Do You Know If You’re at Risk for Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Avena

In our fast-paced society, maintaining a balanced, healthy diet can be a serious challenge. While on the go, it may be tempting to grab fast food, skip meals, purchase processed foods, and snack on sugar-laden treats.

Many people subsist on the standard American diet, which is filled with high glycemic, pro-inflammatory, and allergenic foods, many of which are laced with artificial chemicals. Due to the gap in nutrition, most people don’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals needed each day for optimal health and wellness.

Some of the essential vitamins you need are the B vitamins.

B Vitamin Basics

The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins that are water-soluble, which means they’re excreted from the body and must be replenished daily. Though they’re commonly recognized as a group, and often work together in the body, each of the B vitamins performs unique and important functions.

Here’s a list of the eight B vitamins:

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin is essential for all the cells in our brain and other organs to process proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. The body’s thiamin reserves can be depleted by high-sugar diets, alcohol abuse, and various prescription drugs.

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin is essential for the body to process carbs, fats, and amino acids coming from proteins, and especially for energy production by the mitochondria. Our cells also need riboflavin to repair damage to their DNA and to regulate their gene activity.

Vitamin B3 – Niacin helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. In addition, it supports cellular energy production and boosts HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). B3 can be depleted by excessive alcohol intake and by smoking.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid is needed not just for energy but for making amino acids, proteins and hormones, and converting fats into fatty acids used in building cell membranes. B5 deficiency is linked to loss of nerve cell electrical insulation, which can impair brain function.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine is vital for the major brain transmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, adrenaline, and GABA. B6 is required by about 100 enzymes that help the body utilize amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. This vitamin helps with the conversion of homocysteine, a potential toxin, into useful antioxidants.

Vitamin B7 – Biotin is vital for healthy gene regulation, and for cell-to-cell communication. Though often referred to as the “Hair, Skin and Nails Vitamin,” biotin is vital for the brain and all the organs. Alcohol intake can deplete this vitamin, as can intestinal absorption problems and anticonvulsant drugs.

Vitamin B9Folate is a group of chemically complicated substances that supply the body with chemically simple methyl groups. These groups are essential for everything from making our DNA to producing key brain neurotransmitters.

One of the lesser-known B vitamins is vitamin B12.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a team player. Containing the mineral cobalt, B12 works with vitamin B9 to produce red blood cells and helps iron create hemoglobin. Both vitamin B6 and B12 play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Vitamin B12 is active mostly in its methyl form and backs up methylfolate. It also helps regulate and maintain a healthy central nervous system.

B12 is naturally found in animal products such as chicken, beef, fish, pork, and clams. Since vitamin B12 doesn’t naturally occur in plant foods, vegetarians and vegans might not get enough of it in their diets and may need to take a supplement with B vitamins.

Unfortunately, many multiples offer B12 in a cyanide form (cyano-cobalamin). Cyanide is extremely toxic for everyone and shouldn’t be in a dietary supplement.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

You might be familiar with vitamin deficiencies such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) and rickets (vitamin D deficiency). Vitamin B12 deficiency also may be a serious problem for some people.

Here are a few of the common signs of B12 deficiency:

  • Anemia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation, diarrhea, gas
  • Vision loss
  • Tingling, muscle weakness, nerve issues
  • Smooth tongue
  • Pale skin
  • Behavioral, mood, memory changes

The proteins along the GI tract that enable the absorption of vitamin B12 can be impaired by over-the-counter digestive aids such as antacids, histamine type 2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. Certain antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and metformin also can deplete B12. Growing children, vegans, vegetarians, pregnant women, the elderly, smokers, and others taking various pharmaceutical medications, all are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Since 10-30 percent of older people don’t properly digest vitamin B12, it’s recommended that anyone over 50 should take a B12 supplement daily.

One of the best ways to get sufficient levels of B12 every day is to take a multivitamin. We recommend…

Vitamin B12 Deficiency 2

NeuroVite Plus

BrainMD’s NeuroVite Plus is the first and only daily multivitamin developed through clinical studies to support brain and body health.

NeuroVite Plus was formulated with an array of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts to provide whole-body wellness, and includes additional brain-healthy nutrients. It offers advanced nutrition in a way that far surpasses big-box store or drugstore multivitamins.

B Vitamins in NeuroVite Plus

The brain has special transport systems to move B vitamins across the blood-brain barrier and deliver them to the brain cells. A two-year, double-blind trial at the University of Oxford found a B vitamin combination slowed brain decline in elderly people. All our cells need the 8 B vitamins, and they work best when administered together.

NeuroVite Plus combines all 8 B vitamins with other nutrients and plant extracts in their most active forms. You can get your daily dose of these important B vitamins, including vitamin B12, with one powerful daily multivitamin…NeuroVite Plus!

Vitamin B12, as Methylcobalamin

Rather than use cheap and potentially harmful cyanide-laden B12, BrainMD provides vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin (methyl-B12), the best dietary form of vitamin B12. Here’s how our B12 compares to what other brands use:

Other Brands: Typically use harmful cyano-cobalamin (8 mcg to 150 mcg on average)

NeuroVite Plus: Offers methyl-B12, known to be absorbed when taken by mouth (500 mcg)

5 Benefits of NeuroVite Plus

Though the benefits of this dynamic, broad-spectrum multivitamin are numerous, NeuroVite Plus can support your daily health by:

  • Nourishing your body’s cells, tissues, and organs with a wide range of essential and conditionally essential nutrients, all important for energy, health, and survival
  • Going beyond other multiples to further promote optimal brain function with important phytonutrients that help sustain brain cells
  • Supporting the health of all the body’s organ systems with the full range of vitamins, the essential dietary minerals (except iron and copper), lutein and zeaxanthin for the brain and eyes, resveratrol and hesperidin for the brain and circulation, and coenzyme Q10 (“CoQ”) for the heart
  • Shoring up the body’s antioxidant defenses with vitamins C and E, the essential minerals zinc, selenium, and manganese, the conditionally essential alpha lipoic acid, CoQ, lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Including a careful selection of beneficial food concentrates, as well as digestive enzymes to help ensure optimal digestion and absorption

But Wait, There’s More…

In addition to high doses of core ingredients, NeuroVite Plus rounds out its formulation with two proprietary blends developed by Dr. Daniel Amen:

  • Fruit and Vegetable Blend – promotes antioxidant versatility
  • Digestive Enzyme Blend – supports healthy digestion

Scientifically formulated with optimally bioavailable nutrients in their best-utilized and most effective forms, NeuroVite Plus is the only daily multivitamin for men and women that delivers comprehensive brain-boosting benefits.

Get the Vitamins and Minerals You Need

BrainMD closely follows clinical and scientific research on vitamins and other nutrients. With vitamin B12, the research clearly proves that methyl-vitamin B12 is the best ingredient to use in supplements. We spare no expense in providing a sufficient allowance of methyl-B12 in our supplements to enable its efficient absorption by mouth.

The modern diet isn’t providing sufficient daily intakes of various essential nutrients. While failing to get enough of these vitamins and essential nutrients may lead to serious, long-term health issues, feeding your brain and body with healthy foods and high-quality supplements can provide tremendous nutritional health support for you and everyone in your family.

Nutritional research makes clear that everyone can benefit from taking a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement that’s concentrated, naturally derived, and made with integrity.

For all the above, try NeuroVite Plus today.

At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about NeuroVite Plus and our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.

Keith Rowe