Vitamin b12 testing

Trained personally tests vitamin b12 supplements

Vitamin B12 is an interesting element of nutrition that is talked about a lot.

30% of the population is thought to be deficient in B12.

Many diets, such as those based on cheap, highly processed foods, low-quality meats, or strict vegan are low in this vitamin. 

Why is it important? Well basically your nervous system shuts down and it is then game over – death! However, B12 is stored in the liver so our bodies can cope upto a couple of years without it. That is when symptoms such as fatigue, memory and motor skills will start to show signs.  

Where does b12 come from?

B12 comes from bacteria that animals feed on, grass etc, if they are given low-quality food then the B12 we might get from this animal will be reduced compared to organically fed animals. This is one reason to eat the best quality meets and eggs that you can. Fish nowadays is over farmed and also fed badly.

A blood test is the best way to check your levels, a  good range is 200+ I have simplified the result but measurement used is ng/L.

My first test was six months ago after a very long spell with hardly any animal protein. I had no symptoms but thought it a good time to see what my B12 level was. I was down to 140 so below the good range but not in the warning range which would be below 100. 

Do B12 supliments work?

To raise this number there three main options, eat more quality meats, get an injection, take a supplement. I opted for the latter, tablet forms are not well absorbed by the body they have to deal with stomach acids.

Stomach acid is often low in blood group A, non-meat eaters and the elderly, so the best solution is an oral spray, four squirts on the inside of the cheeks. I have repeated this for six months. 

Many foods have added B12, such as Almond, soy and other kinds of milk, as well as yeast flakes but this is hard to measure how much you are getting.

The results!

Today I have the results of the latest blood test: 324! so the answer is that yes B12 supplements work.

Where can I get B12 Supplements?

Here in the Uk, the spray is about £11 from Holland and Barrett which you may see as expensive but it lasts about 40 days (160 sprays per bottle) and has boosted me well so I can relax a bit and if I forget something then I must try harder to remember. 

When B12 supplements don’t work

Will the supplement work for you? There is one situation that no matter which B12 option you try, meat or supplement it won’t have any effect, as you may have pernicious anaemia meaning that your body/gut lining is having problems assimilating this element, this is more common in older people, but also means you will need to get injections every three months unfortunately for life.

I hope this is helpful, Saludos, Caspar

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Written by

caspar chamberlain

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor