Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. Commonly known as the "energy" vitamin, B12 is found mostly in meats like beef, chicken, and fish as well as dairy products. Unlike most water-soluble vitamins, B12 is stored in your body so deficiency may take a while to show up. Approximately 25% of adults are deficient in B12.

A Note About MTHFR

When looking for a good multivitamin, always choose one with the methylated forms of B12 and B9 (folate). About 30% of the population has a gene mutation known as MTHFR that can cause them to not be able to absorb the synthetic versions of B12, which is cyanocobalamin, and B9, which is folic acid. Unfortunately, most people are aware they have this gene mutation and the effects of not absorbing B12 and B9 can be devastating.

Benefits of B12

  • Red blood cell formation

  • Memory recall

  • Cellular energy

  • Nutrient absorption

  • Adrenal gland support

  • Nerve and brain regeneration

  • DNA synthesis

  • Female and male reproductive health

Signs of Deficiency

  • Low energy or sometimes chronic fatigue

  • Lack of focus and other cognitive difficulties

  • Tension in muscles

  • Poor memory

  • Emotional mood swings

  • Lack of motivation

  • Female infertility

  • Male low testosterone

  • Digestive issues (like leaky gut or IBD)

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Fatigue, even after getting a good night’s sleep

  • Anemia

  • Depression

  • Asthma

  • Kidney disease

  • Macular degeneration

  • Migraines

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Neuropathy

  • Shingles

  • Tinnitus

People Most at Risk for B12 Deficiency

  • Strict Vegans since most B12 is found in meat and dairy

  • People who have had bariatric surgery

  • People with pernicious anemia

  • People taking medications like Metformin for blood sugar control, proton pump inhibitors like Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium, H2 receptor antagonists like Zantac and Pepcid, anti-gout drugs, blood pressure medicine, birth control pills, cholesterol-lowering medicines, and antipsychotic drugs interfere with absorption and metabolism

  • People with H. pylori infection and stomach ulcers

  • People with inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut, and other serious digestive problems

  • People with acid reflux

  • Adults over the age of 60 are 20% more likely to be deficient due to decreased stomach acid production, use of antacids, increased microbial growth, and H. pylori infection

Sources for B12