Vitamin B12 Part 2: Choose The Right Ally
Vitamin B12 deficiency is now a surging, worldwide epidemic. And studies are finding that it is not just vegans and vegetarians who are at risk and suffering anymore.
In Part One, we talked a lot about the surprisingly serious consequences of having a B12 deficiency, and we listed many of the symptoms you may be experiencing that would indicate a deficiency. We also lightly skimmed the benefits of adequate B12 in your body. In this episode, we will delve more deeply into the incredible benefits of B12 and, as promised, we will clearly explain the only form of B12 you should put in your body, why, and the most efficient way to administer it. Let’s talk about what B12 does for our bodies.
It is crucial to get B12; we have covered that well in Part One. But why is it so essential? What does it do?
The health benefits are enormous and far-reaching: From the neurological system to looking and feeling our best, B12 is our body’s most significant assistant and most valuable ally. It supports our bodies from the most basic functions to the most crucial and everything in between. B12 functions in the body in the following ways:
Myelin is a fatty, protective shield/sheath that protects nerve cells. Its job is to insulate and protect the neuron and the axon (nerve fiber) and make sure the impulse of the nerve is going where it’s intended. B12 is essential for the regrowth, repair, and structure of this sheath. When B12 levels are too low, the sheath will deteriorate, leaving the nerve exposed. This leads to improper electric and impulse transmissions. When the protective coating erodes, the neuron’s transmission jumps to an axon that it wasn’t intended for, which exposes you to problems with movement, balance, coordination, memory, and more. It’s like a bundle of wires - you want them to be adequately insulated, so they are not just zapping whatever other wire is close by and causing a whole host of issues. You wouldn’t short circuit your house, so why take the risk with your body?
Homocysteine is an amino acid that the body uses to build protein. When levels are too high, they are associated with coronary problems, cancer, autoimmune disease, and more. New research has proven that correct levels of vitamins B-12, B-6, and folate are essential for lowering and regulating homocysteine levels.
Red Blood Cell Production:
Without red blood cells, we cannot oxygenate our body. Red blood cells transport the oxygen from our lungs and deliver it to every part of our body. Low red blood cell count is commonly known as anemia. The effects of anemia, along with under-oxygenated blood, leave you feeling tired and fatigued with minimal effort. Your body needs folate to integrate new red blood cells, but B12 is essential to create the necessary chemistry to allow the body to convert the folate in a way that it can use it to produce red blood cells.
Eating B12 rich foods will obviously help, but it is most often not enough.
Because a normally functioning stomach and digestive system are crucial to the absorption of B12, if your system is not working optimally it will greatly impair your body’s ability to absorb B12 sufficiently, and will lead to B12 deficiency.
Increases Reproduction of DNA:
A deficiency in B12 impairs the production of DNA by your bone marrow. DNA is needed to make and increase your white blood cells. White blood cells are what sets off the immune system's response to kill germs and virus’. Functioning without this response will make you susceptible to illness and infections. Low levels of B12 can also activate alterations in DNA synthesis, which leads to DNA damage.
So how do we get enough B12?
Of course, we can always get some level of B12 from food.Because cobalamin (B12) comes from the intestinal bacteria of animals (by being first absorbed through the grass and fodder it eats), you will need to eat animal products, fish or eggs to get this vitamin from your diet. But even if your diet includes animal products, you are not guaranteed to get the optimal amounts anymore.
But Don’t Panic.
One of the main reasons for this massive epidemic of B12 deficiency is that cobalamin from diet is absorbed by our digestive tracts, and as we discussed in the first article, people are experiencing more digestion issues than ever before –brought on by age, environmental toxins, medications, eating disorders, gluten intolerance, inflammation in the intestines, Crohn’s and autoimmune disease -and B12 is just not able to be absorbed adequately anymore.
On top of all this some studies on the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables from 1950 – 1999 show more than 50% decline in nutritional values. Meaning you need to eat double to get the same amount of nutrients.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, it is essential that you are supplementing every day as there is very little chance you are receiving the amounts you need. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so the body does not store it. Which means two things - you cannot take too much, as any extra will exit with your urine - and you need to replenish it every day.
There are many supplement choices. Which kind is the best and is there a difference?
It is inexpensive, but you will ultimately pay the price with your health.
Hydroxocobalamin, funnily enough, is most often used as an antidote for cyanide poisoning. Deficiency in B vitamins can lead to eye and vision issues. Toxic amblyopia is caused by cyanide in tobacco, and pernicious anemia sufferers can have optic neuropathy. Hydroxocobalamin B12 is often recommended for these patients, but it still must be converted to the active forms of B12(methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin), just like cyanocobalamin, so it ends up putting unnecessary stress and burden on your system if you are not suffering from those illnesses.
Although hydroxocobalamin can found in B12 rich foods, it is an inactive form like cyanocobalamin B12. But, it does have an improvement over the cyanocobalamin B12 in that it doesn’t have the cyanide molecule attached to it, so it can omit the step of having to de-cyanate as well as convert to an active form.
Why make your body work SO HARD when there is an excellent alternative?
Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, by contrast, are natural and active in the body. Being ‘bioactive coenzyme’ versions of B12, your body can easily absorb and fully utilize these forms of vitamin B. If you take any form of B12 other than methylcobalamin, it will have to be converted to methylcobalamin ultimately.
It is evident then, that as methylcobalamin doesn’t require conversion, comes with the valuable methyl group, and it can immediately transport the vitally necessary B12 to where it is needed most without the needless expenditure of excess energy, it is clearly the superior choice for most people.
Methylcobalamin of the two naturally-occurring, versions of B12 is considered as the most bioactive option. It is already broken down and active.
Methylcobalamin B12 really shines as a treatment for those suffering from deteriorating neurological health. As it bypasses possible absorption sequence issues, it is often chosen as the only encouraging treatment available and has been shown to have stunning effects. Alleviating and completely healing symptoms in some cases.Improvements in memory and brain function of Alzheimer’s patients have been recorded when using methylcobalamin B12 in high doses. As it is crucial to the protection and repair process of the myelin sheath, high doses of methylcobalamin B12 will promote and increase the normal activity and health of the neurons of the brain which may otherwise deteriorate from age, illness and other factors.In medical experiments, methylcobalamin was shown to suppress the advancement of cancerous cells. Reducing tumor size and growth and increasing the length of survival time in mice.There may be situations where the adenosylcobalamin version could work for your specific situation or where a combination of both the methylcobalamin B12 and the Ade- Cbl are needed. These severe cases are usually very rare.
The Perfect Supplement
After all the research it took us to write this two-part B12 guide, we wanted to pat ourselves on the back. We started manufacturing this specific kind of B12 patches back in 2013 before a lot of this research was available. Instinctively and selfishly we wanted to have the best form of B12 supplement for ourselves and our families, and that simply wasn’t on the market yet. Our mission was to manufacture one that would carry the best and most bioavailable form of B12, and a delivery system dispersing it in the least invasive way, (our kids didn’t like swallowing pills) and furthermore, one that sticks to our core promise: To provide the highest quality products to those who demand the best. We and our families are still using it religiously to this day.
Our Living Nutritionals B12 Energy Patches are 100% Active Methylcobalamin, and they deliver a massive 1600mcg’s of this active, highly effective B12 directly into your body, all while completely bypassing the potentially flawed digestive system. And you avoid the painful and possibly unpleasant side effects of intermuscular injections.
The ability to absorb vitamin B12 through the skin has been reliably shown in research studies. Although some studies may indicate there is slightly less absorption through the skin, the whopping 1,600mcg dose will ensure you get what you need nonetheless. More people are catching on to this fantastic alternative and are choosing this method of supplementation over injections and pills. In our opinion, the Living Nutritionals B12 Energy Patch delivers the punch your body needs in the gentlest possible way.
Let’s explore our options:
You obviously want to use the type that is most effective and easiest to assimilate into your body.
‘B12’ is a term used to describe a class of vitamins recognized as ‘cobalamins.’ There are four different types of cobalamins - methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and cyanocobalamin - which we will discuss here.
Cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin are a synthetic version of vitamin B12. They are cheap to make and are most commonly used in supplements. Cyanocobalamin is a cobalamin molecule attached to a cyanide molecule. Although it is a very stable form of B12 - using the cyanide molecule to protect it from intense conditions like high heat - it lacks the ability to be easily absorbed and is an inactive variant. And, because of the cyanide, it is slightly toxic. The small amount of B12 that can be incorporated in this form must go through the process of converting to hydroxocobalamin and then to methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin - the active forms of B12 – removing the cyanide in the process, we trust.
Removing the cyanide requires the use of a methyl molecule which is why anyone that has methylation issues (like children with autism) may actually get worse on these synthetic forms of B12 but not on the others. You are probably aware that we are already exposed to cyanide from other sources in our environment (apple seeds, second-hand smoke, pollution, etc.), our bodies are already working hard to detoxify from this exposure. Why add to the burden by consuming more?
So why is cyanocobalamin B12 the most common form of B12 you can find and the most often prescribed? Well, really, it’s because it is readily available and very inexpensive. It is also the most taxing, least effectual, and in safety, it comes last.
How much do I take?
The average daily recommended amount of B12 is far too low to contend with neurological and deficiency issues. Although officially it varies from 0.9 to 1.8mcg’s for children (less in babies), to 2.4 to 2.8 mcg’s for adults, many doctors are beginning to agree that this is not even close to what is needed. Especially if you are already showing signs of neurological decline and any other B12 deficiency symptoms. Experts have not found a level that is too high or dangerous. The water-soluble quality of this vitamin means much like vitamin C; your body will expel what is not assimilated. There is no toxic build-up.
Many doctors recommend an initial daily protocol of 1,000 mcg’ (micrograms)or more for a specified period, (usually a week to ten days), followed by a gradual decrease in frequency ending up with a bi-weekly or monthly maintenance dose of the same, often for life. This large amount, traditionally, has only been available in injections and most often as the less optimal cyanocobalamin version of the vitamin. This is why we were so enthusiastic about presenting you with a powerful and effective alternative. Injections are effective but can be unpleasant and costly, and the methylcobalamin injections can be hard to find.
In order to inform you best we have to warn you that B12 injections that you might consider as a substitute could have the following contraindications; pain, mild diarrhea, swelling sensation in the body, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, unusual weakness or tiredness, swelling of ankles and feet, itching and swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, breathing difficulties, severe dizziness, sudden vision changes, slurred speech.
We have already done the research for you.
Many substances break down differently in the digestive tract, losing key bioavailability. Our B12 Energy Patches use the highest quality ingredients and medical-grade adhesive to produce this cutting edge time-release transdermal technology. This allows our product to deliver the most potent and bioavailable active natural ingredients into the bloodstream via your largest organ – the skin, consistently over a period of 24-48 hours. Check out our entire line of super bioavailable patches!
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