Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms Are Often Misdiagnosed Worsening Conditions
Vitamin B12 deficiency should be the first thing to assess or consider using in high dosages for resolving several vague symptoms, including chronic fatigue, neurological disorders, anemia, and even MS-like symptoms. It would be the least dangerous and least expensive intervention, possibly the most effective.
If vitamin B12 deficiency is not the first thing checked properly, it could lead to the wrong and dangerous pharmaceutical interventions. There are no dangerous side effects from too much vitamin B12, as long as the rest of one’s vitamin B complex is sufficient as a foundation.
All the usual B12 sources, such as meat, eggs, and dairy won’t do much if one’s small intestines are lacking the intrinsic factor. The intrinsic factor is a special protein produced in the small intestine that is key to extracting B12 from foods and assimilating it into the blood.
And many lack it due to our standard American diet (SAD) of processed foods and/or anti-acid medications, prescribed or over the counter. Actually, it’s usually a lack of stomach acid that’s the problem, not excess acid. So anti-acids make those apparent excess acid situations even worse.
That’s why meat and dairy consumers are not exempt from vitamin B12 deficiency.
The usual symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety, and anemia and many more physical and neurological manifestations are diagnosed without first checking vitamin B12 levels correctly. Regardless of diet, it’s estimated up to 80 percent of the population may be vitamin B12 deficient.
A California Study, Stomach Acid, and the Proper Type of Vitamin B12
In a recent study, researchers compared the medical records of nearly 26,000 members the Northern California Kaiser Permanente sick care provider plan who were diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency between 1997 and 2011, and nearly 185,000 people with healthy B12 levels.
The study determined an association of using acid reducing prescribed and over the counter pharmaceuticals to vitamin B12 deficiency.
According to holistic Dr. Jonathon Wright of the Tacoma Clinic, it takes sufficient stomach acid to begin extracting vitamin B12 from food. Most have too little acid, not too much. That and a well-balanced gut microbiota are necessary.
They tend to deteriorate as we age, especially while indulging in our SAD (standard American diet) and high antibiotic use. This usually results in bouts of fatigue and leads to increased cardiovascular risk.
But supplementing works fine if one uses the right type of B12 taken sublingually or transdermally via patches or lipid encapsulated (liposomal) or by injection.
There are three types of B12: cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and methylcobalamin. Of these three, most experts agree that methylcobalamin is the most effective.
How to Check Vitamin B-12 Levels
Vitamin B12 deficiency is often behind low energy, chronic fatigue, anemia, and allows too much homocysteine build-up, a reliable marker for impending cardiac arrest.
Blood serum testing has a problem because it doesn’t take into consideration what’s called the intrinsic value of the digestive system, which determines the potential for metabolizing B12 on a cellular level.
Testing urine for high amounts of Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) is more accurate than blood level testing. MMA is high when B-12 metabolism is low. Another indirect indicator is a high homocysteine blood level.
High homocysteine levels lead to cardiac problems. As indirect indicators, both MMA and homocysteine have inverse relationships to B12 levels.
However, the most commonly injected B12 by mainstream medical doctors is cyanocobalamin, which many say actually impedes B12 metabolism. Methylcobalamin B12 helps change homocysteine into methionine. Less homocysteine is a good thing for those flirting with cardiovascular issues.
So regardless of whatever method you use to supplement B12: sublingual lozenges, transdermal patches, liposomal formulas, or injections, use only methylcobalamin.
Make sure your B6 and folate levels are adequate to optimize the B12 intake. Don’t use potentially toxic synthetic folic acid as a source of vitamin B9. Make sure your source of B9 says folate, not folic acid. Too many B12 supplements, even methylcobalamin, contain synthetic folic acid.
If MMA and homocysteine blood testing are not available or beyond budget, experimenting dosage levels is not dangerous. There is little concern for overdosing.
Some estimate that oral sublingual ingestion of 1000 mcg (micrograms) of B12 daily for at least a month or more approximates twice weekly B12 injections. But I don’t think that is true for everyone.
I take one to three times that much sublingually daily. The idea is to take whatever supplement method of B12 bypasses the gut and gets into your bloodstream as directly as possible, and not to worry about overdosing.
While living in Mexico, I injected myself two to three times a week for awhile to help me cope with a difficult period of my wife’s illness. In Mexico, you can purchase disposable syringes with needles for less than a quarter each.
There I had an over the counter pharmacy source for methylcobalamin at around a dollar per vial. Each injection required one vial. Neither required a prescription. In the USA prescriptions would have been required. Mexico has more health freedom.
Bottom line: Increase stomach acid with HCL supplements or organic apple cider vinegar as you age to increase digestion of B12 from food. Supplement with B12 vitamins that are not orally consumed as was mentioned above to bypass deficient intrinsic value issues, as Dr. Wright explains in the video below.
B12 deficiency graphic: youtube.com