Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy nervous-system function and for the formation of DNA and red blood cells. It helps guard against anemia, a blood condition that causes fatigue and weakness and all the B group vitamins have specific effects on brain cell functions and their deficiency leads to different neurological and psychological problems such as brain fog, memory loss and dementia in the elderly.
Why B12 is important. It impacts everything from energy levels to brain function. A fatty substance called myelin is essential for the formation of the sheaths that cover and protect the nerves of the central and the peripheral nervous system. The presence of myelin allows your nerves to communicate rapidly and efficiently, while damage to your myelin results in a breakdown of nerve communication, causing diseases of the brain. The brain is still a mystery in many aspects, but research is consistently being conducted connecting B12 deficiency to the many neurological issues that we are seeing so prevalent in our population today.
How do you get it from food? It’s hard when given the choices. Going down the list of foods that are ‘high’ in B12 naturally, most of these foods are not common choices, such as Beef Liver, Mackerel and Sardines. B12 is present in egg yolks (which is why you should never go egg whites only), but it would require eating 10-20 eggs a day…not likely for most of us. Processed and Dairy foods such as cereal and milk are ‘fortified’ with B12, but these companies use the low end B12 supplement of cyanocobalamin. Most people will need to supplement their B12.
When selecting a B12 supplement, shots are best, but an oral taken under the tongue is beneficial as well. Make sure the type of B12 is either Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is more common and is equivalent physiologically to vitamin B12 and can be used to prevent or treat pathology arising from a lack of vitamin B12. Stay away from cyanocobalamin.
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