2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Vitamin B12

What Is It?

In l948, scientists were successful in identifying a nutritional substance in calf’s liver that could prevent pernicious anemia, a potentially deadly disorder that mainly affects older adults. The compound—vitamin Bl2 (or cobalamin)—turned out to be the last vitamin to be discovered.

Not only does vitamin B12 help in the formation of healthy red blood cells (which protect against anemia), it is also involved in the maintenance of the myelin sheath, the fatty substance that covers nerves and enables them to function properly. The body also needs this vitamin for cell replication, proper energy metabolism, and to create the genetic material in cells known as DNA and RNA.

Vitamin B12 is also of potential value in treating the effects of aging and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as depression, the skin disorder known as rosacea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and various neurologic problems. It may also help to prevent heart disease and boost the immune system.

Vitamin B12 is the only B vitamin that the body stores in substantial amounts. In addition, most people get adequate amounts from their diets. For the body to absorb the vitamin, however, it has to be separated from the protein in food, a complicated process. An individual must be able to produce enough digestive enzymes, stomach acid, and intrinsic factor (a substance secreted by cells in the stomach lining) for this separation to take place. Then the vitamin bonds with intrinsic factor and is transported to the small intestine, where it is absorbed. Some individuals are unable to make sufficient quantities of intrinsic factor or stomach acid as they age, a situation ripe for a deficiency to develop. Experts estimate that as many as 20% of older adults are deficient in vitamin B12 but don’t know it.

In addition other groups are also at particular risk for a deficiency: those with ulcers, Crohn’s disease or other gastrointestinal disorders, and those taking medication for epilepsy, chronic heartburn, or gout. In addition, heavy drinkers are likely to have low levels of B12 because excessive alcohol consumption hinders the nutrient’s absorption. People who don’t eat any meat products (vegans) are also at risk. A deficiency can cause fatigue, depression, confusion, memory loss, muscle weakness, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet due to nerve damage.

Forms

tablet
spray
liquid

General Interaction

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with vitamin B12.

Cautions

Be sure to take a folic acid supplement along with vitamin B12. A high intake of one can mask a deficiency in the other.

Taking large amounts of vitamin B12 does not appear to cause any adverse effects. The body efficiently excretes any excess in the urine.

Ailments-Dosage

Anemia 1,000 mcg in sublingual form once a day
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 1,000 mg a day
Crohn’s Disease 1,000 mcg a day, sublingually
Infertility, Male 1,000 mcg a day
Rosacea 1,000 mcg a day in addition to that supplied by your B complex. Take sublingually with 400 mcg folic acid.
Tinnitus 1,000 mcg sublingually a day

For product recommendations and orders from the Natural Apothecary click here or call 773-296-6700, ext. 2001.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: B12 Deficiency

    You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after a physical exam and some apparently appropriate tests she can’t Read More

  • What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Can It Help Me?

    Ten years ago April marks the anniversary of the first time I wrote about low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I described it as an orphan drug, meaning that its patent had long ago expired, that it was generic, and that it was not owned by any one company. For these reasons and because they’d never recoup their investment, no Big Pharma company was interested in pursuing the Read More

  • Can’t Get Vaccinated? Here’s Why

    Once a week, the Chicago Sun-Times asks random people “How hard have you found it to get a Covid-19 vaccination?” and devotes a page to the responses. Virtually every answer is a variation of “I’ve tried to sign up on all the websites every day at all times of day and night and appointments are never available.” The situation is worse for people who aren’t Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!