A vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious health disorder. Fatigue, anaemia, anorexia, mental confusion, digestive disorders, lethargy, depression, delusions, paranoia, weight loss, fever, impotence are just some of the many disorders that you can suffer with a deficiency. These symptoms can be easily overlooked, as many are common to other health problems.
Alarming as this may appear, the amount you need is miniscule. The total amount of vitamin B12 you will need in your entire life amounts to just 40 milligrams.
The absorption of vitamin B12 taken into the body is dependent on an enzyme called Intrinsic Factor. This means that you can consume an abundance of the vitamin, but none will be absorbed if you have low levels of this enzyme.
This vitamin does not have to be consumed. It can be manufactured by the body. The stomach makes it, the intestines makes and absorbs it. However, to make it, cobalt and other nutrients must be present in the gut flora. This has given rise to its clinical name of cobalamin.
It is also present all over the internal body especially the mouth, the throat and the lungs. The absorption of it in these areas is not dependent on the enzyme Intrinsic Factor.
Vitamin B12 is an unusual nutrient in that it is excreted in the bile, being stored in the liver, and is constantly being reabsorbed. In other words, it is constantly being recycled. This is the reason that it can take many years, decades sometimes, before a deficiency is felt. However, a lack of absorption will show up much more quickly.
With the aid of modern technology, vitamin B12 has now been found to be present where ever there is a rich source of the B complex. Previously this was thought not to be the case.
This essential vitamin is a bacteria and it is produced by micro-organisms. The synthetic supplement is made by deeply fermenting bacteria.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can occur with the use of antibiotics (both from the drugs themselves and at a second level from milk and meat in animals who are given antibiotics). Alcohol, which damages the liver, decreases the amount of this vitamin, as does smoking. Deficiencies also occur with the consumption of cooked food and from high stress levels. These actions upset the gut flora.
Once the intestinal flora is upset, no amount of supplements will alter the malabsorption and mal-assimilation of food. This is the real cause of a deficiency of every nutrient ingested, including vitamin B12. The digestion needs to be put back into balance.
Bioavailable vitamin B12 is present in raw foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Research dating as far back as 1969 show that vegetarians and vegans are no more deficient in this vital nutrient than are meat eaters. Very highly acid or alkaline conditions will destroy vitamin B12. This means that the amount available in meat is likely to be destroyed by the highly acid conditions of meat eaters.
It is estimated that 90% of nutrients are yet to be discovered. This means it seems sensible to rely on our food (including supplements made from superfoods where necessary) rather than on supplements (isolated and synthetic) for all our health needs. The combination of nutrients is vital in their absorption and utilisation.
The cause of malabsortion is a gastrointestinal disorder. This leads to a deficiency. This imbalance can be restored with professional homeopathic treatment.
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