Low Energy May Be Lack of Vitamin B12
When asked what vitamin or nutrient most people need to supplement in today’s American, diet, Dr. Dan Wagner, R.Ph., MBA, Pharm.D., owner of NutriFarmacy, responded Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and magnesium in a recent newsletter article. Today’s post is about Vitamin B12 and the role it plays in how we feel, how we think, and how we look – and why we could all be missing it from our diets.
A Vitamin B12 deficiency can sneak up on you without warning and cause a host of confusing symptoms that mimic aging. Needed for the development and maintenance of a healthy nervous system, the production of DNA, and formation of red blood cells, Vitamin B12 clearly is an essential vitamin with roles throughout the entire body.
Why is this Vitamin increasingly deficient in our modern diets? According to Dr. Wagner:
Many prescription drugs will severely deplete Vitamin B12. The biggest culprits is the diabetes drug (metformin); however, others include sulfa drugs, prednisone and steroids, nearly all antibiotics, birth control pills, and acid-blockers (Pepcid, Nexium, Protonix).
A lack of Vitamin B12 can cause muscle weakness and low energy, “brain fog” or lack of focus, poor memory, anemia, shakiness, low blood pressure, bleeding gums, pale skin, mood changes, light-headedness, or depression. Many adults are being misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease because of the similarities in symptoms.
Vitamin B12 is measured in micrograms and Dr. Wagner recommends supplementation of 2,000 to 9,000 mcg daily depending on your diet.
This is quite a range, so I assume if you are able to replenish some of what is depleted via Vitamin B12-rich foods such as shellfish, liver, fish, beef, lamb, cheese, and eggs, a lower dose supplementation seems appropriate. If you are vegetarian or just don’t eat these particular foods in any volume it seems you are better going with a higher dose of supplementation.
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