Tuesday, January 26, 2016

B12, B Complex vitamins, and health….

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 1-26-2016

I. Introduction:

Do you want to have abundant energy or feel really horrible because you have so little energy?

Do you want your nerves to allow you to feel things without tingling sensations or pain?

Do you want to stay mentally sharp and remember things well?

Do you want to slow aging and prevent cancer by keeping your DNA from developing or keeping defects?

Do you need to take the one safe and effective drug for high blood sugar…
or need to take what now looks to be the safest effective acid reducing drug….
or take the safest and cheapest effective high blood pressure class of drugs?

Most people I know would like to have or be able to do all these things except the last one.

And millions of people are already taking one or more of the 3 drugs in the last one!

If you want or need even one of those things, the information in this post is for you!!

A slightly above average amount or a high amount of vitamin B12 in your blood is essential for each of the first four things --
AND each of the 3 drugs depletes B12.  So they are only safe to take if you supplement B12 or design your whole food intake around getting a lot of it.

II. The drugs, Ranitidine, trade name, Zantac (the proton pump inhibitors have recently been found to help cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease) & Metformin, & thiazide diuretics each is a best in class drug BUT each and every one depletes B12.

And, many people at some point past age 65 produce less stomach acid.  This means they are able to get less or far less B12 from their food.

III. Many of us are eating in a very low or no meat fashion because eating lots of organic vegetables and fruit and eating little or no factory farmed meat is otherwise a very effective way to get and keep good health.

But those who eat this way without wild caught fish or dairy or eggs or meat or poultry from animals fed ONLY their natural diet, routinely get too little or even no vitamin B12!

(The good news is that folate and many of the other B complex vitamins except B12 are high in many vegetables, particularly the greens and other green vegetables.)

IV. There are two ways to get enough B12 if you have enough stomach acid.

a) Getting a shot of B12 works. 

But taking lozenges of B12 that you allow to dissolve underneath your tongue or chewing them up and waiting a bit before eating or drinking more works very nearly as well as shots and is massively cheaper and easier to get. 

(NOW supplements makes a methyl B12 sublingual in 1,000 mcg and 5,000 mcg sizes.  And, the 1,000 mcg size I take is quite inexpensive.)

b)  Liver has megadoses of highly bioavailable B Complex vitamins – INCLUDING B12.

The bad news is that you have to get organic liver
or better yet organic liver from ONLY naturally fed animals
for it to be safe to eat because liver bioconcentrates the harmful things it removes or tries to remove as its natural function.

The second thing is having a way to prepare or cook liver that tastes good because it can be unpleasant to eat otherwise.

If you take Zantac or are well over 65 so you haven’t enough stomach acid only the shots or the sublingual supplements will work for you.

(But you may get some B12 from eating liver.  And, I’ve found eating liver is so filling and nutritious it cuts my appetite for extra food enough to be a fat loss help!)

V.  For all B complex vitamins, having enough of Omega 3 oils from wild caught fish and Omega 3 and DHA supplements has been shown to make the B complex vitamins much more bioavailable.  Plus wild caught fish like salmon, sardines, herring, etc also have B12!

AND a recent Medical News Today article said that research showed that this effect was SO strong it DOUBLED the protective effect of B12 and the other B vitamins in preventing cognitive decline!

V.  I recently learned that B12 is strongly preventive for shingles AND for those who develop shingles it has been shown to sharply cut the intensity and duration of them.

(I got the shingles vaccine after seeing my Dad get shingles and causing him pain and to miss a family Christmas he had planned to attend.)

And, I take enough vitamin D3 to keep my immune system able to prevent shingles I think.

But I’m delighted to learn that I’m even less likely to get shingles because of the methyl B12 lozenges I take twice a day!

VI. You may have all the information you want and be motivated to use it at this point.

But if you want to know much more detail about B12 and the B complex vitamins OR you want to be even MORE motivated to use it --

Here are the ideas and information that inspired me to add the other things I know and do this post now that I found in the email I got on 1-20-2016 from Dr Al Sears:

It includes:   How to tell if you have enough B12 AND besides energy and good health, enough B12 slows aging by up to 10 years!

To subscribe to his emails see:  www.alsearsmd.com

“B vitamins are essential to your body's energy metabolism. And B12 in particular is crucial for energy.

When you take in high-quality B12, you unlock the energy contained in the foods you eat and turn it into glucose you can burn. 

But fortified junk food is no way to get your vitamins. In a minute, I'm going to show you a better way.

But let's take a look at how important vitamin B12 really is — especially as you age.

First of all, your body's ability to absorb vitamin B diminishes as you get older. So you may need vitamin B supplements, even shots, if you are deficient. A straightforward blood test can determine your vitamin B levels.

As you age, your digestive track no longer produces a protein called gastric "intrinsic factor." This protein binds to vitamin B12 so that your body can absorb it.   

If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you may experience:

Memory loss, impaired thinking and general cognitive difficulties; 

Fatigue and weakness;

Trouble walking and balance problems;

Numbness or tingling in your hands, legs or feet;

Yellowish skin;


A swollen or inflamed tongue.

B12 works with the seven other members of the B vitamin family to support your metabolism. It also helps regulate nerve transmissions and maintain the health of your nervous system and spinal cord.

It also helps synthesize DNA, regenerate bone marrow, and renew the lining of your gut and respiratory system.

When you don't get enough B12, your body can't get energy out of your food. It also can't form healthy red blood cells. And the result is low energy, weakness and fatigue. 

B12 also protects your telomeres. You may have heard me talk about telomeres many times before.

Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of your chromosomes. Every time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter — and that means you are dramatically increasing your risk of contracting the chronic diseases of aging.

In one study from the National Institutes of Health, doctors looked at telomere length in 586 people.1

Over 10 years, people taking vitamin B12 supplements had telomeres on average 5.9% longer than those who didn't take B12.

In fact, their cells were acting more than 10 years younger. And that means lots more energy. 

Here are some of the best food sources of vitamin B12:2

Braised beef liver….”

....Free-range eggs.”  [eggs from pasture fed chickens are safer to eat & likely have more B12)

As you can see, B12 comes from animals.

Vegetarians and vegans sometimes try to get B12 from plant sources, like seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina and brewer's yeast. But they're really getting analogs of B12, called cobamides. And they can actually block your intake of B12 and increase your need for the real thing.3

In addition, acid reflux and ulcer drugs, like Prilosec, Nexium and Pepcid interfere with B12. [As does the much safer Zantac I take] So do diabetes drugs like Metformin.

And patients with celiac disease, colitis, IBS or Crohn's disease, as well as gut issues like "leaky gut" or an inflamed gut, also have trouble absorbing B12.

Those are just some of the reasons why nearly 26% of people over the age of 60 have low or borderline B12 levels.

And it's why I recommend a B12 blood test for most of my patients.4 

Your doctor might tell you normal B12 numbers are between 200 and 350 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL). But I find patients at that level have clear symptoms of B12 deficiency. I recommend keeping your level above 450 pg/mL.

To get to that level, most people need to supplement. I recommend taking 5,000 mcg per day for healthy energy levels and telomere protection.”

[I’ve not yet been tested.  But between the wild caught salmon and naturally fed dairy products and pasture fed eggs I eat each week AND the 1,000 mcg methyl B12 I take twice a day I’m pretty sure I’m well above that.

For one thing, even taking the two tablets of Zantac a day, I still seem to have excess stomach acid anyway!]

I hope you found information in this post you can and will use to protect and optimize your health!  

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