How to best absorb vitamin b-12 supplements

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How to best absorb vitamin b-12 supplements
Best Absorb Vitamin B-12 Supplements

We only need very small amounts of vitamin B-12, but it is one of our most potent vitamins, essential to the health of the nervous system. It also plays a role in the production of DNA and protein from amino acids.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Folic Acids
  • Vitamin B-12

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take vitamin B-12 with folic acid. Folic acid helps enhance vitamin B-12's action in lowering homocysteine, an amino acid that can increase the risk of heart disease, some birth defects and Alzheimer's disease when present in high levels.

  2. 2

    Separate your doses of vitamin C and vitamin B-12 by at least an hour. Large doses of vitamin C may destroy vitamin B-12.

  3. 3

    Stop smoking or increase supplemental vitamin B-12. Tobacco decreases absorption.

  4. 4

    Cut back on alcohol if you are a heavy drinker. In addition to its other detrimental health effects, excessive alcohol intake can lead to a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

  5. 5

    Check your medications. Certain drugs, such as cholestyramine, colchicine and neomycin (oral form only) reduce vitamin B-12 absorption. You may need to take extra supplementation.

  6. 6

    Avoid taking large doses of folic acid without increasing your dose of vitamin B-12. Megadoses of folic acid can decrease vitamin B-12 levels in the blood.

  7. 7

    Check your potassium supplement or prescription. It can reduce absorption of vitamin B-12 when taken in the extended release form. You may need extra B-12.

  8. 8

    Assess the health of your digestive tract. A special digestive hormone called the intrinsic factor is needed for absorption of vitamin B-12. Certain illnesses and digestive disorders can hinder this process.

Tips and warnings

  • Mild deficiencies of vitamin B-12 are fairly common, and are caused by inadequate intake, disease or a lack of the intrinsic factor. Common symptoms are fatigue and forgetfulness. Severe deficiencies can lead to permanent nerve damage and a condition known as pernicious anemia.
  • Vitamin B-12 occurs naturally only in animal products, such as liver, beef, herring, mackerel, milk products, eggs and sardines. Vegans can get vitamin B-12 by taking supplements, eating or drinking fortified products, or adding certain yeast products to their diets.
  • The optimal dose for adults is 10 to 100 mcg daily.

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