All of us depend on Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins every day for hundreds of functions in our body. But how do you know if you need more than what you’re getting from food?

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is only found in animal products so if you eat very little animal products consider supplementing B12 regularly. Having said that, B12 deficiency is also common in those who regularly eat animal products. Here’s how that happens:

photo 1 (1)Not absorbing enough B12 from food and supplements

In food, B12 is bound to proteins so adequate stomach acid and other factors are necessary to release the B12 for absorption. This process is hindered by acid reflux medications, a specific     autoimmune condition and with age. 10-30% of people over the age of 60 have poor B12 absorption due to changes in the stomach with age. Also, any one with gut inflammation is at risk of poor B12 absorption.

Using up more B12

Many medications such as birth control pills and metformin use up more B vitamins so it’s crucial to replenish B vitamins regularly to avoid symptoms of deficiency.

Chronic or heavy bleeding can also increase overall need. B12 is a critical component of red blood cells therefore we often see fatigue improves more efficiently when both iron and B12 are replenished together.

Another major factor is stress. Stress gobbles up B vitamins! If you’re prone to adrenal fatigue, B vitamins (amongst other vitamins and minerals) are critical to recovering endurance and energy. If you’re anticipating a stressful or busy time, consider building up your B vitamins ahead of time for keeping energy high.

Blood tests for measuring vitamin B12 (called Serum B12) can be helpful but there are some limitations.  Even when tests return ‘normal’ a deficiency may exist. How? Serum B12 tests not only have a wide “normal” range, it also measures total vitamin B12 in the blood. That means the levels of active or usable B12 is likely less than the test shows.

Who needs B vitamin injections?

B12 deficiency symptoms include: low energy, sluggishness, weakness, low mood, sore tongue, memory loss and nerve problems (such as numbness & tingling). Chronic B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and irreversible nerve and brain damage.

If you suspect low stomach acid, take long-term medications, have chronic/heavy bleeding or chronic stress, or if your blood tests show low to normal B12 levels, B vitamin injections may be beneficial. Also, in conditions such as shingles where nerves need to be well-protected, high dose, fast-absorption B vitamin injections are highly recommended for optimal recovery.

Benefits of B vitamin injection

B vitamin injections ensure the vitamins are delivered more directly to the blood stream regardless of the status of the digestive tract. This allows us to quickly build vitamin levels while working on the root cause of the deficiency (whether that’s low stomach acid, stress or chronic bleeding.) Patients report more energy, better sleep, better mood, better stress tolerance, stronger immune system and greater ability to concentrate. As we enter the cold and flu season, this is a great time to make sure your B vitamin levels are robust.

At Brio, vitamin B12 injections also include B-complex as all B vitamins are often depleted together in stress and long-term medication use. We also use the superior methyl form of B12 which studies support is better-absorbed and more effective for neurological issues. B vitamin injections are safe, well-tolerated and the quickest way to replenish levels while determining the underlying cause of deficiency for you.

Depending on the level of B12 deficiency, injections are done 1-2 weeks apart, then less frequently as symptoms improve.

 For the month of October 2015:

B Vitamin Injections are 20% off!

 Book an appointment today to optimize your energy & immune system. Call Brio Centre at 604.271.9355