Do you suffer from fatigue, depression, anxiety and poor memory or concentration? Did you know that even a mild deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to these symptoms? In more severe cases, B12 deficiencies can lead to neuropathy, permanent nerve damage, mania and psychosis. That's right: there are cases in psychiatric papers of patients on months of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications before anyone bothered to check their B12 levels!
In fact, Vitamin B12 is required for a myriad of functions in the body. It is a prerequisite for the formation of red blood cells which deliver nutrients to all parts of the body. It is vital in digestion and absorption by transforming the food we eat, including carbohydrates and fats, into energy. It allows for the proper absorption of fatty acids and amino acids. It even plays a role in DNA health, including the building and metabolizing of neurotransmitters, allowing for a healthy functioning brain.
Individuals who suffer from gene variants, including the increasingly tested MTHFR and MTRR, are particularly vulnerable to falling deficient of an adequate supply of activated/bioavailable vitamins. These individuals often suffer from inexplainable chronic fatigue and depression.
Here 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. Results from our clients who have been receiving injections include an increase in energy, improved quality and duration of sleep, better memory and mood, decreased headaches, and fewer allergic reactions. Vitamin B12 has also been effectively used to treat anemia, peripheral neuropathy, memory loss, IBS, heart disease, ALS, and MS, as well as lowering homocysteine levels in the blood (linked to increased risk of heart attack and strokes).
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.
More commonly however, malabsorption, intestinal disorders, and certain medications can reduce the amount of B12 in the body. Our bodies are unable to construct B12 without the help of stomach acid, intrinsic factor, and healthy gut flora. Vitamin B12 derived from foods consumed is bound to protein and requires stomach acid to release it. Thus, anyone taking antacid and/or acid blocking medicines, such as PPIs will have their B12 absorption inhibited. Also, as we age our bodies tend to produce less stomach acid and intrinsic factor which makes deficiencies in B12 more prevalent the older we get.
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. 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.