In our previous blog, we talked about the four types of vitamin B12 and what benefits they have. But what happens when you take a vitamin B12 supplement?
When you ingest vitamin B12, it is freed from the original binding protein in the stomach but then is bound to another protein secreted by the stomach called R-protein. The R-protein-cobalamin complex is safely transported to the intestine where the B12 and R-protein are separated. The B12 then combines with another protein called intrinsic factor that is also produced by the stomach. The intrinsic factor-cobalamin complex is protected from breakdown by bacteria in the digestive tract and this complex also is given priority for absorption into the blood.
Some people become B12 deficient with problems of anemia and brain problems because they don’t make enough intrinsic factor to help transport the B12. B12 shots have been used to help with this but some good evidence exists that suggests that sublingual or even supplement B12 drops in a glass of water work just fine to get B12 levels up to a healthy level. If you use a sublingual B12 it is absorbed directly into the blood stream via the blood vessels in the mouth. If you put your liquid B12 in water and drink it, it is absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach lining. So either way, you are good.
Typically, we can learn something about your B12 levels by a simple blood test. Medical professionals usually look for a level between 500-800 pg/ml. Sometimes, you will see normal listed as 200-600 pg/ml. However, with levels of 200-450, we maintain that it is possible to have neurologic degeneration and still show a “normal” B12.
We can assume from various studies that the average person loses .1-.2% of the body’s supply of B12 each day. You can expect a non-vegetarian to store about 2,000-3,000 micrograms of B12 in the liver and muscles while losing 3 micrograms per day.
One study looked at people who changed from a meat-eating to a vegetarian diet without B12 supplementation. All had significant reductions in serum B12 levels adding weight to the common recommendation of B12 supplementation for non-meat eaters.
I should also mention that we have learned to use a hierarchy to decide whether to use hydroxyB12 or mehtylB12. We tend to give more weight to neurological problems like anxiety, depression and insomnia etc over MTHFR problems that can lead to inflammation and homocysteine elevation problems. Because neurological problems tend to react best to hydroxyB12, we start there and forego the methylB12 supplements. The probability of negative reactions to hydroxyB12 supplementation is much lower than that for methylB12 in our experience and according to the writing of t and the body can convert hydroxyB12 into methyB12
In summary, knowing something about your B12 levels and genetic needs will help you determine your needs and help your body be at its best. It is helpful to know something about your genetics and therefore your predispositions for problems that call for B12 supplementation. Some enzymes prefer methyB12 and others hydroxyB12.
At OVitaminPro.com, we have different B12 supplements depending on each person’s needs. In addition to offering a wide variety of supplements and vitamins, we offer lab services that many vitamin and supplement stores do not offer. This way, our helpful staff can determine your B12 needs. Call us today to see how we can help you find the B12 or other supplements to help you reach your health goals.