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There are a handful of reasons why B12 would be deficient in your body from medication interference, poor diet or even a well thought out vegan/vegetarian diet. Without B12 a person can experience depression, irritability, memory, or have concentration issues. Imagine all of the misdiagnoses all because of one tiny supplement missing from your diet!
If you or someone you know has been on acid blocker medication and they experience the above concerns, consider B12. Did you know that one of the side effects of acid blocking medications is a B12 deficiency? Our bodies need Hydrochloric acid to absorb B12. By reducing hydrochloric acid with medication our ability to absorb B12 goes down.
When we age our bodies hydrochloric acid production declines and one of the things that goes hand in hand with that are low mineral levels and B12 deficiencies. Let me say that another way. Our bodies need hydrochloric acid to absorb B12 from our food, if there is no hydrochloric acid B12 will not absorb and will just pass right through our bodies. In the golden years B12 deficiencies should be even more concerning and be considered in a daily regimen. If you are low in B12 your years will not be golden.
This should serve as a reminder for anyone battling trauma, infections or any chronic disease, there is a good chance that there is a digestive component as part of the clinical picture. Also, as I mentioned a moment ago, acid blocking medication (if taken for a prolonged period) increases your chances of being low in B12.
DNA and RNA require B12 with folic acid. These are necessary in your body for the synthesis of building blocks for DNA and RNA. When it comes to the integrity of the nervous system as well as energy production, B12 is essential! To mention all the conditions that a B12 deficiency is associated with would take quite a while, so I will focus on some of the neurological effects of B12 deficiencies.
B12 deficiency affects the peripheral nerves and in later stages the spinal cord. Patients may experience tingling and numbness in the extremities, loss of vibratory and position sensation, abnormalities of gait, age related hearing loss, muscle spasticity, irritability, depression, loss of concentration, memory loss and dementia.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
Plant sources of B12 do not have the same biological activity for humans and as a result most vegetarians are also low in B12 and should supplement. Ask your physician to do a blood test called a CBC with differential to determine if you have B12 deficiency. If the mean corpuscular volume or MCV is above 89.9, that is a clue you may be low in B12. Also have the mean corpuscular hemoglobin, or MCH, checked. Values above 31.9 indicates a B12 / folate deficiency.
You can suspect a deficiency if either the MCH or MCV are high, but it is not conclusive. If they are BOTH high, you can be confident that you have either a B12 or folic acid deficiency or both.
If you take a multivitamin with B12 in it and have a serum B12 test done, it will show a false positive. I find Standard Process B12 and Biotics cherry flavored lozenge from B12-2000 lozenge absorb nicely. The lozenges particularly will deliver 2000 mcg of B12, 800 mcg of folate (the natural form of folic acid) and 2 mg of B6 (in the p-5-p form).
There are other lozenge's out there that offer B12, but avoid the methylated forms for oral supplementation. Methylated forms will chelate heavy metals that may be used in your dental fillings and release them throughout the body.
For many people, especially seniors, hydrochloric acid should be supplemented withB12 to aid in absorption. According to research, oral supplementation can be effective, especially if you are already supplementing with hydrochloric acid. However some people may need B12 injections.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing depression, irritability, memory, or concentration issues, consider B12. Better yet, talk with your clinician, ask them to do a CBC and look for these markers. I love the saying "in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." Enhancing the quality of life is what we all want, and we can do something about. Your wellness professional is a great resource!
To Your Health!