Lack of Vitamin B12 has been found to cause a type of brain damage resembling schizophrenia. The symptoms are sore mouth, numbness or stiffness, a feeling of deadness, shooting pains, needles-and-pins, or a hot and cold sensation. B12 deficiency can also manifest itself as nervousness, neuritis, unpleasant body oder, menstrual disturbances, and difficulty walking. Because the lack of this vitamin causes spinal cord deterioration, if a deficiency is not detected in its early stages, it may result in permanent mental deterioriation and paralysis (1).
Although Vitamn B12 is water-soluble, just as all the B-complex vitamins are, it is stored in the liver, kidney, and other body tissues. As a result of this, it may take 5 to 6 years after nutritional intake has slacked off for deficiency symptoms to occur. A muco-protein enzyme called the "intrinsic factor" is necessary for B12 to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. This special digestive secretion produced by the stomach increases absorption in the small intestine (2). Autoimmune reactions in the body can bind the intrinsic factor, preventing B12 absorption.
When taking B12, it is a good idea to also supplement with calcium at the same meal, as calcium assists with absorption. There must also be hydrochloric acid present. A properly functioning thyroid gland also helps with absorption of B12 (1).
Many recent medical studies have shown that B12, B6 and Folic Acid taken together can reduce coronary artery disease.
The RDA for Vitamin B12 is 2 micrograms. However, when one is in a deficiency state, it is recommended that 2,000 micrograms daily be consumed for at least a month, followed by a daily intake of 1,000 micrograms. For vegetarians, a dosage of 100 micrograms per day is recommended (4).
This vitamin will drastically increase your body's energy and vitality as well.
Vitamin B12 is best absorbed sublingually. If swallowed, less than 10% of it is absorbed through the digestive tract. Vitamins B12, B6 and Folic Acid lower homocysteine levels, which are linked to almost every serious disease condition. Homocystine ilevels are a better indicator of heart disease than cholesterol. Taken for at least 2 to 3 months, it can cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%
The only natural source for B Vitamins is nutritional yeast. Purchase Here
Ailments which may benefit from Vitamin B12:
Cirrhosis of liver
Overweight and obesity (5)
Low sperm count
Sources for Vitamin B12:
Brewer’s yeast, clams, eggs, herring, kidney, liver, mackerel, milk and dairy products, and seafood, sea vegetables, such as dulse, kelp, kombu, and nori, and soybean and soy products, alfalfa bladderwrack, comfrey leaves (7) (8).
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(1) Dunne, Lavon J. (1990). Nutrition Almanac, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 32.
(2) Murray, Michael T. (1996). The Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, p. 127.
(3) Murray, as in (2) above, p. 130.
(4) Murray, as in (2) above, p. 136.
(5) Dunne, as in (1) above, p. 34.
(6) Murrah, as in (2) above. p. 132-136.
(7) Inner Self Publications. (2000). "Vitamin B12." Available Online: [http://www.innerself.com/Health/guides/VITAMIN_B12.htm].
(8) Personal Health Lifestyles. (2000). "Vitamin B12." Available Online: [http://www.innerself.com/Health/guides/VITAMIN_B12.htm].