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Posts Tagged ‘How much vitamin B12 do I need?’

Vitamin B12 for Baby Planning, Preventing Birth Defects

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients you can take if you’re planning a baby. In countless studies, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with fertility-related problems, along with spontaneous abortion and miscarriage during pregnancy. Even if your vitamin B12 levels are tested as normal, you may require an elevated amount to provide your unborn child with optimum health benefits and insure a normal delivery.

Vitamin B12 is Crucial for Baby Planning and Preventing Birth Defects

Neural tube defects

In a study led by the National Institutes of Health it was discovered that women who have abnormally low levels of serum vitamin B12 (cobalamin) before even planning a baby are more likely than others to deliver a baby with neural tube birth defects.

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

One such disorder, spina bifida, is five times more likely to occur when vitamin B12 deficiency is evident before conception.

Miscarriages

Vitamin B12 helps your body control levels of homocysteine, a hormone linked with increased risk for preeclampsia and miscarriage, in addition to heart attack and stroke.

In a study that examined vitamin B12 deficiency and its effect on fertility in women of child-bearing age, scientists found that vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency together can lead to miscarriages caused by thrombophilia (blood clotting).

Also, it was confirmed that the majority of female test subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency suffered multiple miscarriages, spontaneous abortions, and difficulty conceiving.

When vitamin B12 supplements were administered, however, researchers noted a decrease in homocysteine that led to more positive results in childbearing.

Furthermore, doctors warn that taking too much folic acid during your pregnancy may hide symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it harder to detect and treat.

Conclusion

Before planning a baby, and additionally during your pregnancy, submit a blood test for vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 blood tests are not among the standard screenings given to pregnant women, so you may have to make a special request.

Also, be on the lookout for telltale symptoms, such as crushing fatigue, long-lasting depression, brain fog, slow thinking, and constant “pins and needles” in your hands and feet.

If you’re pregnant, then you should take all the vitamins that your doctor prescribes, including folic acid to prevent birth defects. In addition to that, it’s crucial to get plenty of vitamin B12, as a deficiency in B12 levels will not be apparent even in a blood test, due to the effects of folic acid.

There’s no upper limit for vitamin B12- all amounts are perfectly safe- but the standard dose is 1,000mic, to be taken daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, or as recommended by your physician.

Please tell us…

If you had vitamin B12 deficiency during your pregnancy, were you aware of it at the time?

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Image courtesy of -Marcus-/freedigitalphotos

Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

 

 

If you suffer from long-lasting fatigue, memory problems, or pins and needles sensations, then you should test for vitamin B12 deficiency right away. Tests for vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia include cobalamin level screenings, as well as tests to determine your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. For an accurate diagnosis, it’s a good idea to take advantage of as many tests as your doctor can offer.

Multiple Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

How much vitamin B12 do you need?

While not all doctors or scientists agree as to what constitutes a healthy serum level of vitamin B12, the most widely accepted value is 200 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Serum Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Test

If you think you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then the first course of action will be to order a serum cobalamin test to see how much vitamin B12 is in your blood supply. This blood test will check for low vitamin B12 levels even in people who don’t have pernicious anemia or symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. But it is not foolproof- a false normal test result can occur, especially in people who have liver disorders, renal insufficiency, or bone marrow disease.

Complete blood count (CBC)

A CBC is sometimes used to diagnose anemia, including vitamin B12 deficiency. If you’re suffering from extreme fatigue, unexplained bruising, or dizziness, then your doctor may order a complete blood count to count red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. However, a positive test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Methylmalonic Acid Tes

Another helpful tool for accurately testing for vitamin B12 deficiency is the Methylmalonic acid (MMA) test, as MMA levels increase dramatically with vitamin B12 deficiency.

This is an expensive test, so it’s not commonly used for detecting vitamin B12 deficiency. In 2006, an MMA test for vitamin B12 deficiency without insurance could cost over $200.00

Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody (IFAB) Test

Sometimes, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency occurs because of an autoimmune condition that destroys intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme crucial for vitamin B12 absorption.

A positive IFAB test result means that you have antibodies to intrinsic factor, resulting in the inability to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and egg products.

Schilling Test

Though not available in the US, the Schilling test is considered an effective method for diagnosing vitamin B12 malabsorption. Rather than checking for vitamin B12 levels in the blood, the Schilling test gauges your ability to absorb crystalline vitamin B12. However, a normal test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A thorough physical examination and review of your medical history will help your doctor determine if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

But since no tests for vitamin B12 deficiency are 100% accurate, it’s important to recognize the classic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, so that you can help your physician make an informed decision.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Long-lasting fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Painful numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Sore tongue
  • Burning, itching sensations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line

Please tell us…

Which tests for vitamin B12 deficiency have you taken, besides the B12 blood test?

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Image courtesy of Thirteen Of Clubs/flickr

Vitamin B12- How Much in Enough?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

 

 

Once diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have questions regarding how much vitamin B12 you need to “get better,” to stop “feeling tired” all the time, or how long to keep taking vitamin B12 supplements.  Here are some answers to FAQ regarding how much vitamin B12 you need.

Vitamin B12- How Much in Enough? B12 Patch

Note: Always consult your doctor before reducing or stopping vitamin B12 supplementation, as the risk for severe nerve damage from long-term vitamin B12 deficiency is significant.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

Health experts differ on the amount of vitamin B12 supplementations you need to take.

The short answer is that is varies; healthy individuals who don’t have relevant health problems need not worry about developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as your body is able to store a large amount of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) for years.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for healthy adults is minimal- a scant few mcg of vitamin B12 per day.  These guidelines are based on the understanding that most people are able to digest vitamin B12 easily from food sources, which include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese.

However, recent studies argue the benefits of taking much more vitamin B12, in order to increase energy, prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, or replenish vitamin B12 levels.

To improve mental focus, restore stamina, and alleviate symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors recommend 1000mcg -3000mcg vitamin B12 to be taken weekly or monthly, depending on the severity of ailments, or as desired for feelings of wellbeing.

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

What’s the standard dose for vitamin B12?

Most doses of vitamin B12 include 1000mcg cobalamin, to be administered at your doctor’s recommendation.

However, many patients find that they need much more vitamin B12 than their health insurance providers are willing to endorse. This is not because of any safety guidelines, as there is no FDA-designated “upper limit” for vitamin B12…

…Meaning that it is perfectly safe to use as much vitamin B12 as you need in order to start feeling better.

As a result, many vitamin B12 deficiency patients opt to take over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplements, for usage in addition to vitamin B12 injections or sometimes, in place of monthly vitamin B12 shots.

When can I stop taking vitamin B12 supplements?

If you’ve been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of malabsorption issues, then you may be required to take vitamin B12 supplements for life.

As for how much vitamin B12 you’ll require, that number may become smaller once the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency- fatigue, dizziness, and numbness-have disappeared.

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+.

Like this? Read more:

I have Fibromyalgia…Which Supplements should I take?

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

Sources:

Vitamin B12 level: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Vitamin B12 Level – Tests, Test Results & Diagnosis – NY Times Health Information

Vitamin B12: Dosing – MayoClinic.com

Oral cyanocobalamin supplementation in older people with vitamin B12 deficiency: a dose-finding trial- PubMed NCBI

Learn More about Vitamin B12 Deficiency.

USDA: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: B-12

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin B12?

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

 

 

Do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin B12? Blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency often don’t produce adequate results. And the USRDA standard for vitamin B12 isn’t enough to treat symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, like fatigue, memory loss, and anxiety.

HOW CAN I GET MORE VITAMIN B12?

Am I getting enough vitamin B12?

Getting enough vitamin B12 into your system can be tricky…

If you eat plenty of animal-based foods like beef liver, salmon, and clams, then you’re off to a good start.

However, for a large number of people who eat meat and fish, vitamin B12 just isn’t making it into the bloodstream.

Factors such as autoimmune disorders, gastritis, diabetes, and gastric bypass operations inhibit your ability to absorb vitamin B12.

As a result, you only receive about 1% of the vitamin B12 you get from food. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to prevent ultimate vitamin B12 deficiency.

Which you don’t want to get, as vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Partial numbness
  • Tremors
  • Disability

How can I get more vitamin B12?

If your doctor believes you have vitamin B12 deficiency, he will probably prescribe routine rounds of vitamin B12 shots. These can be weekly or monthly installments of vitamin B12, according to your doctor’s recommendation.

While getting prescription vitamin B12 shots are helpful, many healthcare providers are reluctant to administer enough vitamin B12 to provide lasting relief from fatigue, chronic pain, and other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

As a result, many sufferers of pernicious anemia (or other forms of vitamin B12 deficiency) end up relying on over-the-counter (OTC) supplements to “top off” their vitamin B12 levels.

  • Sublingual vitamin B12 tablets that dissolve under your tongue are popular, if not effective, methods of supplementing with cobalamin.  Many people also report tongue irritation or “burning” sensations from frequent use.
  • Vitamin B12 pills are useless for most people with vitamin B12 deficiency, as they are unable to digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, due to lack of the intrinsic factor enzyme.

Please tell us…

Do you take vitamin B12 for energy? If so, what type of vitamin B12 do you currently use?

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+.

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.

http://www.b12patch.com/blog/importance-of-b12/eating-1000-mcg-of-vitamin-b12-foods-how-many-clams-is-that/

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.

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!

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.  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.

Octopus

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.)

Mackerel

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?)

Beef

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

Sources:

Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12 Health Professional Fact Sheet

Images:

opencage, public domain images

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

Friday, February 17th, 2012

 

 

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s crucial that you take vitamin B12 for stamina, mental alertness, athletic performance, and minor pain relief.  Untreated, B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage, fatigue, decreased energy, memory loss, depression, and anxiety. 

WILL VITAMIN B12 BOOST ENERGY IF I DON’T HAVE B12 DEFICIENCY? YES! B12 PATCH

But what if you don’t have B12 deficiency?  According to many cited studies, the benefits of vitamin B12 in boosting energy and sports performance to people who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency are still abundant.

Why you need vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) performs many important, necessary biochemical functions in your body…

  • Vitamin B12 aids in DNA synthesis, so that your red blood cells develop normally.  Without vitamin B12, your red blood cells become deformed, and are unable to leave your bone marrow, and stay there, resulting in insufficient oxygen throughout your body and causing chronic fatigue and low energy.
  • Vitamin B12 protects your nerves by helping to maintain your myelin sheathe, which insulates each nerve cell. Without B12, your nerve cells would be exposed and vulnerable, resulting in severe neurological damage such as peripheral neuropathy.
  • Vitamin B12 is used to convert proteins and carbohydrates into energy. Without sufficient vitamin B12, you experience symptoms like fatigue, attention problems, muscular feebleness, irritability, and brain fog.
  • Vitamin B12 helps your body repair cells. Researchers who studied athletic performance with vitamin B12 deficiency noticed a high correlation of poor energy levels, decreased sports performance, torn muscles, and inability to build proper muscle tone.  But after vitamin B12 supplementation, scientists noticed increased stamina, improved muscle tone, and restored athletic abilities.

Vitamin B12- the energy vitamin

In a famous study focusing on the use of high-dose vitamin B12 in the cyanocobalamin form for sustaining energy levels, scientists found that supplementing with 2,500-5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 every few days (far exceeding the RDA for vitamin B12) resulted in 50%-80% increase in stamina, mental alertness, and general feelings of wellbeing after only a few weeks.

5-Hour Energy Drinks with Vitamin B12- What’s the Catch?

Vitamin B12 feels good

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES! In a double-blind crossover study focusing on vitamin B12 for treating tiredness, people who had low energy but did not suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency or chronic fatigue syndrome were given 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 or a placebo two times per day for two weeks. 

While the placebo had no effect, tired individuals who received the vitamin B12 injections noticed a significant increase in energy, mental focus, and improved mood.

Similarly, a separate study on people with normal vitamin  B12 levels found that regular supplementation of high-dose vitamin B12 resulted in significantly better mood, increased energy, and improved cognitive functioning, versus the placebo, which had no effect on mood or energy.   

In this study, doses varied from 3,000 mcg of vitamin B12four times per week to 9,000 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

The USRDA for vitamin B12 for healthy individuals ranges from .4 mcg -2.8 mcg of vitamin B12.  However, that’s not nearly enough to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency, the standard prescribed vitamin B12 shot amounting to 1000 mcg per week.  And that’s just to prevent neurological damage and cognitive impairments.

To maintain healthy energy levels with vitamin B12 (even if you’re not deficient) you might need to take anywhere upwards of 3,000 mcg of B12, several times a week.  Since there is no upper limit established for vitamin B12 supplementation, there’s no danger of overdosing on B12.

WILL VITAMIN B12 BOOST ENERGY IF I DON’T HAVE B12 DEFICIENCY?  YES! B12 PATCH


Please tell us…

Are you a bodybuilder who uses vitamin B12 shots for increased energy and muscle mass?

Do you suffer from low energy and chronic fatigue, though you haven’t tested positively for vitamin B12 deficiency?

We welcome your comments!

Spread the love…

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

Read more about vitamin B12- the energy vitamin

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome- What is it, exactly?

I have Fibromyalgia…Which Supplements should I take?

Sources:

The rationale for using high-dose cobalamin (vitamin B12) CFIDS Chronicle Physicians’ Forum

A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness

Vitamin B-12: placebo or neglected therapeutic tool?  PubMed, NCBI

Vitamin supplementation and athletic performance- PubMed, NCBI

Images:

nattu, YIM Hafiz

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