Continuation of B-12 Discussion
First here is a short summary and continuation of our previous discussion of this interesting nutriment.
What is it?
B-12 is very essential, but it requires only a tiny bit to do its vital job. It is a water-soluble element (it dissolves in water) that plays a very basic and necessary role in the health of the human body in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function, and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information.
Where Do You Find It
The body doesn’t make it so sources are required from your diet. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods, such as fortified breakfast cereals, and is available as an oral supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray might be prescribed to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency. Eggs are particularly endowed with B-12 power. These sources are the same as sources of protein.
The American diet usually supplies all the B-12 that is ever needed even though it is made largely toxic with additives and with the nutrients cooked out or made insignificant or ineffective because Big Food is being bought off by major industries such as sugar or drugs.
Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage, and mood disturbances.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. But reports find that taking excessive B-12 is not necessarily harmful. Leave that decision to your physician.
Deficiency Symptoms and How Does It Happen?
Anyone who has signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency should consult a doctor. Signs and symptoms include difficulty thinking and remembering, fatigue, heart palpitations, pale skin, weight loss, infertility, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, dementia, mood changes, a sore tongue, low appetite, and constipation.
As I said above B-12 deficiency is not common in the U.S. However, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don’t contain vitamin B-12. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions such as inadequate stomach acid to dissolve and absorb the intrinsic B-12 in the food consumed.
In animal-based foods, vitamin B12 binds to the protein molecules. During digestion, stomach acid causes it to separate from the protein, and a substance called an intrinsic factor enables the bloodstream to absorb it.
How Much B-12 is Needed?
There are tables that give this data, but if I had any of the above symptoms, I would consult a doctor. He can run tests to determine accurately what your body needs. Much better than relying on a table and self-medicating when so much is at stake. Your physician can advise on what types of supplements are needed, and if B-12 shots could help. Many times they are helpful if the stomach acids or other digestive factors may not be effective in absorbing the needed nutrient.
Some people’s bodies don’t produce enough stomach acid or intrinsic factors if they have a condition known as autoimmune atrophic gastritis. These people may need vitamin B12 shots to reduce their risk of deficiency, which can lead to pernicious anemia.
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