Vitamin B12 Supplements – What Type And How Much To Take
Heather: Hey guys, this is Heather from healthyeatingstartshere.com.
So, today I want to talk about Vitamin B12 supplements. I have talked about vitamin B12
in general before and how unfortunately it is one nutrient that vegans & vegetarians
definitely need to supplement. Also people with digestive issues that arenÕt quiet optimal
digestion, they need the supplement as well. As we get older our digestive system tends
to slow down, so older adults should definitely supplement with Vitamin B12 too.
So, what I really want to talk about today is how exactly you should take B12 supplements.
But for those who need a little recap of why we need to supplement, plant sources do not
naturally have any B12 in them, unless itÕs added as a supplement (which is what we call
fortified food, and we talk of those in a minute) but certain foods that are listed
as having natural B12 like Algae or Tempe. They havenÕt been shown to correct a B12
deficiency. So what they think is that these forms of B12 arenÕt active in our bodies.
The best explanation of this that I have seen is an article written by Jack Norris over
on veganhealth.org, Its awesome, IÕll post a link to that in the article for today. And
I am really excited because I am planning an event, a free online event for you guys
March 17th, 18th and part of that is going to be, IÕm going to do an interview with
Jack Norris, about various nutrients and B12 will be something that we will discuss, for
sure. So you guys can stay tuned for more info on that.
Now, the good news about B12 is that although there are no natural plant sources, itÕs
a nutrient that is formed by bacteria. So although most people think of animal sources
as the best source for B12, they are actually not. The reason animals have B12 is because
of the bacteria inside of them. So if we get B12 directly from the bacteria, itÕs a more
direct source and we donÕt get all the other downsides that you would find with animal
foods. And there is really great discussion of that aspect of B12 on Michael GregorÕs
site. There are videos on nutritionfacts.org, IÕll also post some links to that info.
Ok, so now letÕs talk about how much you need to take on regular basis to just maintain
your B12 levels a multi vitamin usually has enough for what you need for just your daily
intake. And 4 to 5 foods can actually give you what you need as well. The only thing
to think about there is that they are often in refined foods that you maybe donÕt want
to be eating anyway, but things like Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Porridge, Cereal; those
things are often fortified which just means that there is been a B12 supplement added
to the food. And you can see it if you look on the nutritional
facts on the side of the food. The amount that you need for maintenance is somewhere
around 250 micrograms per day if you take it as sianaclebalemen. Methicalbolemen is
another for m of B12. ItÕs an enzyme form. People say it is more active, some people
dispute that. But if you do take the methicalbalemen form, just be aware that you need to take
more of it. And the recommendations kind of vary but 1 to 2 thousand micrograms per day
has been shown to be helpful and it hasnÕt been shown to be harmful. So, if you want
to take that much itÕs perfectly safe. Now if you have developed a vitamin B12 deficiency,
youÕll need to take more than that amount. And youÕll need to take it in a more concentrated
form. So one way is a vitamin B complex, which has all of the B-Vitamins including B12. You
can usually find those as a capsule. Just if you are Vegan then be aware that often
capsules are made from Gelatin which comes from animal bones. So if you are a vegan,
you might want to avoid that. And the other thing you could do is take a
sub lingual B12 supplement. All that this is a fancy word meaning that you dissolve
it under your tongue and the idea there is that youÕll absorb it directly into your
bloodstream rather than having it go through your digestive system. So for people with
Digestive issues a sub-lingual can be really good. And my favorite way to do that is a
liquid because then you donÕt have to wait for the tablet to dissolve.
And then for people with a very severe deficiency, they might need to take B12 injections. That
will be something to discuss with your doctor and its probably only a good idea after youÕve
had a B12 test done to see exactly how low your levels are.
The best test is a Urine MMA test which is Methol Melonic Acid. A regular blood test
is often deceiving; especially for vegans because we have other plant sources of B12
floating around our blood that may show up as B12 even though they are not active. So
some things to think about. You can find all the info that I went over
today on the site healthyeatingstartshere.com, along with links to those articles that I
mentioned by Jack Norris and Michael Gregor and stay tuned because I have more info about
that free online event that IÕm going to be putting together. So it should be pretty
exciting. See you guys next time.