins responsible for vitamin B12 intestinal absorption include cubilin (CUBN), amnionless (AMN), receptor-associated protein (RAP) and megalin (LRP-2). The membrane megalin/transcobalamin II (TCII) receptor complex allows the cellular uptake of cbl. Lysosomal-mediated degradation of TCII and subsequent release of free cbl is essential for vitamin B12 metabolic functions. MS: methonine synthase; THF: tetrahydrofolate; MTHFR: methyltetrahydrofolate reductase; MCM: methylmalonyl coA mutase.

NEW Form of Vitamin B12 Not Found in Most Health
Food and Vitamin Stores

If you often feel tired, run-down, and lacking in energy, you're not alone.  Low energy is one of our country's biggest health complaints.

Some of the top reasons for this are: 

  • Refined foods sold in grocery stores are depleted of vital nutrients...
  • Refined foods are loaded with sugar...
  • Refined foods are full of chemicals...
  • Refined foods are overloaded with food colorings; and...
  • Refined foods are loaded with preservatives...

...but it doesn't stop there, either. 

Add the harmful effects of caffeine, pollution, conventional therapies, and the stress most of us experience everyday... and you've got yourself a recipe for energy drain.

Well, I'm here to tell you there's a new way to give yourself extra energy.* Actually, a cutting edge way to feel more energized -- without the jitteriness of caffeine.*  More on this in a moment.

Now, of course, powering up with extra energy is just one of B12's many health benefits*.  So...

What Critical Health Benefits Does this Vitamin Bring to the Table?

For starters, vitamin B12 helps folic acid regulate the formation of red blood cells, and helps your body use iron*. 

In addition, it is also needed for proper digestion, food absorption, carbohydrate and fat metabolism.*  It also helps keep your nervous system healthy by assisting the nerves of your body to function and communicate in an optimal manner.*  

But that's not all...far from it!

B12 also helps in cell formation and cellular longevity.*  Plus, it can support female reproductive health, and promote normal nerve growth and development by maintaining the fatty sheaths.*  These fatty sheaths play a vital role as they cover and protect your nerve endings.*

What's more, this workhorse of a micronutrient is critical to your circulation and adrenal hormone production -- plus, it helps boost your immunity.*  And, oh yes, let's not forget...

Vitamin B12 supports a healthy mood and feelings of well-being.*  And then there's this -- it also provides excellent support for your memory, mental clarity, and concentration.*

Aside from using B12 to give you an energy boost, when does it also make sense to supplement with this all-important vitamin?  Well, there are several good reasons to take vitamin B12.

And the first reason to take it is if you are a carb type or a strict vegetarian.

If You Avoid Meat, You Probably Need to Take B12


Vegetarians have an increased need for vitamin B12

Many people avoid red meats for a large variety of reasons. If you are one of them, you are at a high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Why? Because plant sources have virtually no vitamin B12.  And oral forms of B12 in nearly all supplements are practically useless, as little is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Vegetarians should take this essential micronutrient to ensure an adequate supply of it,because it is found almost exclusively in animal tissues.  And, the few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs -- not the form that provides all the benefits of the real deal. 

Simply put, an analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12.  The result being, your body's need for the nutrient actually increases

Furthermore, your body's need for this nutrient may also increase if you take Metformin©.  Metformin may interfere with calcium metabolism.  And this interference may reduce B12 absorption, because this absorption requires calcium.

Studies suggest that 10% to 30% of patients taking Metformin show evidence of reduced vitamin B12 absorption.  That's why it is important to speak with your doctor to discuss the best way to maintain B12 levels when taking this medication.

Now, if getting a good night's sleep has also become increasingly more difficult for you, here's...

What Your Sleeping Difficulties May Be Trying to Tell You!

If you suffer from sleeping difficulties, I recommend taking vitamin B12 during the day.  I believe it can help you.*  Here's why. 

B12 plays a vital role in melatonin production.*  Melatonin has been called "the sleep hormone" because it is responsible for letting you get a good night's sleep.  

As you age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to get a good night's sleep because your body becomes less efficient at making this hormone.  And that's why it's a good idea to take B12 to help you sleep like a baby each night.*

Moreover, a lack of adequate B12 can have other annoying consequences too. 

Do You or a Loved One Experience Any of the Following?

Not many know it, but if you or a family member experience: 

  • Tiredness and feelings of weakness...*
  • Less-than-optimal nervous system functioning...*
  • Less-than-optimal eye health...*
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss...*
  • Occasional constipation and gas...*
  • Feelings of mild moodiness...*
  • Less-than-optimal memory...*
  • A tendency toward nervousness...*
  • Less-than-optimal balance...*
  • Less-than-optimal liver or heart health...*
  • Premature grey hair...
  • Occasional digestive issues...

...you may need to supplement with vitamin B12, even if you eat foods rich in B12.  Oddly enough, that wasn't a typo.

You can eat plenty of meat, poultry, lamb's liver, brewer's yeast, clams, eggs, herring, mackerel, kidneys, milk, dairy products, or seafood -- and still have low levels of B12.  How can that be?

It could be because your body is unable to absorb it from your gut.  You see B12 needs the help of a protein in order to be absorbed.  That protein is called intrinsic factor.  And because the lining of your stomach makes intrinsic factor, people with less-than-optimal gastrointestinal health often need to supplement with B12.* 

Likewise, most people over the age of 50 have a limited ability to absorb B12, too.  Thus, the need for supplementation

Pain-Free Supplementation

With that said, the form of vitamin B12 I'm recommending does NOT come as a pill, tablet, capsule, gelcap, or liquid.

Amazingly, it's B12 in a spray.

A modern marvel that I believe gives most people far better results than anything else.  The name of this new product is B12 Energy Booster.*  And it's only available here on Mercola.com. 

Now, here's the question you may be asking at this point:

"How can something as simple as a spray
work so much better than a pill, tablet, or capsule?"

In a nutshell, I came across an American company that uses Nano technology.  This breakthrough technology uses a patented NanoMist® delivery system that shrinks the size of the B12 molecule all the way down to microscopic nanodroplets™.

How does this benefit you?

Quite simply, the B12 in B12 Energy Booster comes in an easily absorbed form your body can now use*.

It turns out that this fine-mist spray formula you spray into your mouth causes the essential nutrients to become absorbed rapidly.* 

As a result, it delivers more of this product's nutrients to your circulatory system, tissues and cells quickly.*  And that's not all...

The tiny nanodroplets™ in each fast-acting spray are designed to release the B12 vitamin within a steady, time-controlled manner. This ensures a longer-term benefit from each single dose, boosting efficiency even further.

Needless to say, when you combine B12 Energy Booster's* time-release mechanism with its rapid, uniform and complete absorption, you get one incredible product.  A product that, in my opinion, is clearly superior to any B12 pill, tablet, capsule, gelcap, or liquid on the market today.

Remember -- only a small fraction of this crucial vitamin gets absorbed through your gut when you take it in a pill, tablet, capsule, or gelcap.

Why Our "Nano" Products are Safe

Our manufacturer uses molecular mechanism based formulations consisting of highly concentrated oral spray, dropper, and beverage delivery systems in order to allow for absorption throughout the complete digestive system and to reduce first pass liver metabolism.

They have screened over a thousand raw materials and observed very large differences in particle size and solubility. They then utilized a proprietary screening process to identify raw materials that have the smallest particle size combined with natural methods to balance the hydrophobicity (HLB/LogP) and ionic state (pKa, zeta potential) in a water based delivery vehicle.

They have identified numerous food approved, GRAS, and natural products to restore the solubility and bioavailability of most dietary supplements. Their technology delivers completely natural, NOT synthetic, molecules to your digestive system in a form that most closely mimics the hydrated structure found in nature.

The Safe “Nano” Formulation Process

After extensive experimentation our manufacturers found that the most effective methods to enhance the solubility of raw materials is to use a panel of gentle natural methods to disperse (predigest) artificial amorphous aggregates to nanoparticles or smaller (i.e. solution, dispersion, emulsion).

They verify the small particle size by ultrafiltration and particle size analysis using laser diffraction. Unlike the process used in most tablets, they do not add binders, fillers, flow agents, or other artificial excipients. A brief summary of the natural methods used to make stabilized solutions are discussed below that vary for each raw material used in our molecular mechanism based formulations.

  1. Solvent is purified water to mimic 70% found in living systems.
  2. Mild heat to provide kinetic energy to relax the crystalline lattice of aggregates.
  3. Emulsification with natural nano molecules (e.g. saponins, bile salts, phospholipids).
  4. Use only low energy mixing equipment that does not disrupt chemical bonds (i.e. mimic shear from chewing).
  5. Use natural co-solvents based on LogP and HLB of raw materials (e.g. vegetable glycerin).
  6. Adjust pH to for optimal ionization for solubility and to decrease microbial growth.
  7. Adjust ionic salts to stabilize charged molecules in solution (i.e. Zeta potential).
  8. Use natural preservatives such as rosemarinic acid, glycerine and potassium sorbate (low total dose in 780ul spray).
  9. Add natural molecules to stabilize active ingredients (e.g. prevent hydrolysis, oxidation, precipitation).
  10. Use standardized raw materials for highest concentration of active ingredients (HPLC standardized).
  11. Use great tasting all natural flavorings and essential oils for improved compliance.
  12. Use natural sweeteners with specific health benefits (e.g. xylitol).

Better than the FDA Requires

Our manufacturer's technology platform reverses the artificial large amorphous aggregates to maximize absorption and provides a preferred administration vehicle for the large number of people that do not like to swallow tablets/capsules.

By using laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering they found that the particle size of most dietary supplements (even those claimed to be nano) contain particle aggregates of 1 to 100 microns (size of bacteria to dust mites).

Particles that are micron size contain thousands of molecular aggregates that are often larger in size than the cell and not useful unless they can be digested. The FDA only requires vitamin manufacturer's to show that the tablets/capsules break apart, and does not specify any particle size requirement or that the formulation can be processed effectively by the digestive system.

The main method the body has designed to disrupt aggregates (i.e. chewing) is not even used with tablet/capsule formulations. Bioavailabilty studies from a hundreds of peer reviewed publications with drugs or natural products consistently shows that a reduction particle size increases absorption (i.e. AOC, Cmax).

Why Our Technology is SAFE!

Molecules in their monodispersed or multimeric nano complexes interact to catalyze life. For example, when you juice vegetables, the cell walls are mechanically disrupted with the mechanical shear of the juicer. This mimics shear action from chewing. The cytoplasmic fluid containing vitamins and other small molecule bioactives are released as juice that can easily pass through a submicron filter.

Standard laboratory procedures used in cell culture experiments further show that nanoparticles or monodisperse solutions are the building blocks of life. Tissue culture media is filtered 0.2 microns (200 nm) to contain only nano or smaller forms of all vitamins, proteins, lipids, growth factors, etc that is necessary for cell growth, T cell activation, and even differentiation of stem cells.

While the particle size of our manufacturer's formulations are less than a micron, they have verified using a Malvern Spraytec device that the particle size of the droplets from their fine mist sprayers ranges from 30 to 100 microns and are too large to travel the lungs.

Each micron sized spray droplet contains thousands of molecules (i.e. solution, dispersion, or emulsion) in a hydrated state for maximal absorption. The natural formulation technologies used by our manufacturer provide the benefits of enhanced absorption, and avoid the safety issues of artificial particles.

Let's take that a step further and shed some light on multivitamins you may find shocking... 

Here's the REAL TRUTH about the B12 in Most Multivitamins:

It all boils down to this...

Most of them contain 100-200 micrograms of B12.  But, if you actually took 500 micrograms of B12, you'd get an absorption of about 1.8 micrograms.  Let me repeat, only 1.8 out of a total of 500 micrograms.  That's an absorption rate of only one third of one percent!  But, that's only half of the story.

The late Victor Herbert, a renowned B12 researcher, said that many multivitamin products on the market today contain dangerous B12 analogs.

In other words, analogs get created when crystalline B12 interacts with other nutrients in multivitamin products, such as vitamin C, iron and copper  -- increasing your body's need for B12.  Does the company selling the multivitamin tell you this vital bit of information?  Probably not!      

Truth be told, most multi-vitamins sold today are a complete waste of money when it comes to their B12 quality and performance.  Now listen up:

Each bottle of B12 Energy Booster delivers a serving size (1,200 micrograms) of 6 sprays per day.  And you get approximately 205 metered  sprays in each container.  Because this ends up being a 34 day supply, you actually receive a nice bonus of 4 additional days!

How can you beat that?  And that's just the beginning.  Another nice feature of B12 Energy Booster*  is that it...

Comes in a Tasty Natural Spearmint Flavor

And in addition to tasting great, it's absolutely FREE of...

  • Sugar
  • Yeast
  • Starch
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Dairy

Better yet, it's also FREE of artificial flavors, color, synthetics, binders, fillers, wax, shellac, talcum and animal gelatin.

The bottom line is that our B12 Energy Booster is stimulant-free, contains only natural ingredients, and tastes great!  Best of all, it's packaged in a convenient pre-metered, non-aerosol container that easily fits in your purse or pocket.  Last but not least, it...

Dr Mercola