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Imagine yourself in a group of 100 people – roughly half of the number that will fit in the average movie theater. Now consider this: Roughly 15 of those people are actively suffering from a B12 deficiency. They are tired, weak, predisposed to illness, suffer from memory loss and nerve dysfunction. Some experience fairly severe symptoms, while others are gradually feeling worse – usually without even realizing it!
And no – this is not a joke or an exaggeration. According to the National Institute of Health, up to 15% of people are deficient in B12, which makes it one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.
With this in mind, we believe it is important that everyone becomes educated on this critical nutrient: What it is, what it does for your body, where to get it, how to avoid a deficiency, and then finally, the BEST ways to reap the benefits of having optimal B12 levels.
Sound good? Read on.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential, water-soluble vitamin your body requires to function. B12 is considered essential because, unlike many other vitamins, your body can not synthesize it on it’s own. It can only be supplied through dietary sources.
Your body uses B12 in thousands of bioactive processes, including:
It is important to note that plants and vegetables do not contain B12 – which is why vegetarians frequently suffer from a B12 deficiency. The primary dietary sources of B12 are animal products, such as eggs and meat, fortified grain products, and supplements. Most good multivitamins contain some B12 (though some omit the vitamin or fail to provide the quantity needed), and B12 also is available as an individual supplement.
The symptoms of a B12 deficiency range from mild, barely-noticeable fatigue, to life-threatening pathologies. While there are many possible physical and mental impacts of a deficiency, the most common symptoms include:
One of the more serious conditions that can occur due to a lack of B12 is a condition called megaloblastic anemia.
As you may know, red blood cells are produced in your bone marrow and move from the marrow into your bloodstream. Insufficient levels of B12 cause the red blood cells to be malformed, resulting in cells that are oversize and oval-shaped. This malformation prevents the red blood cells from moving from the marrow and entering your bloodstream, depriving your body of critical red blood cells and resulting in anemia.
Megaloblastic anemia, like any form of anemia, means that your blood cannot transport sufficient oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Anemia causes a wide range of symptoms, the most common of which are extreme fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea.
We should do all we can to avoid a B12 deficiency, right?
Well, thankfully, you can ensure you have enough of this critical vitamin with little effort. The first step is understanding how B12 deficiencies occur, who is most at risk, and what you can do about it.
First, we need to discuss HOW your body absorbs B12.
Most people get their B12 from eating animal products, in which case the B12 compound is coupled with a protein. This protein is broken down in the stomach through the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease, an enzyme that breaks down proteins.
Once B12 is in its free form, it is combined with intrinsic factor, which is a protein secreted by your digestive system. Together, the B12 and intrinsic factor is then absorbed by the small intestine and is ready for use.
There are three common ways that a B12 deficiency can occur:
There are several groups of people who are more likely to develop a B12 deficiency due to dietary or physiological conditions, which include:
Okay, so enough doom and gloom about the risks of a B12 deficiency – let’s look at how we can stay healthy and enjoy the benefits of healthy B12 levels in our bodies.
Firstly, realize that optimal B12 levels are associated with the opposite of the symptoms of a deficiency, and offer a range of health benefits:
With that in mind, here are some of the top sources of B12:
If you are a vegan, you can get a synthetic B12 supplement at your local pharmacy or grocery store – helping your body to function correctly, while maintaining your vegan diet.
If you are concerned that you are unable to digest or absorb B12, or you suffer from a severe deficiency, you should see your doctor immediately. There are serum B12 formulations and intramuscular injections of B12 that can help ensure you get the nutrient despite an inability to digest it.
If you are searching for the ideal way to maintain B12 levels while simultaneously supporting overall health and promoting healthy organ function, then BodyHealth’s 100% Grass-Fed Glandular Organ Complex is your answer.
This unique supplement contains grass-fed beef liver, heart, kidney, spleen, adrenals, and pancreas – all preserved with advanced freeze-drying techniques to preserve the critical nutrients your body needs. While these organs may not be known for having great taste, they ARE known as dietary superfoods and are among the best natural sources of B12 in the world.
And you can enjoy all the benefits in an easy-to-take, tasteless capsule that both provides B12 and supports your digestive system and the ability to absorb the vitamin.
Maintaining healthy levels of B12 is critical for your health. Even if you are not deficient, make sure that your diet includes foods or supplements that contain this vital nutrient – your body will thank you!
Weight-loss diets are a big industry – especially when you consider that two out of three Americans are either overweight or clinically obese.
No, seriously, two out of every three Americans.
But with hundreds of popular diets, special diet foods, and health companies out there, why does the obesity problem continue to worsen?
Today we are going to provide you with some simple basics that can help you (and anyone) discover your optimal diet and help you on the road to improved wellness.
At BodyHealth, we focus on a holistic, health-oriented approach to alleviating the symptoms of depression and restoring emotional balance through nutrition. Our research and experience, which is corroborated by top research by some of the world’s top medical facilities and scientists, has indicated that not only are these drugs ineffective at treating the real problem, but that they actually push your system further out of balance.
Today we’re going to discuss how and why, and what solutions are out there to restore your gut and microbiome, and how strengthening your gut-brain axis can help you lead a happier, healthier life!