What is B12?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient absorbed through the intestine through foods such as meat and dairy products. It is essential to keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. It also is a strong contributing factor in the production of DNA, formation of mature blood cells, and normal nerve function. The hydrochloric acid in our stomach separates the B12 nutrients from the proteins and then combines with a protein made by the stomach which then is absorbed into the body. If your body does not properly produce the protein needed to attach with the B12 nutrients, your body will not absorb the vitamin through foods or dietary supplements. Some other reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency include: a diet that does not include much or any sources of Vitamin B12, damage to the small intestine where vitamin B12 is absorbed, drug use, and decreased stomach acidity.
What if you are B12 Deficient?
As mentioned above, B12 is an important factor for your body to thrive. Your B12 levels can be measured with a simple blood test that is usually covered by insurance. If you are B12 deficient due to dietary preference, you can add a daily B12 supplement to accommodate. If your deficiency is due to a complication of absorbency, you may need to consider B12 injections.
What are B12 Injections?
B12 supplements are derived from two sources: cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin. Both are very similar but contain a slightly different makeup. The methylcobalamin contains a methyl molecule where cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule. Basically cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of Vitamin B12 that can only be found in supplements unlike methylcobalamin which is a naturally occuring form of B12 (The kind you get through foods or supplements). Cyanocobalamin is converted into methylcobalamin once it enters into the body.
At CT Cardio, we offer both options as studies suggest some people absorb one better than the other and depending on the source of your deficiency, one may be a better option.
Cyanocobalamin is injected into a muscle or just beneath the skin. Because it is not a naturally occuring form of vitamin B12, it will only supply you with enough vitamin B12 as long as you receive injections regularly.
Methylcobalamin injection studies indicate that this form of the vitamin may be able to resolve and/or prevent deficiencies of vitamin B12. It cannot be used as a singular source of the nutrient but must be combined with other forms of the vitamin as well. Methylcobalamin supports brain health and nerve function, sleep, mood, memory, etc. It does not pass through the digestive system like it would if received through food sources or supplements therefore, it is likely to have a quicker effect on the body.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency: anemia, fatigue and tiredness, paleness, weakness, shortness of breath, nerve damage, trouble remembering things, etc. have your B12 levels checked. If you are vitamin B12 deficient Dr. Thomas can evaluate and walk you through recommended options. If vitamin B12 injections become necessary, we can assist you in the management of that right here in our office.
An interesting sidenote, the following conditions all have one thing in common: Vitamin B12 Deficiency.
*Note that we are not claiming B12 Injections to be a cure to any of the above conditions, nor are we stating it is the only cause of the conditions. We simply want to bring to awareness that B12 Deficiency is a factor that should be considered and managed to maintain optimal health.
For more information on B12 injections and potential side effects: