Sublingual Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12 and Active
Methyl Folate Chewable Lozenge (L-5-MTHF)
VITAMIN B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Reversal of neurological damage decrease depending on the length of time the symptoms have been present. Low levels of vitamin B12 can manifest as;
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexplained weakness
- Loss or slow reflexes
- Personality changes
- Clinical depression
- Symptoms of dementia
- Digestive problems
- Sore and red tongue
- Sore mouth
- Tingling and numbness of extremities
- Pins and needles
- Feeling of falling asleep on limbs
- Memory loss
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of sense of touch
Folate (Folic Acid ) and B12 Vitamin work together synergistically to help support healthy heart function and nervous system.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is far more common than publicly understood. Vitamin B12 is necessary for optimal brain and neurological function as well as formation of red blood cells. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 is usually a consequence of low gastric acid and a strictly vegetarian/vegan diet. Some gastric procedures like gastric bypass surgery effect vitamin B12 absorption significantly as well as alcoholism. Also numerous pharmaceutical drugs have been linked to vitamin B12 deficiency;
- Proton pump inhibitors to treat GERD and excess stomach acid.
- Oral contraceptives.
- Drugs to treat stomach ulcers.
- Metformin for diabetes.
- Over the counter antacids.
Half Of The Population May Be Deficient Of Vitamin B12
A study at Tufts University on 2000 revealed that 39% of the study group of 3,000 people had low levels of vitamin B12. The study used the concentration of 258 pmol/l which is 350 pg/ml as a low level definition of vitamin B12.
More recent research has revealed that B12 deficiency may already occur at a much higher concentration at 500–600 pg/ml. Based on these facts, there are reasons to believe that vitamin B12 deficiency affect far greater portion than 39% of the population.
Children and Vitamin B12 deficiency
Children are more vulnerable to develop deficiency while having lower storage of vitamins and greater demand while growing rapidly. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause delayed brain development, slow learning and digestive symptoms in babies if it is not diagnosed and treated early on. Even the low levels that have never been diagnosed as a deficiency can be very detrimental and cause irreversible damage on the brain and nervous system.
Elderly and Vitamin B12 deficiency
Researchers estimate that over half of elderly population is lingering on the verge of being beneficent or are deficient. The Dietary Guidelines released for Americans recommend that people over 50 should get extra vitamin B12 through supplementation. The absorption decreases drastically with age and in presence of gastritis, which is common in elderly. The very late finding in severe depletion of vitamin B12 is called pernicious anemia. Adequate intake of folate can mask vitamin B12 deficiency letting it go undetected for years.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Test
The blood serum tests used to diagnose Vitamin B12 deficiency are not specific to Vitamin B12 and they are not accurate and sensitive enough. Serum homocystein and methylmalonic acid levels are considered more reliable indicators of vitamin B12 deficiency than measuring the concentration of vitamin B12 in blood. Researchers have been developing a low cost more accurate breath test to aid in diagnosis. More accurate and reliable testing methods need to be developed to detect this potentially fatal condition. The fact that B12 vitamin deficiency can be non symptomatic makes the diagnosis and treatment even more problematic.
Water Soluble Vitamins
Being water soluble Vitamin B12 is very hard to overdose, and its safety has been established in 60 years of treatments with high doses and no serious overdose effects. Excess of water soluble vitamin is secreted by the kidneys and disposed in urine.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 is a hydrophilic water soluble vitamin that is essential for neurological function, formation of red blood cells, enzymes synthesis and DNA/RNA formation. It is only found in a variety of animal products. A seven year study of 271 Finnish people concluded that vitamin B12 may protect against Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. An other study involving 121 residents in Chicago revealed a link between brain shrinkage, cognitive problems and low levels of Vitamin B12. Pancreatitis, Crohn`s disease and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) are all linked in literature to higher incidences of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Severe Vitamin B12 deficiency is treated with subcutaneous or intramuscular B12 injections. All forms listed below can be manufactured as injectable b12 vitamins. Oral supplements are very poorly absorbed and many times waste of money. Sublingual products may perform better. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin b12 with transdermal patches is an option for continuous release of therapeutic amounts of vitamin B12. The mechanism is well established in pharmaceutical industry and many medications are delivered with this method including hormones, pain killers, and nicotine, etc.
Different Forms of Cobalamins Used to Remedy Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Methylcobalamin / Methyl B12
Methylcobalamin is an active form of vitamin B12 and far superior in It's effectiveness. Methylcobalamin has higher bio-availability than other forms of Vitamin B12, since it doesn't require intrinsic factor to be absorbed.
Methylcobalamin reduces homocystein levels by converting it to methionine. Methylcobalamin has been found effective in treating autism in children, preventing cognitive decline of patients suffering from dementia, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as treating MS and Bell's Palsy.
Cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin do not express the same properties since they are both precursors of methylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is an inactive and synthetic form of vitamin B12 and a precursor for methylcobalamin. It is still a commonly prescribed treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency due to the low price being about 100 times cheaper than methylcobalamin. Only about 1% of freecyanocobalamin is converted to methylcobalamin by glutathione, which is an important antioxidant produced by liver. High dose of cyanocobalamin could theoretically cause cyanide toxicity when glutathione is depleted from the body.
Hydroxocobalamin is another inactive form of vitamin B12. It is converted to active methylcobalamin and has similar efficacy as cyanocobalamin. The World Health Organization recommends with hydroxocobalamin in the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency. Hydroxocobalamin is not an approved formulation by FDA.
How Much B12 I Should Take?
Vitamin B12 Overdose
High doses of vitamin B12 have been used for over 60 years without signs of dangerous vitamin b12 overdose. Out of fear vitamin B12 therapy is often stopped or reduced too low, and as a result the symptoms come back and can become irreversible.
According to Dutch National Health Counsel and the Regional Disciplinary Medical Board of Eindhoven, vitamin B12 is non-toxic and there is no danger of a Vitamin B12 overdose from high dose therapy. In 60 years there hasn't been a single case found in medical literature showing harmful effects from vitamin b12, while people have been treated with a high doses for lifetime using mostly b12 injections.
American Institute of Medicine and the Scientific Committee for Human Food from the European Union has also reported that toxicity from high dose vitamin B12 poses no real danger requiring warnings of Vitamin B12 overdose. The Dutch National Health Council does not determine a safe upper intake level for vitamin B12 at all. They state the treatment should be based on symptoms and not on blood values of vitamin B12.
B12 Side Effects
Reports of safety of high dose therapy does not rule out possible side effects from high dose treatments that can occur with any medical treatment. Rarely occurring acne like skin breakouts and itching from very high dose treatments can be relieved with changing brand or form ofvitamin B12 and solve these rare cases.
Following occurrences are not caused by vitamin B12 supplementation, but a serious medical condition; Some life-threatening diseases have been reported to accompany a high increase of vitamin B12 in the blood. In liver diseases high levels of vitamin B12 are often found because the liver no longer can store the vitamin B12. High levels have also been reported in blood diseases like leukemia.