Once your lithium levels are in balance and short cut support is in place it is time to start to increase B12 support and to customize your supplement plan to optimize your health. Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin. This means that it doesn’t stay in the body for a long period of time and that more frequent support with B12 may be needed to maintain healthy B12 levels in the body. This means that as you add more B12 you want to pay attention to lithium levels so that the ideal balance exists between much needed B12 support and being sure that lithium is not depleted in the process. (In addition, as you support with lithium, also pay careful attention that potassium stays in balance and consider potassium support when adding lithium). Vitamin B12 not only plays a crucial role in the long route around the cycle it is a critical B vitamin with a wide range of roles in the body.
Vitamin B12 is important for energy, for balance related sports and for endurance sports. B12 is needed for healthy red blood cells, and for memory. Vitamin B12 can be depleted by drinking alcoholic beverages, a poor diet, certain medications and as we age. Vegetarians are often deficient in B12 as red meat is a major source of B12. Lack of B12 has been associated with fatigue, alcoholic liver disease, anemia, cancer, ulcers, dementia, neural tube defects, depression and memory loss. Higher levels of B12 correlate with improved balance, energy and endurance in athletics.
Different types of B12 work best for different people. Just as the GPS system in your car guides you in unknown areas when you are driving, so too can your nutrigenomic results guide you in individualizing your personal healthcare. Not all of us can tolerate caffeine. We all know people who can drink espresso just before bed and fall asleep like a baby and others who are shaking from a single cup of dilute coffee. These differences in part reflect individual tolerances to certain compounds in coffee. These effects are similar to the response people can have to different forms of B12.
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, can include hydroxyl B12, methyl B12, cyano B12 and adenosyl B12. Many vitamins, including B12, are not active in the form in which they are normally found in food, instead the body needs to convert the B12 into a form that it can use directly. B12 is needed for the proper functioning of a number of different enzymes in the body; however not all types of B12 are equal and not all types of B12 can be easily changed to what is needed for critical reactions in the body. Hydroxy, methyl and adenosyl are all forms of B12 that are used directly for reactions in the body. CyanoB12 must be converted for use in the body and as the name suggests, CyanoB12 or cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule.
- MethylB12 can be used in the body, though it cannot be tolerated by everyone. Those who get jittery from caffeine, coke, tea may not react as well to methylB12. Many adults don’t do as well with methyl B12 in spite of their nutrigenomics and so it is fine to choose an alternative form.
- AdenosylB12 is a special form of B12 that is important in the energy cycle in the cells of your body. It is important to have adenosyl B12 but it is not as versatile as other forms of B12 so it can be used in lower doses.
- Hydroxycobalamin, or hydroxyB12 is a unique form of vitamin B12, which is more easily converted to the form that is actually used for reactions in the body. This
might cause you to ask, why doesn’t everyone use
high dose hydroxylB12 in their formulations? Well, Hydroxycobalamin (Hydroxy B12) is more difficult to work with, harder to keep in an active form and more expensive than some other forms of B12, such as cyanoB12. For this reason, many other products do not contain hydroxyl B12 and instead use cyanoB12.
CyanoB12 contains a cyanide molecule. So when you take cyanoB12 your body must first convert it to hydroxyB12 in order to use it, and then must find a way to get rid of the toxic cyanide molecule. We all know cyanide is a poison even if the rest of the B12 molecule is good for you. The body actually uses hydroxyB12 in order to detoxify cyanide. So, not only is cyanoB12 not the form your body ultimately needs, but taking higher doses of cyanoB12 may actually deplete your hydroxy B12. So why would anyone use cyano B12 if it can be toxic? For the most part cyanoB12 is used because it is much less expensive, and a form of B12 that is easier to keep stable.
Symptoms of lack of B12
Indifference to surroundings
Loss of inhibition
Gradual mental deterioration
|Lack of energy
Flight of ideas