3 Common Misconceptions on Vitamin B12 Supplementation
As you know, quality nutritional therapy is part of how we help you reach optimum health here at Irsfeld Pharmacy. There are some common misconceptions and beliefs about Vitamin B12 supplementation that often leave patients in the dark. Where B12 is often looked to as the “energy vitamin”, your body also needs B-12 for nerve function, red blood cell formation, and the creation of substances such as DNA, hormones and proteins.
There are often misconceptions on B12 supplementation, thus we hope to clear the air:
1) All Vitamin B12 supplements are not the same.
Cyanocobalamin is the more common form of Vitamin B12 supplementation; however, we always recommend using methylcobalamin because it is the activated form of Vitamin B12. Some vitamins, including Vitamin B12, need to be activated in order for our body to use them properly. Our body activates cyanocobalamin by adding a methyl group to it - thus methylcobalamin. Research indicates that methylcobalamin supports neurological function, nerve cell health, cognitive function and energy production. In the event our body cannot convert cyanocobalamin to methylcobalamin, metabolic functions might falter, thus the preferred form of supplementation is methylcobalamin.
2) Modes of delivery make a big difference
The stomach and digestive tract are often a hostile environment for vitamin B12. When you consume B-12 in foods, it is bound to a protein that makes it difficult for your body to absorb. In your stomach, acids release B-12 from the protein that binds it, thus enabling the freed B-12 to bind with another gastric secretion: intrinsic factor. The first problem in this sequence is that many people are low on stomach acid, due to diet, lifestyle, and medications such as antacids.
Intrinsic factor is a protein made by the cells in your stomach lining, which helps your intestines absorb vitamin B12. Without intrinsic factor, your body can only absorb about 1 percent of the B-12 you ingest. Even with ample intrinsic factor, a problem exists with what are considered adequate dosages of B12 supplementation. For whatever reason for B12 deficiency; diet, lifestyle, or medications, when higher dosages of B12 are needed, beyond what food can deliver, the capacity of intrinsic factor is often exceeded and B12 absorption is decreased. This is why we recommend either a sublingual or injectable form of methylcobalamin. Sublingual means that it dissolves and is absorbed under your tongue. Never supplement with a Vitamin B12 that is swallowed.
3) Numerous medications and nutritional deficiencies decrease B12
There are numerous medications which interfere with and deplete vitamin B12 including antibiotics, antacids, oral contraceptives, and even a common diabetes medication, metformin. In fact, research has shown that up to 1/3 of patients who take metformin can experience low vitamin B12 levels, often disguised as a diabetic neuropathy. Add the fact that low stomach acid, a common occurrence with age, stress, and dietary factors, prevents absorption of B12, which is further enhanced by antacid medication therapy.
Curious on what B12 therapy is best for you? Cut through the confusion and come talk to one of the helpful and knowledgeable pharmacy staff members at Irsfeld Pharmacy.
About our pharmacy...
The way we care about our patients makes our pharmacy different. We have the ability to solve the most difficult medicine problems, differentiating us from other pharmacies. We match medications to patients, rather than matching patients to medications...including both human and animal patients. Through patient education and advice, we hope to become your "Problem Solver."
Our pharmacists, technicians, nurses, and chemists have the knowledge to help you reach your health and nutrition goals. We pride ourselves on being a very diverse pharmacy, combining traditional pharmacy practice with alternative therapies, including customized prescription compounding and Contemporary Alternative Medicine.
All pharmacies dispense prescriptions. However, many pharmacies have lost the art of compounding, which is the practice of making prescription products specific to individual patient needs. Sometimes a patient may react to a prescription drug or sometimes a drug may have been discontinued and not commercially available to treat a patient’s condition. Irsfeld Pharmacy offers a customized prescription compounding service, including:
- BHRT Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy,
- Chronic Pain Management
- Palliative Care Compounding for Hospice
- Allergy free preparations
- Iontophoresis Solutions for Physical Therapy
- Veterinary Compounding for your Pets
We are a member of PCCA, the Professional Compounding Centers of America and we regularly participate in seminars in the area of compounding pharmacy to learn new techniques and to exchange ideas with other specialists. Call our pharmacy for a consultation or click the tab above to learn more and watch a video of a compounding laboratory.
Our customers recognize the important role nutritional supplements play in their lives to improve their health. Our approach to pharmacy focuses on the whole person by integrating nutritional, environmental, and spiritual health. Recent research suggests that the increase in diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other chronic diseases is due to the lack of nutrient dense foods in our diet or exposure to toxins in our environment. This is due to our Western Diet and culture.
The knowledge that changing diet or environment may help our patients feel better and live longer happier lives has prompted Irsfeld Pharmacy to change the way we treat our patients. Our pharmacy is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is pursuing a Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Functional Medicine. Our ongoing commitment to become an expert in the field of using nutrition to treat and prevent disease will allow our pharmacists to help you:
- Identify Nutrient Deficiencies
- Address Drug Nutrient Depletion
- Customized Detoxification Regimens
Irsfeld Pharmacy is committed to provide only high quality nutritional products, which come from GMP-Certified manufacturing facilities, where their products are backed by human clinical trials and are backed with documented safety and efficacy. All products are tested by third parties to guarantee that the content in the bottle matches the content on the label. Not all nutritional products are created equal! The nutritional products on our shelves are prepared to be in the highest absorbable form.
For more information, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our pharmacists or consider becoming a member of “The Integrative Connection.” Click on the link above.