From what I’ve read, your body has enough vitamin B12 stored up possibly lasting 3-5 years. I have wondered why that if we need small amounts of it, why they sell bottles that have 500 mcg and over? But, there might be a good reason they are doing so…

Nevertheless, I have been a vegetarian for years, so I make sure I take a supplement regularly, because a deficiency thereof can lead to serious, permanent, if not deadly consequences. For example, any nerve damage could be irreversible.

Apparently, higher amounts of B12 than needed your body expels through urine. So far they haven’t determined if the excess is harmful. I take a flavored pill a day, although with the amount said we need, I should only be taking one every month. For example, adults only need 2.4 mcg each day [1 ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/]’.

But, there’s discussion 2.4 mcg isn’t enough. Furthermore, when one gets older into his senior years his ability to absorb B12 may further decline. Therefore, it might be the better idea to take a B12 pill rather than entirely through food sources. This is especially true for strict vegetarians, vegans or those who exclusively eat plant based whole food like this author.

Possible B12 deficiency symptoms…

  • Weakness
  • Incontinence
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Delusions
  • Lightheartedness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Paranoia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pins and needles feelings in hands and feet
  • Numbness
  • Constipation and other digestive complications
  • Loss of vision
  • Memory loss
  • Staggering when walking
  • Anemia
  • Depression and other mental problems

‘Strict vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk than lacto-ovo vegetarians and nonvegetarians of developing vitamin B12 deficiency because natural food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal foods [2 ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/]’.

I take a Jarrow® 500  mcg B12 I bought off eBay®. I have used their lemon flavored, but I like cherry better. They sell it at Sprouts®, too. I buy it where it’s the better deal. You see B12 pills sold that have 1000 mcg, 2500 mcg, even 5000 mcg. Which dose does one take when it has been said by our government we need much less?

‘Vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread. Among the population groups at risk are older people, vegetarians, pregnant women, and patients with renal or intestinal diseases. The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are unspecific and can be irreversible. Early detection is therefore important, using the most sensitive and specific markers available [3 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696961/]’.

I used to take vitamin B12 in Cyanocobalamin, but changed to Methylcobalamin because I heard it was absorbed better. But, now, it seems the preferred supplemental form of vitamin B12 is and has been Cyanocobalamin all along, because there is not enough evidence to support Methylcobalamin is any better.

Confusing how when you decide to do something based on what you heard years ago, then much later the so called experts currently are telling you the opposite! Who do you believe? And, who is the ultimate authority? I really wonder…

‘Existing evidence does not suggest any differences among forms with respect to absorption or bioavailability. However the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from dietary supplements is largely limited by the capacity of intrinsic factor. For example, only about 10 mcg of a 500 mcg oral supplement is actually absorbed in healthy people [4 ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/]’.

So, what can I conclude as to who needs to take his daily B12 or not? Furthermore, at what dosage? All I can say is what I do, and that is I will likely continue taking a 500 mcg B12 supplement every day (because I am over 65) until I find validated scientific research proving otherwise with a new updated daily minimum dosage recommendation.

‘Large amounts of folic acid can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting megaloblastic anemia, a hallmark of vitamin B12 deficiency. But folic acid does not correct the progressive damage to the nervous system that vitamin B12 deficiency also causes. For this reason, healthy adults should not get more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day [5 ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/]’.

It seems when reading into the citation directly above, that as long as I am not taking over 1000 mcg’s of vitamin B12 a day, I should be in the safe zone. What do you think? I have been taking both a Cyanocobalamin and/or a Methylcobalamin every day. Yet, I have heard each of these is better absorbed than the other. Which one do you think is the better B12 choice? All I know, is I don’t want to suffer permanent health damage from a deficiency thereof.

Source- 1, 2, 4 URL ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
Website Title NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Access Day 30
Access Month october
Access Year 2019
Article Title Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12

3 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696961/
Website Title Deutsches Arzteblatt international
Publication Month October
Publication Year 2008
Access Day 02
Access Month november
Access Year 2019
Article Title Causes and early diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency

5 URL ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
Website Title NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Access Day 15
Access Month november
Access Year 2019
Article Title Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12

Note- before you change your diet consult your doctor.

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