“1 in 31 adults 51 and older have a Vitamin B12 deficiency” Source: Center for Disease control, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/b12/
Do I have your attention yet?
A vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling weak, numb or lethargic but do not think that these are the only issues that present themselves when you are deficient of the vitamin for long periods of time.
For instance prolonged deficiency may result in megaloblastic anemia and neurologic symptomatology, including disease of the spinal cord (subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord), nerves (peripheral neuropathy), and brain (disturbance of mood and cognition). Source
Causes of a B12 Deficiency
There are several factors that can contribute to a deficiency of vitamin B12, some are diet related and others are caused through certain metabolic or medical conditions.
Vegans and Vegetarians may find themselves at risk due to their low consumption of vitamin b12. B12 is found primarily in protein (meat) sources so abstaining from these products, while noble, may result in some health concerns long term.
Atrophinc Gastritis is a thinning of the stomach lining and may contribute to a deficiency.
Chron’s disease affects the small intestine and can hamper the absorption of vitamin b12.
Parasites or certain bacteria may prevent you from getting the b12 that you need.
Acid reducing drugs or surgery on the small intestine (including weight loss surgery) can cause absorption issues of b12.
Malnutrition, not eating enough or eating the wrong foods, can also contribute.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms
We have already pointed out some of the long terms effects of a deficiency but you might be also to tell if you have the following symptoms:
Bleeding gums and excessive bruising
Numbness in fingers or toes
It’s not enough to know about what can go wrong without B12 but it’s also important to consider the many benefits and important functions the vitamin provides when levels are adequate.
Vitamin b12 is essential in metabolising glucose and forming red blood cells. It is also critical in regulating DNA, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism as well as contributing to nerve and brain function.
It is also used to treat several conditions, some of which include:
…and a host of other issues.
Another benefit of regaining appropriate B12 levels is that most seem to regain energy levels while taking it. That is why several over the counter products designed to improve energy contain some b12.
There are some that claim that b12 aides them in losing weight. This can be true if the person was deficient in the vitamin in the 1st place. Often people struggling to lose weight go on a restricted calorie diet which can mean while they are attempting to lose weight quickly they are not getting enough b12. In these instances b12 can be the difference in success and failure.
What kind of B12
There are several forms of vitamin b12 but the two most common in the US is Methylcobalamin and Cyanocobalamin.
Methylcobalamin is the purest form of vitamin b12 and is also the most readily and completely absorbed version of the vitamin.
Cyanocobalamin is far more prevalent due to price however it has to be converted to methylcobalamin in the body before it is ready for use.
How to take B12
There are several schools of thought, none of which are “wrong” per se. By far the most common method for taking a b12 supplement is orally through a tablet or drop. This is a perfectly acceptable way to take b12 as a safeguard but might fall short if you really are deficient.
1st most oral supplements are cycanocobalamin and as we mentioned earlier there has to be a conversion before it is ready to use. In addition products ingested orally have to pass through the digestive system before it can even begin that process. This means that the dose will be far smaller than anticipated by the time it is ready for use.
Again, this is not an issue for most but as described earlier most people that are deficient have an underlying medical condition or have made a lifestyle choice that causes the problem in the 1st place.
If the body has trouble absorbing nutrients that are eaten the same will apply to pills or solutions.
On the other hand vitamin b12 injections are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and they skip the entire digestive process. This means that you are far more likely to get a full and complete dose when injection and your body will receive the benefit of the injection in much less time.
Where to Buy B12 Injections
If you are looking to start taking b12 via a shot you can go to a local physician or clinic where they will administer the shot for you. The benefit to this is that if you are scared to take shots someone does it for you.
The downside is the price. B12 injections are relatively cheap but by having someone give them to you your costs will rise. For example it is not uncommon to pay $10 or more for a cyancobalamin shot!!
Truth be told you can buy that same product for less than $2 a shot!
You would have to find an online clinic or pharmacy that can provide that to you. The downside is that you would have to be able to inject yourself (or have someone help you) but the upside is you have far more control of frequency and you save quite a bit of money, especially if this is something you have to do for the rest of your life.
What to Look For
Before you buy b12 shots on the web be sure to do some research on the company. Is the company based in the United States then steer clear. In the US the pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated and has mandatory testing practices in place before products can be sold. Regulations and conditions in other countries are up in the air and the last thing you need is to be injecting an unknown product made in unknown conditions into your body!
If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative for your b12 shots and live in Florida try visitng THIS SITE. The company provides a catalog of products that includes a complete cyanocobalamin kit in a 30 shot vial for only $49.99 (under $2 per shot)!
If you are located anywhere else THIS SITE has similar products and pricing, they even handle international orders!