Are You Deficient In Vitamin B12?

Did you know…

A B12 deficiency can mimic Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, early Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetic Neuropathy, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  It can make both men and women infertile or cause developmental disabilities in children. Other times it can lay in wait, building its victim’s risk of deadly diseases, ranging from heart attacks and strokes to cancer.

B12 deficiency is considered an “old people’s disease” by doctors but, if you’re over 40, you’re at an elevated risk for B12 deficiency. If you’re over 60, you have up to a 40% chance of having low B12 levels. It can strike at every age and from every walk of life: babies, children, young men and women, middle-aged people and senior citizens.

Low levels of B12 can cause a range of symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness
  • numbness
  • tingling sensation in the fingers and toes
  • chronic back and leg pain
  • speech loss
  • severe developmental delay in children
  • severe depression
  • and many more.

The good news is, if you develop this deficiency, it’s easy to spot, easy to treat, and easy to cure-but only if your doctor diagnoses you before it’s too late. Unfortunately, that frequently does not happen. B12 deficiency is not a new or “fad” disease. It is listed in the textbooks of any first year med student. It’s not a rare disease, either. So, how can something as simple as a vitamin deficiency, that can cause so much suffering go so unnoticed? One explanation is that doctors receive surprisingly little or outdated training in the diagnosis or prevention of B12 deficiency. In general, doctors are trained to recognize only the blood abnormalities associated with the deficiency, not the neurological abnormalities, including the “pins and needles” sensation in the hands and feet, memory loss, depression, personality changes, dizziness, loss of balance or even dementia.

These nervous system symptoms often precede classic blood abnormalities by many years. By that time, the damage is already done and may not be able to be undone.

Are You Getting the B12 You Need?

Of the thirteen vitamins your body needs to perform thousands of chemical reactions that keep you alive and functioning, one of those is B12. It acts, in many ways, much like the other dozen vitamins. But in other important ways, B12 is different. And the things that make it different also make it harder for millions of people to get enough of it.

B12 is produced in the gut of animals. It is also the only vitamin you cannot get from plants or sunlight. To obtain B12 from your diet, you need to eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or foods fortified with B12. If you don’t eat these foods and are a vegetarian or vegan, it is extremely important to supplement with B12.

Sometimes even a diet high in B12 and supplements are still not enough for many people.

While many people eat a diet rich in vitamin B12, their bodies are just not able to absorb and use it. To get from your mouth to your blood stream, B12 must follow a very complex metabolism pathway. Any kink in the pathway can lead to low B12 levels. The most famous “kink” in the pathway is pernicious anemia, a hereditary disorder that once subjected its sufferers to physical and mental deterioration and eventually a terrible death.

Anemia is caused from a failure of the body to produce intrinsic factor, a protein, normally produced in the stomach, that is necessary for vitamin B12 absorption. This makes the B12 consumed in the diet useless.

Other causes of B12 malabsorption include:

  • Gastritis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Gastric Bypass surgery
  • Celiac’s Disease
  • overgrowth of yeast in the gut
  • antacid users
  • alcohol use
  • GERD and ulcer drugs
  • stomach acid blockers
  • diabetes meds
  • anti-seizure meds
  • chemo drugs
  • tetracycline, an antibiotic. (Long-term use of antibiotics can lower the levels of most of the B vitamins in your body.)

One trick to helping your body absorb B12 is to make sure you have a healthy gut! Be sure to consume probiotic rich foods everyday and supplement with a great quality, high- potency probiotic.

One To Try:  35 Billion Probiotic is Baum’s best selling probiotic. High quality & high potency at a great price!

Did You Know…

Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins. Taking folic acid at high doses can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency, so these vitamins are often taken together. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 800 mcg of folic acid.
Baums carries B12 and B Complex vitamins in all  different forms and strengths. The holidays are coming up fast!  B vitamins also promote energy and help you cope with STRESS…..

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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