Your body needs a wide range of micronutrients to maintain good health and perform at its peak. While some vitamins, minerals and enzymes are relatively easy to come by, others, like Vitamin B12, tend to be lacking in many common foods, making it difficult to maintain healthy B12 levels.
B12 plays a number of vital roles in your body, including maintenance of nerve and blood cells, the manufacture of DNA, regulation of mood, promotion of hormonal balance, and a myriad of other important metabolic processes.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency include:
- chronic fatigue
- weak and aching muscles
- depression and anxiety
- heart problems
- digestive problems
- bleeding gums and mouth sores
- poor memory and concentration
- difficulty breathing
One reason many people are at high risk for B12 deficiency is that it is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning your body only uses what it needs, and excess amounts are flushed away rather than stored. Another reason is that dietary B12 comes mainly from animal sources including meat, eggs, fish and dairy. Liver is one of the best sources of B12, while plant-based foods offer little or no B12.
People who eat primarily plant-based diets, and elderly people with digestive issues are at the highest risk of B12 deficiency. Smoking, alcohol consumption, stress and overall poor health are also associated with B12 deficiency.
Sources of B12
Unless you replenish B12 on a fairly consistent basis, you may be at risk for deficiency. Supplementation of B12 from other than dietary sources is one way to ensure you maintain optimal levels of B12.
B12 Supplements can be found in four basic forms:
- Adenosylcobalamin: A naturally occurring form of vitamin B12 most commonly found in foods, adenosylcobalamin is one of two bioactive coenzyme forms of vitamin B12 that your body needs, the other being methylcobalamin. All other forms of B12 are converted into either methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin inside your body. Adenosylcobalamin supplements are available in vials, drops and capsules, and are often used to treat medical conditions associated with B12 deficiency.
- Methylcobalamin: The other naturally occurring, bioactive coenzyme forms of vitamin B12, along with adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin is found in particularly high amounts in milk and cheese. Methylcobalamin can be used directly by the body and does not need to be converted first, giving it a big advantage over cyanocobalamin, the synthetic form of B12, which must first be converted into methylcobalamin in three individual steps. Methylcobalamin is available in lozenges, pills, drops and injections.
- Cyanocobalamin: Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12 which does not occur naturally in foods, but it is the most widely available type of B12 used in supplements. It is inexpensive and easy to produce, and it is chemically stable, giving it a long shelf life. Your body cannot use cyanocobalamin directly, and it must be broken down into either methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin. As the name suggests, cyanocobalamin contains small traces of cyanide, which is poisonous in large doses but harmless in trace amounts. Cyanocobalamin is the most common form of B12 found in oral, intramuscular and IV B12 supplements.
- Hydroxycobalamin: One of the most common forms of B12 found in natural food sources, hydroxocobalamin is converted in your body to the two bioactive coenzyme forms of B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Hydroxocobalamin has higher rate of absorption, and circulates for much longer in the blood compared to cyanocobalamin. Although it can also be found in pill and capsule form, hydroxocobalamin is the most common form of B12 used in injections.
Vitamin B12 Shots in NYC
If you are feeling run down, achy and stressed, a B12 injection may offer a quick and natural solution. The professional clinicians at Advanced Cryo NYC are available to provide you with B12 to boost your energy and make you feel alive again. Contact Advanced Cryo NYC today and schedule a B12 shot, and be sure to ask about our other amazing treatments for health, wellness and beauty.