Why is Vitamin B12 so important?
Vitamin B12 is vital for an intricate variety of functions in the body. It is essential for the absorption of nutrients, transforming carbohydrates and fats into energy. It is a prerequisite for the formation of red blood cells. It also plays an important role in DNA, including the building and metabolizing of neurotransmitters, allowing for a healthy functioning brain.
The following conditions are commonly caused/affected by B12 deficiencies:
Fatigue, including chronic fatigue
Poor memory and concentration
Insomnia and sleep disorders
IBS and digestive disorders
Peripheral neuropathy (with no known cause)
Who is most likely to suffer from B12 deficiency?
People with Intestinal Disorders and Digestive Weakness. B12 deficencies are commonly caused by malapsorption and intestinal disorders, and are a common side effect of certain medications. Our bodies are unable to construct B12 without adequate stomach acid, intrinsic factor, and healthy gut flora.
People Taking Antacids and Acid Blocking Medications (PPI's).
Vitamin B12 derived from food is bound to protein and requires stomach acid to release it. Thus, anyone taking antacid and/or acid blocking medication such as PPIs, will have their B12 absorption inhibited.
Seniors, or Anyone 45 Years and Up. Our stomach acid naturally decreases as we age. Some studies show that we should be adding HCL acid to meals regularly after the age of 40!
Vegetarians and Vegans, or People with Low Red Meat Intake. B12 is found in most animal derived foods, including meat, eggs, and dairy, with the highest bioavailable sources from liver. There are no non-animal sources verified by human trials, therefore it is imperative that vegans and vegetarians supplement with B12. Even those who eat meat, or supplement with B12 may still be deficient due to inadequate intake.
Why Vitamin B12 injections? Can't I take an oral B12 supplement?
At Denver Community Acupuncture, we offer injections of methlycobalamin, the most enzymatically active form of vitamin B12 which naturally occurs in the body. Other forms of B12, such as cyanocobalamin and hydroxycobalamin are converted to methlycobalamin in the body.
Supplementing with oral B12 may work for some people. However, oral forms of vitamin B12 are not dependable, especially if there are any digestive imbalances in the body. Through an intramuscular injection of methlycobalamin, you are assured that the vitamin will be delivered directly to your blood system boosting your mood, energy, and concentration.
How often would I need to come in?
The injections are most effective at intervals of once a week at first. For more severe cases such as anemia or chronic fatigue we may recommend twice a week.