Got B12? You are likely deficient and here is why!
First let me tell you how it is that you get B12.
Step one Eat B12 containing foods. I’m talkin animal protein! Beef, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Sorry vegetarians, true B12 can only be obtained from animal products, so put down that tofu and dig into a nice juicy steak!
Step two That steak needs to be broken down by hydrochloric acid in the gut. Any time you pop a prilosec or a tums for that heartburn, you are knocking out your stomach acid. That is not a great idea, considering you really need the stuff for proper digestion and B12 absorption.
Step three A protein called intrinsic factor is required for the final step in B 12 absorption. This protein is only present in a healthy gut biome, not found in a gut inflamed from eating junk and not found in a gut that has been stripped of good bacteria from frequent antibiotic use. Intrinsic factor is the bouncer at the club ready to take B12 in to the party. No intrinsic factor. No B12 absorption.
Who is most commonly affected when these steps go awry?
When you get old, there is a natural decline in stomach acid. This is a whole other topic, but it equates to a decrease in B12 levels in the elderly. So if you’re getting up there in age, check your B12!
Ladies taking birth control pills… this has been shown to create a misalignment of gut bacteria, which can decrease intrinsic factor. But also, birth control pills deplete B vitamins overall, so get it checked!
Got diabetes? Or another condition that has you taking the drug metformin? Well, this commonly prescribed medication also depletes B12 in the body. Get it checked!
I mentioned stomach acid, so if you are one of the millions of Americans taking PPI’s to combat reflux, get your butt in my office so we can fix this condition the right way, without diminishing your body of all mineral and nutrient absorption ability, including B12. Get it checked!
If you have been given the trash can diagnosis of “irritable bowel syndrome” you have gut inflammation. Which means you are likely lacking intrinsic factor and the ability to utilize B12. Lets figure out what foods you might be intolerant to and heal your gut so it can work correctly again! Check your B12!
Why most people don’t know they are deficient.
Most doctors simply don’t test for it. If you do have an awesome doc that does run the test, they need to throw the conventional range (normal over 200) in the garbage because that number is based on the population average, not what is normal. All the reasons listed above are pulling down the average. B12 should be at least 550 in the blood.
So, your awesome doc ran the lab, diagnosed you and then gave you a supplement. Enh! wrong again! If you are deficient and you are eating animal products, it is because something is up with steps 2 and or 3 of the absorption process. Your gut just aint working right to absorb it. We need to bypass the gut because it is obviously lacking the ability to break down and absorb B12. Did someone say injection? Oh that was me! An injection of the most absorbable form, Methylcobalamin, to get the goods into your system, while we work on correcting the reasons it wasn’t absorbed in the first place is the correct answer!
Is it making sense yet?
So, if you are suffering from any or all of these all too common symptoms, get that B12 tested. You could feel like a new person from a single injection.
Common symptoms of B12 deficiency include; Brain fog, Poor memory, heart disease, infertility, learning disorders, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, numbness and tingling in hands or feet, shortness of breath, and dizziness.