Every cell in the human body utilizes and needs Vitamin B12 and ensuring that you have adequate levels is important.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is found naturally in many foods such as meats, fish, and dairy products.
Some of the benefits of Vitamin B12 are:
- Increased energy and vitality
- Heart health improvement
- Improved metabolism
- Gut health support
- Support of healthy nervous system
- Improved memory and brain function
- Decreasing brain fog
Our practice uses Methylcobalamin (B12) which is an active form of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps to utilize fats and carbohydrates for energy and make new proteins. Vitamin B12 is important in the maintenance of our metabolism, blood cells, and nerve function. Some people get enough vitamin B12 in their diet, but some need supplementation.
Certain health conditions such as intestinal or stomach problems, poor nutrition, cancer, HIV, pregnancy, old age, veganism, and alcoholism can cause vitamin B12 deficiency. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue and anemia in milder cases.
More serious B12 deficiencies have the potential to impair heart and neurological function, leading to a wide range of serious symptoms, including but not limited to tinnitus, severe joint pain, memory problems, depression, anxiety, poor muscle function, ataxia, and changes in reflexes. Infertility can also occur in individuals with insufficient B12. Early intervention and treatment of B12 deficiencies are key to maintaining healthy bodily function.
Methylcobalamin can also indicated in those with pernicious anemia, diabetes, neuropathy, heart disease, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, memory loss, depression, fatigue, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Lyme disease, osteoporosis, tendonitis, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, liver and kidney disease, and asthma. It also may help in improving concentration, maintaining fertility, anti- aging, boosting energy levels, converting fat to energy and mood elevation.
MTHFR Gene Mutation and how this can affect your B12 Absorption
Some individuals have a specific gene mutation called Methylenetetarhydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) which in short, alters the body’s response to absorption of B12 levels. For example, drawing blood work and checking for adequate B12 levels could be misleading if you do not know if you carry the MTHFR gene mutation. In essence your body absorbs around 50% of B12 taken into the body. So, if your B12 level on your labs is 800 and you carry the MTHFR gene, you are really absorbing about 400.
Why Choose Methylcobalamin B12?
A superior form of B12 to consider is a methylated B12 or Methylcobalamin. This form does not require extra processing from the liver and would be preferred to cyanocobalamin to those who carry the MTHFR gene mutation. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12 that can be converted to the natural forms of methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a form that contains a cyanide molecule that requires the body to expend energy to remove it and convert it to something your body can use. Making it more difficult to break down in those living with the MTHFR mutations.
How Do I Know?
Understanding and knowing if you carry the MTHFR mutation is not necessary in being a candidate for B12. Where B12 is a water soluble vitamin, it is essentially harmless to receive B12 injections if you are unsure if you are deficient. Our practice treats symptomatically and for example, if an individual is chronically fatigued and receives a B12 injection with substantial energy boost, we can assume this individual may be deficient in B12 stores.
On the other hand, if an individual has a baseline B12 level drawn on blood work and shows to be within normal range and is still symptomatic, there may be further investigation needed to show they do not carry the MTHFR mutation.
We treat on an individual basis and if you would like to know more about your B12 levels it is important that you speak with your trusted wellness provider