Vitamin B12 – “The Energy Vitamin”

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for maintaining your health. Let’s look at how it works and why it’s important to have enough in your diet.

Vitamin B12 is often referred to as the “energy vitamin” because it helps speed up your metabolism and boosts your energy levels.  Vitamin B12 is essential in the metabolism of fatty acids that are used in the maintenance of myelin, the protective sheath around the nerves.  This is crucial for maintaining a healthy central nervous system.  Because of its effect on overall metabolism, it is often associated with accelerated weight loss as well.  Conversely, Vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest in fatigue, slow reflexes, memory issues, anemia, weakness, and depression.  Unfortunately, it is estimated that 40% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin B12.

As with many vitamins, a distinction must be made between “normal” levels and “optimal” levels.  What is considered normal, or the US RDA (U.S. recommended daily allowance set by the FDA), is not necessarily what is optimal for overall health.  The RDA is merely the average recommendation for prevention of deficiency.  The RDA does not take into account gender, weight or age, and leaves a large margin of error for specific needs.

The US RDA for Vitamin B12 is just 2.4 mcg/day.  This is merely to keep the average person from becoming deficient.  The ML Detox System contains 50 mcg/day.  Combined with a proper diet, this level of supplementation will help keep Vitamin B12 levels in a more optimal range.

Vitamin B12 is also plays a critical role in red blood cell formation, DNA replication, neurological function, digestion, circulation, and control of homocysteine levels.  Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with high risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with depression and other cognitive disorders.  A study of 3,882 elderly men and women with depressive disorders revealed a 70% increase the likelihood of experiencing depression when one is B12 deficient.[1. Tiemeier H, van Tuijl HR, Hofman A, Meijer J, Kiliaan AJ, Breteler MM. Vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine in depression: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002;159(12):2099-2101.]   Vitamin B12 supplementation has been shown to lessen the rate of brain wasting (shrinkage) in Alzheimer’s patients.[2. Kelland K.  B vitamins found to halve brain shrinkage in old.  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6875CL20100908]

Further, while gastrointestinal problems are very common and there are a variety of contributing factors, inadequate Vitamin B12 levels can result in diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

Vitamin B12 is most abundant in animal products, meat, eggs, fish, and dairy.  This presents a challenge for any vegetarian.  B12 is also found (in lesser amounts) in pecans, brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts.  Regardless of one’s diet, daily supplementation with Vitamin B12 in the ML Detox System is added insurance for your body, to not only meet the minimum requirements, but to truly thrive in a society where energy levels are easily drained.