Your body needs certain levels of micronutrients to keep it healthy and functioning at its best. Some micronutrients, like vitamin B12, are harder to get than others. A lack can cause serious health consequences like difficulty sleeping or memory loss. Read more below to understand why your body needs vitamin B12, and what you can do for your body to make sure it gets enough of the nutrients it needs.
Vitamin B12 is one of the thirteen essential vitamins needed in your diet because your body cannot make enough on its own. Like all B vitamins, vitamin B12 is water-soluble and dissolves in water. This dissolution allows excess to be easily flushed out of your body instead of being stored in your liver or fat tissue. As your body does not store this vitamin it is uncommon to develop toxic side effects.
Vitamin B12 is essential for many of your body’s physiological functions, such as DNA synthesis, neurological function, and red blood cell development. Other benefits of vitamin B12 include:[1,2,3]
Vitamin B12 is only naturally available in limited food sources such as:
You can also get vitamin B12 from fortified foods, such as cereals and nutritional yeast, or nutrition supplements. Fortified or supplemented vitamin B12 is recommended if you do not consume animal products.
Supplemented vitamin B12 through MICROGEL technology is best for optimal absorption. This delivery system allows you to fully absorb nutrients into your bloodstream, and then into cells, where they work to improve health.
The forms of vitamin B12 you will most commonly see in nutrition supplements are cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. These two forms are not equal, and we recommend to do your homework and check the ingredients before picking a nutrition supplement.
Everyone is different, and certain factors such as your age, sex, or health will affect your unique nutritional needs differently than others. To provide a general guide, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) establish the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) to meet the needs for most healthy individuals. The RDA for vitamin B12 in both men and women range:
Specific groups may need to be more mindful when evaluating vitamin needs. If you are pregnant or nursing, be sure to talk with your doctor about receiving adequate levels of nutrients. Inadequate intake of vitamin B12 for these moms and moms-to-be can lead to a risk of neurological issues for the baby.
If you have any other health condition or concern, it’s important to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about your nutrition, especially when choosing which supplements are optimal for your health. Certain health conditions or medications may alter your specific needs.
Generally speaking, vitamin B12 is not toxic because it is water-soluble and excess is easily flushed out of your body rather than stored in your liver or fat tissue. Since it is not stored in these organs, vitamin B12 has no known toxic effects, and a tolerable upper intake level (UL) has not been established. A tolerable upper intake level is the maximum daily consumption level that may cause an adverse event.
Although it is viewed as non-toxic, too much of anything can be harmful at some point. It is always wise to consult with your doctor before introducing any nutritional supplement into your regimen to avoid complications or mega-dosing on any nutrient.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common nutrient deficiency and can be characterized by these symptoms:
It is important to note these symptoms can be caused by a number of factors, and one of the ways to rule out this deficiency is to ask your physician to test your nutrient levels with a blood test. Keep in mind that the symptoms of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency are almost equivalent, and it is imperative to receive the proper medical diagnosis and treatment.
Those at risk include:
Bioactive Multi — Best for absorption!
The form of vitamin B12 contained in Bioactive Multi is methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. The dosage of vitamin B12 is 19.2 mcg, which satisfies 800 percent of the Daily Value (%DV).
The form of vitamin B12 contained in Healthycell Pro is methylcobalamin. The dosage of vitamin B12 is 100 mcg in the morning formula and 20 mcg in the evening formula, for a daily dosage of 120 mcg, satisfying 2,000 percent of the Daily Value (%DV).
The form of vitamin B12 contained in Healthycell methylcobalamin. The dosage of vitamin B12 is 120 mcg in the morning formula and 6 mcg in the evening formula, for a daily dosage of 126 mcg, satisfying 100 percent of the Daily Value (%DV).
2. “Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet:
Vitamin B12.”National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
3. Clarke R, Birks J, Nexo E, Ueland PM, Schneede J, Scott J, et al. Low vitamin
B-12 status and risk of cognitive decline in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;
4. Brasaemle, Dawn, PhD. “Folate Lecture.” Rutgers University – Vitamin B12.
New Brunswick. 2015. Lecture
5. Brasaemle, Dawn, PhD. “Folate Lecture.” Rutgers University – Folate. New
Brunswick. 2015. Lecture
6. Marcason, Wendy, RDN. “What Are B-Vitamins and Folate?” Ear Right.
Academy ofNutrition and Dietetics, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.