Beneficial B’s: B12

Today we’re going to take another look at yet another vitamin. Today’s star is none other than one of the many B vitamins, B12. But just because it is one of many B’s does not make it any less significant (don’t forget it’s all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, hormones, etc) working synergistically together that create balance and health in the body.  What does B12 do?

  • Works with folic acid
  • Synthesis of DNA
  • Synthesis of red blood cells
  • Synthesis of the insulation sheath of nerve cells
  • Facilitates conduction of nervous system signals
  • Many traditional societies consider it important for fertility
  • Lack is associated with osteoporosis and supplementation can help remineralize bones
  • Has been shown to be an effective treatment for asthma
  • Low levels are linked to impaired immunity (and more infections)

Depletion of B12 can lead to many not-so-pleasant conditions. Some of these signs include: anemia, numbness, burning feeling of the feet, shaking, muscle fatigue, sleep disorders, memory loss, irrational anger, impaired mental function (Alzheimer’s) or psychological (dementia, depression, obsessive compulsive behavior, psychosis). B12 us found almost exclusively in animal foods like liver, kidney, meat, fish, shellfish, milk products and eggs. There are several things influencing absorption, however. To start, in order to be absorbed properly it much attach to intrinsic factor (IF is a type of protein), which is secreted by the stomach. Others things affecting B12:

  • Milk is better than milk, however boiling destroys it
  • Gentle braising or cooking steaks rare to medium-rare preserves more
  • Antibiotics or a diet high in refined carbs can lead to deficiency
  • Many multivitamin products can contain spurious and even dangerous analogs of B12 (actually supplements can interfere with B12 uptake)
  • Soy may block
  • Coconut oil and lacto-fermented foods can help fight pathogens associated with deficiency
  • Smoking
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Conditions like Celiac’s and Crohn’s may interfere (in this case supplements may be a good idea)

Something interesting is that the body can recycle 75% of the B12 it uses by secreting it in bile and reabsorbing it in the small intestine. An important vitamin; look at adding liver or shellfish to your diet a couple of times a week or research different ways to supplement and experiment with which method works best for you. For more on our fat-burner weight-loss program check out our website at bodychange.net.

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7 Responses to Beneficial B’s: B12

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