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Archive for the ‘Importance of B12’ Category

3 Brain Vitamins that make you Smarter

Monday, June 4th, 2012



Looking for some ways to fight brain fog or boost your thinking skills? Look no further than these 3 vitamins for the brain, guaranteed to give you more brainpower and mental clarity.


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is one of the most essential nutrients for brain health.  This “brain vitamin,” which occurs naturally in animal-based foods, is known sustain healthy brain mass in old age, as proven in a Finnish scientific study on Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists have concluded that elderly individuals diagnosed with dementia who manage to maintain health vitamin B12 levels have more brain mass than those with vitamin B12 deficiency, and score better in cognitive testing, as well.

Without sufficient levels of vitamin B12, you may experience a decline in cognitive functioning skills, including:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased ability to perform math calculations
  • Short attention span


To find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood screening.  Even if you eat a diet rich in B12-foods like beef, poultry, and fish, you may still be at risk, as a significant number of people are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from food sources.

Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, including GERD and Crohn’s disease
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Vegan dieting

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is proven to benefit your brain’s nerve cells, in addition to boosting your ability to perform thinking skills involving processing information, forming strategies, and building memories.

Most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun; other sources of vitamin D include vitamin supplements and fortified dairy products.

Pregnant moms-to-be and nursing mothers are advised to supplement with vitamin D for their baby’s cognitive development.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor brain health, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Living in areas with limited sunshine
  • Wearing full-body coverings outdoors


To make certain that you get enough vitamin D for brain health, do the following:

  • Go out in the sun every day
  • Visit a safe tanning salon, and take vitamin D3 supplements
  • Take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D supplements per day

Omega 3’s

It’s no surprise that fatty acids like omega-3’s are such brain boosters- more than half of your brain’s matter is made up of fats. Specifically, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) accounts for 25% of the omega-3 fatty acids found in your brain.

DHA-type omega 3 fats are animal-based, meaning you can only find them in protein sources such as fish, liver, and organ meats. (All of which, by the way, are also rich sources of vitamin B12, another brain vitamin.)


Insufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids may result in damage to the nervous system.  Many researchers also suggest a link between omega-3 deficiency and brain disorders such as dementia and mental illness.

In a several studies, 800-900 mg of DHA supplements prescribed to elderly individuals with dementia resulted in a significant improvement in memory, learning, vocabulary, and other cognitive skills.

Please tell us…
Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!
If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about vitamin B12 and the brain:

Boost Brain Health with B12

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: US Plans to Nip Dementia in the Bud


Benson Kua, TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³Nina Matthews PhotographyIsaacMao

Frequent Falling: 10 Medical Causes

Thursday, May 31st, 2012



All jokes aside- frequent falling is a serious problem, and not always connected to old age.  For example, vitamin B12 deficiency or one of several other conditions may be to blame for balance disorders. Here are some tips for preventing falls.


1) Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient for neurological health, and a shortage of vitamin B12 in the blood (vitamin B12 deficiency) can cause nerve cell damage and destruction, resulting in ailments like chronic pain, numbness, vision problems, tremors, and many others related to your nervous system.

One such disorder is gait ataxia, or unsteady gait.  Damage to the myelin sheath, which protects your nerve cells, can result in movement disorders, including difficulty controlling your leg muscles while walking, running, jumping, or standing on one leg.

Symptoms of gait ataxia include:

  • Frequent falling
  • Difficulty standing on one leg
  • Painful numbness and tingling in arms, legs, and mouth
  • Shaky or jerky movements in legs and arms, “clumsiness”
  • Seizures, trembling
  • Muscular feebleness in the legs and arms
  • Poor motor skills
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Blurred vision, double vision, or shaky eye movements

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

2) Obesity

Recently, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society released a report stating that elderly individuals who suffer from morbid obesity are more at risk for frequent falling than frail senior citizens.  While feeble muscles may account for a certain amount of falling in thinner seniors, difficulty maintaining balance accounts for significantly more falling among heavy elderly citizens.

3) Diabetes

Just as pernicious anemia, a cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, can cause nerve damage, diabetes can also create neuropathic symptoms that make it difficult to walk without falling.

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

4) Antidepressants

Alzheimer’s disease patients who take antidepressants are at a significantly high risk of stumbling frequently, compared to dementia patients who don’t receive them, according to this report on frequent falling.

5) Mixing meds

Sometimes, combining certain medications can cause you to lose balance and trip more often than usual.  If you notice yourself falling frequently recently, then alert your pharmacist or doctor.

6) Middle ear disorders

The vestibular system of your inner ear and brain controls balance and spatial awareness.  Likewise, a vestibular disorder can cause processing problems resulting in dizziness, light-headedness, and frequent falling.

Examples of vestibular disorders are Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV, labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis.


7) Lumbar spinal stenosis

Sometimes, a slipped disc or arthritis can impair the motor nerves of your spine, causing muscular weakness in your legs, which can in turn make it difficult to walk.

8) Cervical myelopathy

Similar to lumbar spinal stenosis, cervical myelopathy can occur with a slipped disk or arthritis in the neck.  Symptoms include loss of balance and frequent falling, but may not include neck pain.

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

9) Joint problems

It’s worth noting the obvious- instabilities of the joints in your hips, knees, or ankles, are common causes of falling.

10) Brain injury

Balance disorders sometimes indicate damage to the brain, whether from a concussion or illness.  Symptoms of brain injury may include dizziness, sudden headaches, and memory problems.


Please tell us…

Do you think you fall more frequently than is considered normal? If so, have you tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about B12 and your nerves

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia


B12 and Gait Ataxia

Obesity tied to older adults’ risk of falls: study

Antidepressants for dementia patients linked to frequent falling

Understanding Vestibular Disorders

Frequent Falls: what they mean and what to do


Brainsonic, Melissa O’Donohue, Keoni Cabral

Boost Brain Health with B12

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012



What’s the best way to boost brain health? Vitamin B12 is one of the best nutrients for your brain, as it helps to protect your nerve cells and maintain healthy brain mass- the loss of which is responsible for  early signs of memory loss from dementia.


B12 for your nerves

Vitamin B12 is one of many B vitamins that your body needs for optimum brain health.  Vitamin B12 maintains the coating of myelin that protects each individual nerve cell from damage.  Likewise, vitamin B12 deficiency could eventually result in erosion of your myelin sheath, leaving your nerve cells exposed and vulnerable to damage…or destruction.

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Without enough B12 to sustain myelin, you would suffer numerous debilitating and possibly irreversible neurological problems, including:

  • Painful numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Movement disorders like difficulty walking, and poor motor skills
  • Muscular pain
  • Seizures
  • Twitches
  • Vision problems
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Burning mouth syndrome


B12 and memory

Vitamin B12 also maintains healthy cognitive functioning, as evidenced by several clinical studies on brain health.

  • Senior citizens with healthy levels of vitamin B12 score better on tests of mental acuity, memory, and reasoning than their peers with vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • MRI brain scans of elderly test participants reveal healthy, optimal brain mass among people with normal vitamin B12 levels, as opposed to people of the same age with vitamin B12 deficiency, whose brain scans indicated brain shrinkage, signifying the onset of dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Parents of children with autism have noted dramatic results with supplementation of vitamin B12; in many cases, enhanced cognitive functioning, stabilized mood, and overall well-being are observed.


Autism, B12 and Your Child

Vitamin B12 deficiency is detrimental to brain health, resulting in symptoms like:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Poor concentration skills
  • Decreased math skills
  • Increased risk for early dementia
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations


Getting enough B12

There’s no upper limit for vitamin B12, so there’s no harm in getting as much B12 in your system as possible.

Foods containing vitamin B12 include:

  • Lean beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Organ meats
  • Finned fish
  • Shellfish
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs

Obviously, if you follow a strict vegan diet, then you should supplement with vitamin B12.  Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you can benefit greatly from taking mega-doses of B12.

  • If several scientific studies, people without vitamin B12 deficiency experienced more stamina, improved sports performance, and enhanced feelings of  well-being with large routine doses of vitamin B12.
  • A large number of people “accidentally” become vitamin B12 deficient because they are unable to digest vitamin B12 from the foods they eat.  These include people with autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, and diabetics using metformin.  Also, anybody who has had a gastric bypass or other intestinal surgery can take vitamin B12 in the form of a B12 shot in order to compensate for low levels of vitamin B12.

Read more about B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency-13 Illnesses that Block B12 Absorption

The Spoon Theory and Pernicious Anemia: Are you a Spoonie?

Fight Chronic Fatigue with Vitamin B-12, plus 10 Energy Tips!

Please tell us…

Which type of vitamin B12 supplement do you currently take to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency?

Are you satisfied with the results, or do you feel that you still don’t get enough energy?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.


phanlop88, imagerymajestic, Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot, MR LIGHTMAN

Vitamin B12 for treating Lyme disease, plus 9 other Natural Supplements

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012



Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that causes symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency- pain, tingling, numbness, brain fog, and anxiety.  Once antibiotics have cured the infection, natural supplements such as vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients and herbs often benefit Lyme disease patients.


How is Lyme disease spread?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and it is spread by deer ticks.  Anybody who lives in densely wooded grassy areas is at risk of being bitten by a tick carrying this bacterium.  Once infected, antibiotics must be administered immediately in order to avoid lasting nerve damage.

Symptoms of Lyme disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease may occur several weeks after exposure to an infected tick.  Because symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to autoimmune disorders like pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease is sometimes not diagnosed until after severe nerve damage has occurred.

Common symptoms and comorbid conditions of Lyme disease are:

  • Red rash
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nerve pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Tremors
  • Stiff neck
  • Balance problems
  • Impaired concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Photophobia
  • Arthritis
  • Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis)
  • Bannwarth’s triad (lymphocytic meningitis, cranial nerve palsy and radiculoneuritis)


9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Beneficial supplements

Chronic Lyme disease occurs when people are recurrently infected by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  In addition to taking antibiotics to cure the infection, many chronic Lyme disease sufferers may use the following supplements to enhance the immune system and and alleviate minor pain, fatigue, and anxiety.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Here are some ways that vitamin B12 protects you from Lyme disease symptoms:

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the nervous system by aiding in the production of myelin, a fatty coating that shields each individual nerve cell.
  • With vitamin B12 deficiency and Lyme disease, your myelin sheathe may become worn down, exposing you to harmful toxins that may kill or damage your nerve cells.
  • By sustaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 through supplementation, you lower your risk for demyelinating disorders such as vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis, and Lyme disease.
  • Vitamin B12 also helps your body produce healthy red blood cells.  Without sufficient stores of vitamin B12, your red blood cell count goes down, resulting in decreased oxygen flow to the brain, causing symptoms of fatigue and brain fog.
  • Because protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are often prescribed to treat Lyme disease, it is essential to include vitamin B12 as part of your treatment plan.  PPI’s interfere with your body’s ability to digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, and long-term usage of protein pump inhibitors is a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • To prevent nerve damage from Lyme disease, doctors recommend 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 each week.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Taking 50-100 mgs of vitamin B6 each day is healthy for the metabolism, energy production, and increased healing.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

In order to further boost your immune system and eliminate toxins from your body, doctors recommend taking large doses of vitamin C daily.

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

Your body makes vitamin D3 whenever you are exposed to sunlight.  Taking extra doses of vitamin D3 is beneficial for strengthening your immunity.

GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid)

GABA is an amino acid that your body produces to relax the muscles.  Many Lyme disease patients find relief in taking GABA supplements to calm their nerves, treat anxiety, sleep peacefully, and prevent muscle spasms or seizures. The maximum recommended dose of GABA is 1500 mg, three times per day.


With regular antibiotic use, it is essential to take “friendly bacteria” in order to promote digestive health. Symptoms of indigestion include stomach pains, loose stools, and nausea.  Many yogurts and kefirs are infused with probiotics.  Additionally, probiotic supplements may be taken.  Doctors recommend 5 – 10 billion CFUs of lactobacillus acidophilus each day.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is a natural anti-inflammatory, in addition to having anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties.  Although alternative treatment is not recommended for Lyme disease, many people use olive leaf extract for enhances immune system functioning.

Oil of Oregano

Another natural anti-inflammatory, the oil of pressed oregano contains carvacrol, a chemical which researchers believe is also beneficial for maintaining the body’s natural defenses.

Raw Garlic

To support a healthy immune system, many Lyme disease patients swallow one or more cloves of raw garlic each day.

Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

Followers of herbal medicine hold by 20 mg of Cat’s claw, three times per day, for optimal health with Lyme disease.

Please tell us…

Have you been contracted with Lyme disease?  If so, what treatments did you use besides antibiotics to cure nerve pain?

Do you currently take vitamin B12 shots for neuropathy?

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or offer suggestions.  We would love to hear from you!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Brain Fog: 20 Causes and Symptoms

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia


Lyme disease- Mayo Clinic.com

Lyme disease

Immune Boosting Vitamins and Lyme Disease


Wikimedia, RambergMediaImages

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Friday, March 2nd, 2012



What do vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Part I introduced you to excitotoxins…now in Part II, find out how to keep neurotoxins from disrupting your life.

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

What illnesses are linked with excitotoxicity?

Many neurodegenerative illnesses and other conditions are linked with elevated levels of excitotoxins such as homocysteine:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • AIDS dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Infections
  • Lyme borreliosis

“Glutamate and aspartate are doubled in viral meningitis, acute multiple sclerosis (MS) and myelopathy compared with control subjects and patients with peripheral facial nerve palsy.”

What causes elevated homocysteine levels?

When your body produces homocysteine, it is immediately broken down by vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate).  Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 keep your homocysteine levels down to a healthy minimum where already healthy homocysteine levels occur.

However, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia, then you don’t have enough vitamin B12 to break down homocysteine. 

As a result, homocysteine levels spike, permeating your neurons, causing irreparable damage to your nerve cells and increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and memory problems.

“…increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.”


Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

If you have pernicious anemia, then you may not be able to digest dietary forms of vitamin B12 (food, pills), due to a digestive system disorder.

In order to maintain healthy homocysteine levels (and thus gain the neurological health benefits of B12), you need to insert vitamin B12 directly into your bloodstream through vitamin B12 shots.

For maximum vitamin B12 benefits, experts recommend supplementing with extra over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well.  Many patients experience improved neurological health in as little as a few days following vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?


Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI



Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

Thursday, March 1st, 2012



What do vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.


What are excitotoxins?

Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills defines excitotoxins as amino acids “that react with specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells.” Because they damage your nerve cells, excitotoxins are also referred to as neurotoxins.

Damaged nerve cells are one of the many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Homocysteine, for example, is an excitotoxin.  Too much homocysteine causes your brain’s nerve cells to malfunction, breaking down the myelin sheathe and the blood-brain barrier (BBB), letting in free radicals, and potentially killing brain cells that can never be replicated.

Elevated homocysteine levels are also one of many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Common excitotoxins

The following amino acids are classified as excitotoxins (neurotoxins):

  • Homocysteine (L-cysteine)
  • Glutamate (found in MSG and hydrolyzed vegetable protein)
  • Aspartate (found in aspartame)
  • Beta amyloid

Symptoms of excitotoxicity

The following symptoms may indicate nerve damage caused by excitotoxins:

  • Chronic headaches (migraines)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in your hands and feet (vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Muscular pain in specific sensitive spots (fibromyalgia)
  • Unexplained constant tiredness, despite sleeping well and not overexerting oneself physically (chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Loss of muscular control (multiple sclerosis)

Coming in Part II, find out which illnesses are linked with excitotoxins, and what you can do to prevent nerve damage…

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI




Eating 1000 mcg of Vitamin B12 foods: How many Clams is that?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012



Vitamin B12 increases stamina, restores mental alertness, and promotes healthy muscle tone.  To maximize on the benefits of vitamin B12, you need to eat plenty foods that have vitamin B12 every day, preferably totaling 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.


Foods that are rich in B12 include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  But what if you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet?  Are there any natural vegan sources of vitamin B12?

Judge for yourself -see our no-nonsense list of foods that provide maximum vitamin B12.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

According to the current RDA, you only need one or two mcg of vitamin B12.  However, that amount doesn’t suffice for people with vitamin B12 deficiency, or people who need extra B12 for energy, sports endurance, or mental focus.

To avoid getting B12 deficiency, or just to boost stamina and promote well-being, many scientists recommend taking between 1000 mcg -3000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.  (Read  Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!)

Which foods have the most vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 naturally occurs in protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products.  If you follow a diet that excludes meat, fish, and milk, such as a vegan diet, then you may opt for plant-based foods that are infused with vitamin B12.  To get enough B12 to avoid deficiency, you might need to supplement with extra vitamin B12 as well.

How many clams do I have to eat?

Here is the nutritional data for foods that are rich in vitamin B12, starting with the highest- clams.


One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12.  To get to your weekly dose, you would have to eat 11 servings of cooked clams each week.  Hope you’ve got recipes!


After clams, liver is the richest source of vitamin B12.  A 3-ounce serving of cooked lamb liver contains a whopping 72.8 mcg of vitamin B12.  You would have to eat nearly 14 servings of liver pate each week, or 2 servings per day, to get the most vitamin B12 for your money.  Want onions with that?

Eating 1000 mcg of Vitamin B12 foods: How many Clams is that?

Fish eggs

Caviar is usually savored in small doses, but to get 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 from this luxurious treat, you would need to eat 17 3-ounce servings of whitefish eggs each week.  Don’t forget the crackers.


In some countries like Hawaii and Japan, octopus is a common staple, much like burgers and fries in the US.  Three ounces of cooked octopus provides about 30 mcg of vitamin B12.  To reach 1000 mcg, you would need to eat 33 helpings of cooked octopus.  (Unless you prefer your octopus raw, in which case you would need to eat about 58 servings of octopus sushi each week.)


Among the finned creatures of the sea, mackerel is the fish that has the most vitamin B12, at 19 mcg per 100 grams.  That’s 52 weekly servings of fish per week.  (Can you say Holy Mackerel?)


Let’s face it- most of us don’t eat a lot of seafood or beef liver.  Most of your dietary stores of vitamin B12 are probably going to come from good old-fashioned beef.  (It’s what’s for dinner.)

Choose lean cuts of beef- not only are they healthier for your heart, but they also contain the richest amounts of vitamin B12 on the butcher aisle.  Lean beef chuck shoulder contains 5.25 mcg of vitamin B12 per 3-ounce serving.  To get even close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, you would need to eat over 80 beefsteaks per week. Hope you like chewing!

One double-cheeseburger contains 2.1 mcg of vitamin B12.

One cup of low-fat milk has 1.2 mcg of vitamin B12.

A serving of low-fat yogurt has 1.1 mcg of vitamin B12.

A beef taco has 0.9 mcg of vitamin B12.

One hard-boiled egg contains 0.6 mcg of vitamin B12.

Coming next: What about vegan vitamin B12?

Please tell us…

How do you get your vitamin B12- from supplements in pill form, vitamin B12 shots, or otherwise?

We’d love to hear from you- please feel free to leave your comments!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about vitamin B12 in food:

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

9 Vitamin Deficiencies and the People who are affected by them

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate


Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12 Health Professional Fact Sheet


opencage, public domain images

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – B12 Deficiency and 5 other Health Risks

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012



Usage of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is linked with B12 deficiency and other adverse effects, like osteoporosis.  Your body produces stomach acids for good reason- to absorb vitamin B12 (cobalamin), iron and other essential nutrients.  While heartburn is a painful symptom of acid reflux, having too few stomach acids can also cause debilitating symptoms.


What are PPIs?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs that lower the amount of stomach acid your body produces.  It’s a popular treatment for preventing acid reflux symptoms like chronic heartburn, and it’s more effective than other acid secretion inhibitors like H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac).  Hospitals use PPIs to prevent stomach ulcers in 40%-70% of inpatients.  Examples of proton pump inhibitors are Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex, and Protonix.

The following illnesses and conditions are treated with PPIs:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastrinomas
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)
  • Peptic ulcer disease (PUD)
  • Stress gastritis prevention.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

What are possible adverse effects of PPIs?

Severe vitamin B12 deficiency

Long-term PPI usage has been linked with nutritional malabsorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and iron.  Your body needs gastric acid in order to digest vitamin B12 foods sources like beef, chicken, fish, and eggs.  Without stomach acids, vitamin B12 remains bonded to the food you eat and never enters the bloodstream, eventually resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency.  Similarly, insufficient stomach acids also result in iron deficiency.

Because stomach acid production reduces with age, senior citizens, in addition to PPI users, are advised to check their vitamin B12 levels periodically.  Other people at risk for B12 deficiency are vegans, people who suffer from autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders and anybody who has had gastric bypass or other gastrointestinal surgery.

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings


Long-term PPI usage has been linked with increased risk of hip, spine, or wrist fractures resulting from severe osteoporosis.  Researchers believe that PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and bone growth.  In studies, high doses of PPIs were directly linked with osteoporosis, and that risk increased over time.

It should be noted that osteoporosis is also a vitamin B12 deficiency side effect from PPIs, as vitamin B12 benefits include sustained bone mass.

Increased chances of intestinal infection

Long-term and short-term PPI usage can lead to clostridium difficile infection (diarrhea), according to scientific studies published by the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Community-acquired pneumonia

If you stay at a hospital and are given proton pump inhibitors, your chances of acquiring pneumonia during your visit is increased by 30%, according to studies. While the use of PPIs for preventing stress-related ulcers is a valuable life-saving procedure, a significant amount of hospital patients who receive PPIs are not at risk for suffering from ulcers.

Rebound acid hypersecretion

If you try to wean off proton pump inhibitors, you’re likely to experience severe withdrawal effects, including sudden overproduction of stomach acids- hypergastrinemia. For this reason, PPI users become dependent on the heartburn drugs, and may suffer from adverse effects such as diarrhea, stomach tumors, and neoplasia.  Dependence on PPIs happens quickly, as early as one month into prescription.

Heart disease

Studies have linked PPI usage with decreased effectiveness of clopidogrel (Plavix), a medication prescribed for heart disease.  Also, decreased vitamin B12 is linked with increased risk for heart disease and stroke through elevated levels of homocysteine.

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with GERD, or one of the other illnesses treated with PPIs?  If so, have you noticed vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like chronic fatigue, “pins and needles” in hands and feet, memory loss, and anxiety?

As always, we welcome your comments, inquiries, and suggestions!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and your gut:

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

5 Ways to Prevent Diverticulosis-Diverticulitis Gastro Illness


Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Clostridium Difficile Infection

Proton Pump Inhibitors Should Have Black-box Warnings, Group Tell FDA

Long-term Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy and Risk of Hip Fracture- JAMA

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease- NEJM

Acid Blockers Linked to Pneumonia Risk

Amazing Video- Nonverbal Autistic Teen Carly “Talks” about Autism

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012



In a recent video that’s sure to change your perception of autism, Carly Fleischmann, a not-so-typical autistic teenager tell us what it’s like inside her head, explaining why other autistic children act the way they do- bizarre behaviors that continue to puzzle autism experts, like head banging, swaying, and refusal to make eye contact with other people.  Only instead of using verbal communication, of which she is incapable, Carly has learned how to communicate using iPad apps for autism.


Branded “autistic” from birth

Born autistic, Carly started showing the first signs of autism as an infant; developmental delays like her inability to start crawling, sitting upright, walking, or talking at the same age as her twin sister Taryn told her parents that something was amiss.  Experts said that she was mentally retarded, and close friends recommended sending Carly to an institution, but her parents refused.

“I could never do it,” admitted her father.  “How can you give up your kid?”

Instead, they introduced Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a popular therapy for autism, which also helped her with her severe verbal apraxia.  With ABA, autistic children learn small tasks, one at a time, at their own rate of learning, using positive reinforcement.  From the age of four, Carly started receiving 40-60 hours of one-to-one ABA per week.

“I am autistic, but that’s not who I am.  Take time to know me, before you judge me.”

Still, Carly suffered severe autism, and progress was slow; she would rock back-and-forth incessantly for hours, lash out, break furniture, have sudden angry outbursts, and didn’t seem to comprehend anything that was going on around her, or understand what family members would say in front of her.

But looks can be deceiving…

“You know, I can hear you.”

At the age of 11, Carly was working with a therapist, and she was not happy about it.  She was in one of her “off moods,” and didn’t feel like sitting still to learn her vocabulary.  Sitting in front of a touch-screen device, she communicated her first word- “No.”

That one word opened up the floodgates for her; she started typing more words like “hurt” and “help.”

“People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk.”

Over the course of months, and after much coaxing from therapists, Carly learned how to type every time she wanted to say something.  She learned how to say things to her parents that she was never able to express verbally, things like “I love when you read to me, and I love that you believe in me. I love you.”

For the first time, Carly, a teenager with autism, had control over her environment.  For the first time, Carly was able to have conversations with her parents.

“I stopped looking her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenaged girl,” says her dad.  “She sees herself as a normal child locked in a body that does things that she has no control over.”

Carly describes her symptoms of autism

In her writing, Carly conveys a deep understanding of the world around her.  Likewise, she struggles to get others to understand what her world is like…

AMAZING VIDEO- NONVERBAL AUTISTIC TEEN CARLY “TALKS” ABOUT AUTISM, B12 PATCHOn chronic pain: “You don’t know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms…I want something that will put out the fire.”

On head banging: “Because if I don’t, it feels like my body is going to explode. It’s just like when you shake a can of Coke.  If I could stop it, I would, but it’s not like turning a switch off.  I know what is right and wrong, but it’s like I have a fight with my brain over it.”

On covering her ears, moaning, and rocking: “It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that overloads us all at once.  We create output to block out input.”

On refusing eye contact: “People say that we have a hard time processing information.  It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently.  We take in many sounds and conversations at once.  I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them.  That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”

On autism experts: “How can you explain something you have not lived or if you don’t know what it’s like to have it?  If a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what’s wrong with the horse.  You go right to the horse’s mouth.”

Carly becomes a delegate for autistic kids everywhere

Today, Carly communicates with other nonverbal autistic kids on the internet.  She Twitters like any other teen, and she has a large fan base on Facebook and her blog, Carly’s Voice.

Carly has been the subject of many television talk shows and news segments, like Larry King Live, 20/20, and Ellen, to whom she donated over $500.00 to the Make it Right Foundation.

“Everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out.”

She has also interviewed celebrities like autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism.  She is also working on her first novel.

Here is her story on YouTube

Why post this story on a vitamin B12 blog?

If it seems strange that a site containing information on vitamin B12 deficiency would also focus in autism, then know this:

  • Vitamin B12 is brain food. In a study focusing on 50 autistic children who were given vitamin B12 supplements, nine of the children experienced favorable results related to cognitive skills like language and socialization, in addition to changes in biomarkers for oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin B12 is good for the nerves. By supporting the myelin sheathe that insulates your nerve cells, vitamin B12 protects you from severe nerve damage like apraxia and paresthesia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency correlates with autism. Many children with autism also have vitamin B12 deficiency.  By supplementing with extra B12, parents of autistic children note dramatic neurological health benefits.

Read more about autism:

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

Autism Videos for Kids, Teens and Parents: You Tube’s Top 10

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

Unlocking Carly: Using one finger, autistic teen uses iPad, laptop to communicate

Carly Fleischmann — Overcoming Autism

4 Promising Autism Treatments, From Vitamin B12 to Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda

Images, from top:

Pink Sherbet Photography, Horia Varlan

Enter to win a free iPad 2!

“Contest & Sweepstakes”

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

Monday, December 26th, 2011



Keeping your heart healthy requires making many lifestyle changes; most people don’t realize that avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is just as essential for your heart as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising, and reducing stress.  Below are some pointers for promoting cardiovascular health, including reasons why extra vitamin B12 supplements are beneficial for a healthy heart.

1- Monitor your vitamin B12 levels

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, supports many necessary biochemical functions in your body.  Vitamin B12 helps you produce plenty of red blood cells, helps maintain your nervous system, assists in building DNA, and sustains normal metabolism, cognitive functioning, strength, and energy.

Vitamin B12 is also an essential nutrient for heart health, as it regulates homocysteine levels. In many studies, the hormone homocysteine has been found to increase your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Vitamin B12 helps your body break down homocysteine, thus reducing your risk for heart disease.

The American Heart Association urges people to eat a healthy diet that includes folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 for optimal heart health.

Goal: Get tested! Elderly individuals, people diagnosed with pernicious anemia, patients of gastrointestinal disorders, or anybody who has had gastrointestinal surgery involving the removal of the ileum (gastric bypass) cannot absorb vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid suffering B12 deficiency.  To find out if you are at risk, request a blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency from your doctor.

Read more about vitamin B12 and heart disease-

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate

2- Get moving

All health experts agree that incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least 5 days per week, is the single most important lifestyle change you can make for your heart.  Conversely, increasing evidence indicates that living a sedentary lifestyle- watching several hours of television each day, sitting at a desk for long periods without breaks, and shunning exercise- is one of the biggest contributing factors to heart disease.

Goal: Break it down! If you’re daunted by the idea of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill, plan three 10-minute breaks in the day for exercise, instead.  Walk your dog or do a window-shopping run around the mall (without stopping!).  If you work at a desk, set your timer to alert you to get up and stretch at regular intervals.

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

3- Eat more heart-healthy foods

Prevent cardiovascular disease by following a low fat, low cholesterol diet.  Avoid saturated trans-fats, and opt instead for small doses of healthy monounsaturated fats, like olive or canola oils.  If you normally eat red meat, switch instead to lean poultry, which also contains plenty of vitamin B12.  In addition to cutting down on fats, you should also eat more vitamin-enriched foods that are low in salt and refined carbohydrates.

Goal: Spice it up! Train your tongue to like nutritious, low-fat foods that have fewer “empty” calories.  Go for high-fiber vegetables, grains, and legumes, lower-fat meats, cheeses, and spreads, and shake things up with dashes of cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and granulated garlic.  By focusing on the spices, you’ll feel more satisfied, and less likely to miss that fatty mouth-feel of fried foods.

The Best- and Worst- Cooking Oils for Heart Health

4- Mind your weight

Numerous studies conclude that obesity is one of the greatest health risks that affect people today.  Being overweight overburdens your entire body, contributing to illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening conditions.

Goal: Size it down! By cutting down the size of your plate, you alternatively cut down your dress size.  Try using smaller plates, include veggies, omit surgery drinks, eat slower, and resist the urge to go for seconds.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

5- Don’t ignore the elephant in the living room

If you think you might be suffering some of the symptoms of heart disease, such as breathlessness, heart palpitations, increased sweating, call your doctor right away.  Ignoring even the smallest signs can be a matter of life or death.

Goal: See your doctor! Pay attention to bodily cues, and schedule a checkup, immediately.

6- Keep your emotions in check

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all taxing on your heart.  Succumbing to anger increases your chances for heart attack, as well.

Goal: Talk it out! When you feel nervous, sad, or stressed, confide in a friend or close family member.  If you’re uncomfortable asking others for help, schedule a meeting with a psychiatrist or social worker, instead.

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

7- Snuff out the cigarettes

At the very least, you should quit smoking in order to improve your heart health and your lungs.  Smoking is linked with asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Goal: Don’t give up! If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past, then try again.  Research shows that the more times you attempt to quit smoking cigarette, the greater the chances of eventually reaching that smoke-free goal.  Ask your healthcare provider about quit-smoking programs, or try using a nicotine patch.

Smoking and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

8- Cut down on alcohol

If you drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day, then you need to cut it down.  Research shows that drinking too much alcohol is dangerous for the heart, as well as the liver.

Goal: Seek help! If the notion of keeping your alcohol drinking down to one or two beers each day sounds overwhelming, then you might require extra assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous.

B12 and Alcohol Consumption

9- Sleep soundly

If you snore, then you might be a candidate for heart failure or stroke, according to latest research on the heavy risks of snoring.  Obstructive sleep apnea is one of many factors that may lead to cardiovascular disease.

Goal: Wear your mask! So far, the best treatment for severe sleep apnea is wearing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP) while sleeping.

10- Take care of your choppers

Over time, your teeth develop a layer of plaque that contains bacteria.  Unless you brush and floss regularly, you can get gum disease, causing bacteria to seep into your blood supply and contributing to heart disease.

Goal: Floss it! Floss and brush morning and evening, and floss after meals.

What your Gums have to Say about your B12 Level

11- Set reasonable goals

Don’t fall victim to the “all or nothing” attitude.  You don’t have to become a health and fitness enthusiast, but nor should you throw up your hands in despair.  Accept that with every one success come numerous setbacks, and that lifestyle changes happen slowly, over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

Goal: Take baby steps! All successful weight-loss and fitness experts encourage you to set small, reachable short-term goals, in addition to the long-term goal of better health.  This allows you to feel a small measure of success, and gives you the motivation you need to stay on the wagon.  Congratulate yourself for losing 10% of your weight, losing a dress size, or every time you make a healthy food choice.

12- Respect your medications

Don’t think that just because you feel better, that you can stop taking your blood pressure medications.  Many heart patients make that common mistake.  If you are unhappy with a side effect of certain medications, then ask your doctor for an alternative.  Conversely, don’t rely on medications alone to keep you healthy. It is essential to follow a heart-healthy diet, in addition to exercising and reducing stress, for optimal cardiovascular health.

Goal: Get organized! Keep your meds somewhere where you won’t forget them.  If necessary, store a batch of precut tablets in a pill keeper.

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia


5 Essential Heart Health Habits

17 Worst Habits for Your Heart

Homocysteine, Folic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease

‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring

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