Dr. Caroline Lewis
The B12 Hype
Updated: May 27, 2021
You’ve probably heard about B12 and maybe you’re thinking you need to supplement, or you already do. But, do you know why and what dosage or form is best for YOU? What’s all the hype
Vitamin B12 can help support:
fatigue and low energy
anxiety, brain fog, low mood
hair, skin, nails for that healthy glow
metabolism and digestion
Often when I test for B12 with patients, levels come back LOW. But even if you’re not deficient, are your levels OPTIMAL? Just because your levels may land within a broad reference range, doesn’t mean that it’s enough for you to feel your best! This is something I always take into account when interpreting lab work, clinical signs, and the way you FEEL.
Dietary sources of B12 are mostly from animal foods, which can make it hard for people following vegetarian and vegan diets to get enough!
Our stomach acid helps separate B12 from the food proteins it's bound to, and then we need our stomachs to make a protein called intrinsic factor to bind B12 for absorption in our small intestines. So, even if you are eating sources of B12 - you may not be ABSORBING it, especially if you have digestive concerns such as hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), low intrinsic factor, crohn’s/colitis (IBD), or celiac disease.
Other options include oral B12 supplementation, or injections. Intramuscular injections or sublingual tablets/sprays bypass having to go through our digestive systems first, and can have added benefits over supplementing orally as they allow for faster and easier use by the body! If oral supplementation is more indicated for you, we can chat about what type of B12 might be best for you, at what specific dosage.
How do you know if you might need a B12 boost?
First, we’ll take a look at your labs and chat about your lifestyle and any symptoms you’re experiencing to see if you might benefit!
Book a free virtual consult to get started!
Brescoll, J. and Daveluy, S., 2015. A Review of Vitamin B12 in Dermatology. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 16(1), pp.27-33.
Kripke, C., 2006. Is oral vitamin B12 as effective as intramuscular injection?. Am Fam Physician ., 73(1), p.65.
Pan, Y., Liu, Y., Guo, H., Jabir, M., Liu, X., Cui, W. and Li, D., 2017. Associations between Folate and Vitamin B12 Levels and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 9(4), p.382.