Dr. Tasreen Alibhai
Summer is finally almost here in Vancouver. Its been a cold tough winter. With the sunshine and warmer weather we can now start enjoying all the summer activities Vancouver is so well known for.
Summer is the time most people want energy! The #1 complaint of patients to their doctors is a lack of energy. There is so much we want to do, but some of us lack the energy to enjoy all these activities. In this article I will be discussing Vitamin B12 and all of its benefits, the first being increasing your energy!
Vitamin B12 performs many important functions in the body. The main source is animal foods such as beef, chicken and egg yolks. Vegetarians and Vegans are at a higher risk of becoming deficient in vitamin B12.
Stomach acid is also very important for the release of B12 from foods. People with problems of low stomach acid or those taking medications to prevent heartburn (such as antacids) may also be a higher risk of B12 deficiency. Lastly there are certain medications such as diabetes medications that can lower absorption of B12. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Vitamin B12 is needed for many different functions in your body. They are necessary for your body to make proteins, balance neurotransmitters in your brain, helps your body to use folic acid which is essential for proper development and for the formation of your red blood cells, reduces heart disease risk, needed for memory, helps in the breakdown of fats for energy, needed for your nerves to function properly and essential for DNA replication and repair. Vitamin B12 has a lot of very important functions!
The list of symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is long. I will mention a few here:
Low energy, shortness of breath, numbness in your feet, swollen red tongue, canker sores, constipation, dizziness, irritability, memory loss, weakness, ringing in ears, floaters in the eyes, and insomnia.
If you experience some of these symptoms with fatigue have your B12 levels checked. It’s a simple blood test your doctor can order.
If you have low vitamin B12 levels there are different types of B12 to supplement with. I recommend either hydroxyB12 or methylB12 to my patients. I find these work better than cyanocobolamin.
HydroxyB12 works well for those that experience low blood pressure, dizziness on standing and feeling weak. Methyl B12 works well on those who have low energy but do not experience the other symptoms. MethylB12 is also the choice for those who have a “methylation” problem that they have discovered through genetic testing (MTHFR, MTRR).
Have your B12 levels tested. If you fall below the range or towards the lower half of the normal range consider taking B12. It may be exactly what you need to increase your energy and get ready for all summer has to offer us in this beautiful city.
For more information on B12 call us today!
Yours in health,
Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND