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Posts Tagged ‘b12 supplements’

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012



The richest food sources of vitamin B12 come from meat, fish, and milk sources.  Some vegan vitamin B12 sources are available, but for maximum vitamin B12 benefits, you would have to eat a lot of tofu to get close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.  How can you avoid vitamin B12 deficiency on a vegan diet?


Are you getting enough vitamin B12?

The RDA for vitamin B12 is minimal- only a few mcg of B12 per day.  However, according to various scientific studies, people who receive doses upwards of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week reported experiencing increased stamina, mental focus, and feelings of wellbeing.

Non-vegan sources of vitamin B12:

Clams: One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12. 

Liver: 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. 

Fish eggs: A 3-ounce serving of whitefish caviar provides 56.4 mcg of vitamin B12.

Mackerel: Mackerel has 19 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams.


Vegan sources of vitamin B12:

Soymilk: An 8-ounce cup of soymilk provides a mere 2 mcg of vitamin B12, give or take.

Tofu: A typical serving of tofu provides 1.86 mcg of vitamin B12.

Marmite: Yeast spreads contain 0.5 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams, or 0.03 per teaspoon.


Are you at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?

There are many ways to get vitamin B12 deficiency, but they generally boil down to this:

Either you don’t eat enough foods that have vitamin B12, or you eat plenty of fish and meat, but you’re not digesting the B12.

On Becoming Vegan: Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Others

Soy milk, fortified with B12

Reasons for not digesting vitamin B12

If your body is unable to digest vitamin B12 naturally from food, then you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, even if you eat plenty of clams. 

Your only option is to supplement with vitamin B12 for life.

Factors that inhibit vitamin B12 absorption include:

  • Autoimmune disorder (Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, celiac disease)
  • Lack of intrinsic factor (a hormone necessary for digesting vitamin B12)
  • Drug interaction (metformin, PPIs)
  • Gastrointestinal surgery (gastric bypass)
  • Alcoholism
  • Old age

Getting extra vitamin B12

If you don’t have B12 deficiency, but you want to boost stamina, maintain a healthy weight, or enhance cognitive functioning by increasing vitamin B12 levels, then your choices are:

  • Become a seafood lover, or
  • Supplement with vitamin B12 for life.

Which B12 supplements are available?

There are different kinds of B12 vitamins, some of which require a doctor’s prescription.

  • Vitamin B12 shots: If diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, then your doctor might prescribe 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 injections per week, or as needed.  A prescription is required, and many patients find that their fatigue symptoms return before the next scheduled vitamin B12 shot.
  • Sublingual vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 tablets that dissolve under the tongue are available with or without prescription.  Vitamin B12 pills are not efficient ways to access vitamin B12, and they often require you to take 3 doses throughout the day. 

    Side effects of sublingual vitamin B12 may include burning sensations on tongue and unpleasant taste.

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 and vegan diet:

Natalie Portman Chooses B12 over Veganism

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?

Benefits and Sources of Vitamin B12, and How to Avoid Deficiency


Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12 Health Professional Fact Sheet


andrewasmith, freepik, Benson Kua

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011



If you’re planning a pregnancy, you might want to check your B12 levels- numerous reports link vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy with miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and other fertility problems.  B12 deficiency anemia- pernicious anemia- makes it harder for women to conceive, as well as for men to produce fertile sperm.


Medical research proves the fertility-B12 deficiency link

One of the most famous studies on fertility and B12 deficiency examined fourteen women of childbearing age who suffered vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMAll women who participated in the study suffered severe vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in addition to low fertility- Four had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for two to eight years, and eleven experienced repeated miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
  • Dr. Michael Bennett, hematologist of the Ha’Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, implemented vitamin B12 supplementation to see if it would have any effect on their ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies.
  • If fetal loss were to continue despite elevating B12 levels, it would prove that infertility was unrelated to B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia symptoms.
  • Instead, result showed that ten out of the fourteen test subjects experienced favorable results from vitamin B12 supplements. The results can be found in this study on vitamin B12 and fertility.

Dr. Bennett explains the connection

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMBennett notes that B12 deficiency, combined with folate deficiency, led to thrombophilia (blood clotting) in seven of the women studied, thus increasing their risk for miscarriage.
  • He believes that taking large amounts of folic acid, a nutrient prescribed to women of childbearing age, often masks B12 deficiency symptoms, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
  • In his conclusion, Dr. Bennett attributes raised homocysteine levels, a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, with repeated fetal loss, and over time, ovulation disorder.

“Correcting this deficiency can rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy,” states Bennett.  “This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels…in every patient investigated for infertility or recurrent (miscarriage).”

Report findings are available by The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.


Why does my body need B12?

Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it helps to produce red blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, guards the nervous system’s myelin sheath, maintains cognitive functioning, lowers homocysteine levels, and supports metabolism.  

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

What symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?

Since vitamin B12 interacts with so many different areas of the body, many seemingly unrelated symptoms indicate vitamin B12 deficiency.  Pernicious anemia masks itself as mood disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, and other chronic conditions.

Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Painful tingling, numbness or “prickly” sensations, mainly in the hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen tongue
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Loss of balance while walking, running, or jumping
  • Decreased fine motor skills
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Heart palpitations

Read more about B12 deficiency and pregnancy:

Pregnant Moms and Low B-12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?


Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and recurrent fetal loss- PubMed, NCBI

Lack Of Vitamin B12 Linked To Repeat Miscarriage

Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and miscarriage

Pernicious Anemia

Image credits, from top:

Stuart Miles, Ambro, photostock, winnond

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011



Are you at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, one of the fastest growing forms of malnourishment today?  Most people with B12 deficiency don’t even know they have it.  Find out why vitamin B12 is important for healthy living. Are you are getting enough?


What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient called cobalamin, occurs naturally in meat and other protein foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  Vitamin B12 is one of the B-complex vitamins, and plays many important roles in your healthy lifestyle, and unless you get enough vitamin B12 from your diet or from vitamin B12 supplements, then you might experience the following symptoms:

  • VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY. ARE YOU AT RISK? WWW.B12PATCH.COMConstant tiredness, fatigue for no apparent reason
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Muscular aches
  • Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen red tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty walking smoothly
  • Poor hand-eye coordination and motor skills


Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to neurological damage, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, memory problems, and misdiagnosis of severe mood disorders.

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

So, who’s at risk for B12 deficiency?

Even if you eat plenty of meat and milk, you may be susceptible for vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are many other risk factors involved…

If you fit into any one of the following categories, then you are highly susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Do you have diabetes? If you are diabetic, and you take metformin, then you are vulnerable to B12 deficiency, since metformin blocks your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly.
  • Have you had weight loss surgery? If you have had any bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, or any other gastrointestinal surgery that involves removing a piece of the small intestine called the ileum, then you need to take vitamin B12 supplements regularly.  The ileum is the bottom-most part of the small intestine, and is principally responsible for absorbing vitamin B12.
  • Do you suffer from autoimmune disorders? If you suffer from any autoimmune disease that involves damage to the digestive system, then you are at risk for many forms of malnourishment, including vitamin B12 deficiency.  Examples of autoimmune disorders that correlate with vitamin B12 deficiency are Crohn’s disease, celiac disorder, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and lupus.
  • VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY. ARE YOU AT RISK? WWW.B12PATCH.COMAre you a senior citizen? The elderly are highly susceptible to B12 deficiency.  As you age, your body produces fewer stomach acids that are necessary for digesting vitamin B12 from the foods you eat.  Also, older people tend to eat less and have sensitive stomachs, all of which can lead to malnourishment. In order to avoid B12 deficiency, it is crucial to include extra B12 supplements in your daily vitamin regimen.
  • Do you take heartburn medication? If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or if just take many antacids, then you might become deficient in vitamin B12, as stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamins such as B12 from your food.
  • Are you an alcoholic? Frequent alcohol use inhibits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like vitamin B12 properly, and causes malnourishment.
  • Does vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia run in your family? Some people are unable to produce intrinsic factor, an essential chemical your stomach makes to access and digest vitamin B12 from food sources.  If you have this autoimmune disorder, then you must supplement with a form of vitamin B12 that dispenses the vitamin directly into your bloodstream.


How can I find out if I have vitamin B12 deficiency?

The only way to find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency is to visit your doctor and ask for a vitamin B12 blood test.  If you test positive, then he will likely prescribe a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements.

Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:

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

WhichTests check Absorption of Vitamin B12?


Vitamin B12 Deficiency Risk Factors – Am I at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency? – Third Age

Vitamin B12- Mayo Clinic

What Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency? What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

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heather aitken, ValetheKid, soylentgreen23, Martin Kimeldorf’s Pixel Playground

Are you Glee-ful over Vitamin B12? Actress Lea Michele is…

Friday, November 11th, 2011



For years, vitamin B12 has been the staple energy vitamin for stars such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Prince.  Now, B12 vitamins are part of Glee star Lea Michele’s regimen against vitamin B12 deficiency. Find out why celebrities such as Lea Michele rely on B12 supplements for added stamina, strength, and mental focus.


The Glee star’s secret to weight loss

How does Lea Michele, who plays the bossy, competitive, (and sometimes infuriating) Rachel on Glee keep her figure?  Recently, she confessed to following a strictly macrobiotic vegan diet, composed of mostly vegetables, grains, and beans. By cutting out meat, chicken, and dairy products from her diet, Lea has managed to lose ten pounds since she first started filming on the set.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

How does she avoid B12 deficiency?

Lea admits to also eating a few servings of fish per week, in order to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency.  Since Vitamin B12 occurs only in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk, supplementing with extra vitamin B12 is crucial for avoiding low B12 blood levels.  How does she justify introducing a non-vegan source into her vegan diet?  Apparently, macrobiotic veganism makes special allowances for seafood.  Lea Michele understands that a diet low in vitamin B12 is a diet that leads to B12 deficiency symptoms.


Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

People who deplete their stores of vitamin B12 encounter symptoms such as extreme fatigue, muscular weakness, depression, diminished coordination, memory loss, and frequent numbness or tingling sensations (pins and needles) in their hands, arms, legs, and feet. Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency may escalate into severe memory loss, neurological damage, osteoporosis, and increased risk for heart attack, and stroke.

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

How does vitamin B12 benefit an active lifestyle?

Vitamin B12 influences a wide range of bodily functions- by ensuring balanced B12 levels in your blood supply, you feel more energized, stimulated, confident, and “gleeful.”

  • Vitamin B12 is instrumental in DNA synthesis
  • Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system
  • Vitamin B12 boosts your metabolism
  • Vitamin B12 controls homocysteine levels, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Vitamin B12 supports cognitive functioning
  • Vitamin B12 protects you from vitamin deficiency symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety, and “brain fog”
  • Vitamin B12 helps you stay on track with your fitness regimen and enables you to make better food choices

Read more about the many health benefits of vitamin B12:

Justin Bieber among 10 Celeb “Beliebers” in Vitamin B12 Shots

The Many Benefits of Vitamin B12…


Lea Michele Bikini Body Secrets Includes Diet, B12 Shots

Vitamin B12 | ‘Glee’ The star Lea Michele surprisingly fit

Lea Michele Injects B12 and Eats Fish, According to ASOS Magazine

Image credits, from top:

gospelportals, karlnorling,

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Friday, November 4th, 2011



If you’re having trouble finding balance, B12 deficiency might be the culprit.  Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency- dizziness and nerve damage like ataxia (unsteady gait, difficulty keeping balance), and numbness or tingling in hands and feet require B12 supplements.


Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in all meat, cheese, and egg products, but if you are one of millions of people who cannot absorb B12 efficiently, then you will start feeling symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.  Some common emotional and cognitive signs of B12 deficiency are:

  • BALANCE YOUR B12, BALANCE YOUR NERVES, WWW.B12PATCH.COMChronic fatigue, sleepiness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychoses
  • Dementia

Nerve damage caused by B12 deficiency

In addition to psychiatric symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency causes severe damage to your nerves, notably subacute combined degeneration (SCD) of the spinal cord- a severe neurological disorder caused by B-12 deficiency.  SCD causes damage in your spinal cord, brain, and peripheral nerves, beginning with the myelin sheathe.

BALANCE YOUR B12, BALANCE YOUR NERVES, WWW.B12PATCH.COM1- The myelin sheathe- your nervous system’s “ozone layer”
The myelin sheath is a protective covering that surrounds many of your nerves, providing a shield from potential danger.  The myelin sheathe also accelerates communication between your nerves and your many bodily sensors (hands, feet, tongue, nose, eyes).  Vitamin B12 aids your body in maintaining this essential protective mechanism, and low levels of B12 often result in a breakdown of the myelin sheathe.  

2- Communication breakdown

The nerves of your spinal cord rely on a steady inflow of information from your nerve sensors throughout your body.  Messages from the nerves in your legs, for example, flow along the spinal cord and to the brain, thus controlling movements like running, walking, skipping, and tapping your feet.  Nerve damage causes these signals to become misinterpreted, resulting in poor coordination, or gait ataxia.


3- Gait ataxia- taking the spring out of your step

A typical sign of abnormal neurological behavior resulting from B12 deficiency is gait ataxia, which is difficulty walking.  Gait ataxia is also one of the symptoms of pernicious anemia, red blood cell disease associated with prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency.  Symptoms of gait ataxia are:

  • Unsteady gait, difficulty walking without stumbling
  • Difficulty staying balanced on one leg
  • Trembling awkward movements, clumsiness
  • Muscular weakness in the legs and arms
  • Spasticity
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Vision problems, blurriness

4- Paresthesias- “pins and needles” and numbness sensations

An early sign of nerve damage related to vitamin B12 cobalamin deficiency is paresthesias, resulting in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.  Paresthesias is a kind of peripheral neuropathy that affects the peripheral nerves that run along your spinal cord and to your extremities, thus causing that pins and needles sensation that you often feel in your hands and feet.


Do you have vitamin B12 deficiency?  Go ask a hematologist.

The only way to determine if you are indeed suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency is by getting a blood test.  If a physician diagnoses you with dangerously low levels of B12, then he may recommend B12 injections, which will require a prescription.


  • Vitamin B12- How much do you need?
  • Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey
  • Sources:

    Image credits, from top:

    The Many Benefits of Vitamin B12…

    Thursday, November 3rd, 2011



    Vitamin B12 benefits your nervous system and many other biochemical reactions;  Find out how Vitamin B12 supplements can help you live a healthier lifestyle.



    What is vitamin B12?

    Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) is an essential nutrient that occurs naturally in protein food sources, such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  The B12 vitamin is one of the B-complex vitamins.  Other B vitamins are vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B3 (niacin).



    B12 Benefits

    Vitamin B12 is important for many bodily functions.  B12 helps your body produce red blood cells, regulates your nervous system, boosts your immunity, and protects cognitive functioning.  Some other benefits of vitamin B12 include lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke by regulating homocysteine levels.


    B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms


    What is the best way to get vitamin B12?

    The best way to get enough vitamin B12 in your diet is by eating plenty of lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Foods that have the highest levels of vitamin B12 are clams, oysters, beef liver, and halibut. 

    However, eating B12-rich foods does not guarantee against vitamin B12 deficiency.  Some people are unable to digest B12 naturally from foods, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid symptoms of malnourishment, such as fatigue, depression, irritability, numbness in hands and feet, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

    Most physicians prescribe vitamin B12 shots, sublingual B12, or b12 vitamins after diagnosing B12 deficiency.

    Read more about vitamin B12 benefits:

    Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

    Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

    Signs and Symptoms of 6 Types of Anemia Blood Disease


    Benefits Of Taking Vitamin B12- LIVESTRONG.COM

    Image credits, from top:

    jscreationzs, Maggie Smith, Idea go, Paul, Suat Eman

    Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

    Monday, May 9th, 2011



    B12 vitamins are essential for health hair, strong nails and clearer skin, according to certain studies. Learn how vitamin B12 supplements can prevent age-related hair loss and premature whitening.


    Vitamin B12 info:

    Vitamin B12 is found in many high protein foods; great sources of B12 are lean beef, chicken, shellfish, eggs and dairy products. Vitamin B12 benefits the nervous system, red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Several studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with unhealthy hair, skin and nails.

    What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Some red flags which might indicate B12 deficiency symptoms are:

    Look at your nails. Can you see the white moons, or have they disappeared? What about your hair; have you noticed any premature hair loss or graying?

    You might not be getting sufficient vitamin B12 in your diet. Research proves that B12 is one of the best vitamins for hair, skin and nails.


    Vitamin B12 hair facts

    A large percentage of individuals who have low B12 levels also suffer from premature hair loss; premature streaks of white hair are another symptom. Health experts explain that it’s your body’s way of warning you to increase vitamin supplements; vitamins that are good for your inner body are also good for external skin, hair and nails.

    Another B vitamin, biotin, has also been proven to reduce hair loss from aging. Biotin is essential for developing hair follicles, boosting hair growth, and generally building strong hair, skin and nails.

    Read more about vitamins for hair: B Today, Hair Tomorrow

    Vitamin B12 for skin

    What is your skin trying to tell you about your B12 levels? Case studies have linked low B12 with skin lesions; hyperpigmentation and vitiligo are common causes of darkening or lightening of the skin, and often signal a deficiency of vitamins which are good for the skin.

    Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and skin.

    Vitamin B12 and  fingernails

    Poor fingernail health is another common sign of vitamin B12 deficiency; symptoms include ridged nail surfaces and disappearing of the “moon” at the cuticle. Not getting enough of the B vitamin, biotin? Brittle nails mean you need to supplement with more vitamin B complex.  Spooning of the nail bed means you need more iron and yellow nails signal lack of vitamin E.

    Read more about taking vitamin B12 supplements for health: B12: Celebs Say it’s the New C

    Vitamin B12 is among the best vitamins for hair growth, strong nails and vibrant skin. B12 supplements are available in the form of vitamin B12 shots or B12 pills.


    WebMD, About.com, PubMed, LIVESTRONG, FYI Living

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