What is it?
B12, also known as methylcobalamin, that is commonly found in meat sources. Vegan ancestors actually used to consume this vitamin from unwashed fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately with the current treatment of our foods with pesticides and the deficiency of vitamins in our soil, this vitamin is commonly missed.
This vitamin plays a major role in multiple systems:
- Helps form red blood cells to deliver oxygen
- Helps form myelin – a fatty tissue that protects nerves cells
- Metabolism of carbs, fats, and protein
- Reduces homocysteine – a natural inflammatory byproduct of the body
B12′s Best Friend
This vitamin commonly teams up with another vitamin, folate or folic acid to make many biochemical reactions to happen in the body. What has folate in it? Think FOLiage for leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
What are some signs of deficiency?
Pins and needles sensation in extremities
B12/Folate deficient anemia
Shortness of breath
What are the benefits?
Improved stress response
Why a shot?
Absorption of B12 in the digestive system is dependent on a chemical called intrinsic factor and adequate amounts of stomach acid. People with digestive issues and those taking antacids do not secrete the above factors properly making it difficult to absorb B12 from food.
A shot increases absorption and utilization of B12 and people generally feel the effects quickly. This vitamin comes in three different forms: cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, and methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is the best-absorbed form of this nutrient.