NUTRITION WHY’S #31: WHY VITAMIN B12 ? Vitamin B12 is not made by humans, plants, or animals so you need it every day in a Multivitamin or from your shakes and other fortified foods. It is only made by bacteria and must be taken daily in foods or supplements.

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NUTRITION WHY’S #31: WHY VITAMIN B12 ? Vitamin B12 is not made by humans, plants, or animals so you need it every day in a Multivitamin or from your shakes and other fortified foods. It is only made by bacteria and must be taken daily in foods or supplements. B12 for supplements is made using bacteria or it can be made chemically in laboratories as synthetic B12. It is also called cobalamin because it contains one atom of cobalt in its structure. It makes red blood cells and myelin which is the coating of the nerves in the brain and spine essential for nerve conduction by acting like the plastic insulation on copper wires. You need a very small amount each day (about 3 micrograms) but deficiencies of B12 occur in people who have their stomachs removed or bypassed in obesity surgery. Originally B12 deficiency was discovered in a disease (pernicious anemia) where a protein from the stomach which binds B12 was not produced. This protein (Intrinsic Factor) is needed to be able to absorb B12 from the intestines. The story of its discovery in the 1920’s is amazing and I knew one of the doctors 40 years ago who was my advisor in medical school in his 90’s at the time. With aging, B12 absorption is reduced so a Multivitamin with B12 is recommended for everyone but especially people over 50. Animals store B12 in muscles and liver so food sources include clams, beef, lamb, organ meats(especially liver), and crab meat. B12 is sold as methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin. Bacteria make hydroxycobalamin, but the body converts B12 into various other forms. It is a myth that cyanide from cyanocobalamin is toxic. The amounts are tiny and less than you get from regular foods. There is no unsafe upper limit for B12 and many people take 1000 IU for energy. Vitamins don’t actually create energy but this habit which started with family doctors giving B12 shots is harmless. For Energy what you really need is your Protein-Rich Shake, Balanced Nutrition and a Healthy Active Lifestyle with a daily Multivitamin!! #drdavidheber #vitamins #brainhealth #blood to learn more go to www.drdavidheber.com and www.herbalifenutritioninstitute.com

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Categories: Nutrition

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