Best Vitamin B12 Supplement in the UK 2019 Review
Although this vitamin B12 is plentiful in most people’s diets, after the age of 50 some people have a limited ability to absorb it from the food we eat. A supplement may be useful, because even mild deficiencies may increase the risk of heart disease, depression as well as possibly Alzheimer’s disease“
What is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is known as cobalamin and it is the most recent vitamin that has been discovered. In the late 1940s, it was identified as the substance in calves’ liver that cured pernicious anaemia, a potentially fatal disease primarily affecting older adults. This is the only B vitamin our body stores in large amounts, mostly in our liver. Our body absorbs B12 through a very complicated process: digestive enzymes in the presence of enough stomach acid separate B12 from the protein in foods. Then this vitamin binds with a substance called intrinsic factor (a protein produced by cells in the stomach lining) before being carried to the small intestine, where it is absorbed. In our body, low amount of stomach acid or an inadequate amount of intrinsic factor — both of which occur with age — can lead to deficiencies. However, because our body has a good amount of reserves of vitamin B12, it can take many years for a shortfall to develop.
The Best Vitamin B12 Supplement 2019
Brand & Price
- Prevents a form of anaemia.
- Helps to reduce depression.
- Thwarts nerve pain, numbness and tingling.
- Lowers the heart disease risk.
- May improve multiple sclerosis and tinnitus.
- If you take a vitamin B I 2 supplement you must also have a folic acid supplement: a high intake of one can mask a deficiency of the other.
- Diagnosis of pernicious anaemia should be made by a doctor, and regular follow-up blood tests may be necessary.
What it does
Vitamin B12 is essential for cell replication and is particularly important for red-blood-cell production. It maintains the protective sheath around nerves (myelin), assists in converting food to energy and plays a critical role in the production of DNA and RNA, the genetic material in cells.
Fairly high blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid-like substance, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Working with folic acid, vitamin B12 can helps our body to process homocysteine and so it can lower that risk. This vitamin B12 has a beneficial effect on our nerves, and therefore it may help to prevent a number of neurological disorders as well as the numbness and tingling often associated with diabetes. It may also play a part in treating depression.
Recent research has shown that a low amount of vitamin B12 are common in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Whether the deficiency is a contributing factor to the disease or simply a result of it is unknown. The nutrient does, however, it keeps our immune system healthy and strong. There are some studies suggest that it can lengthen the period of time between infection with the HIV virus and the development of AIDS. Other research indicates that adequate B12 supplements intake improves immune responses in older people. With its beneficial effect on nerves, vitamin B12 may ease tinnitus (ringing in the ears). As a component of myelin, it is important in treating multiple sclerosis in our body, a disease that involves the destruction of this nerve covering.
How much you need
The recommended amount for vitamin B12 is 1.5 mcg a day for adults. Supplements of vitamin B12 may be important for aged people and vegans (who eat no meat or dairy products).
If You Get Too Little
There are many symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency that include fatigue, depression, numbness and tingling in the extremities caused by nerve damage, muscle weakness, confusion and memory loss. Dementia and pernicious anaemia can develop in our body; both can be reversible if it caught early. The level of B12 in the blood decreases with age. People with ulcers, Crohn’s disease or other gastrointestinal disorders are at risk, as are those taking prescription medication for epilepsy (seizures), chronic indigestion or gout. Excessive alcohol also hinders absorption of • vitamin B12.
If You Get Too Much
Excess vitamin B12 is readily excreted in urine, and there are no known adverse effects from a high intake of it.
How to take it
A general dose of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 a day may be useful for heart disease prevention, pernicious anaemia, numbness and tingling, tinnitus and multiple sclerosis. If you are deficient in B12, higher doses may be needed. Or if you do not produce enough intrinsic factor, B12 injections or a prescription nasal spray may be necessary; ask your doctor for further information and guidance.
Guidelines for Use
Take vitamin B12 once a day, preferably in the morning, along with 400 mcg of folic acid. Most multivitamins contain at least the recommended amount of vitamin B12 and folic acid; B-complex supplements have higher amounts. For larger therapeutic amounts you must look for a supplement or capsules with just vitamin B12 or B12 with folic acid. Using a sublingual (under-the-tongue) form enhances absorption.
Animal foods are the primary source of B12. These include offal, brewer’s yeast, oysters, sardines and other fish, eggs, meat and cheese. Many breakfast bowls of cereal are fortified with this vitamin as well.
- Do you know that having a good quality of vitamin B12 supplements in our body can slow the progression of HIV infection to AIDS, according to a study of 310 HIV-positive men. On average, those with low B12 levels developed AIDS within four years of the start of the study, compared with eight years in men who had higher B12 levels.
- Many old people in our community who have a mildly low level of vitamin B12 may not get the full protection from a pneumonia vaccine. In a study of 30 elderly people, those with inadequate B12 stores produced fewer antibodies to the virus that causes pneumonia after vaccination than those with sufficient levels of these B12. This low response would reduce its ability to fight off any disease.
Facts & Tips
As many as 20% of older people may be deficient in vitamin B12, and most of them have no symptoms. When we age, sometimes we develop a condition called atrophic gastritis, which reduces stomach acid production. Without enough acid, the body is not able to separate vitamin B12 supplements from the protein in foods. However, the body is able to absorb enough B12 from supplements or fortified breakfast cereal, forms in which the vitamin doesn’t have to be separated from protein.