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Vitamin B12 — Health Professional Fact Sheet

Oral administration of vitamin B-12 is effective
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Older people are often found to have a vitamin B-12 deficiency even though they do not suffer from pernicious anaemia. The body's ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from food decreases markedly with age probably because of a lack of stomach acid. The conventional way of correcting a vitamin B-12 deficiency has been through intramuscular injection of the vitamin. Now researchers at the Universities of Brussels and Antwerp report that oral administration of free vitamin B- 12 is effective in normalizing low vitamin B-12 levels. Their experiment involved 94 patients without pernicious anaemia with a mean age of 84 years who through repeated tests had been found to have an average vitamin B-12 level (in serum) of 146.5 ng/L. The patients were treated for one month with 100 micrograms/day of vitamin B-12 taken as an oral solution of the vitamin in water (10 ml of a solution containing 1 mg vitamin B-12 in 100 ml water). After 10 days 69 per cent of the patients had normal vitamin B-12 levels (271.5 ng/L average) and after 30 days 88 per cent had achieved normal levels (371.2 ng/L average). The researchers conclude that older patients with a vitamin B-12 deficiency unrelated to pernicious anaemia can be successfully treated with orally administered vitamin B-12.

Also known as: B12, B12 Vitamin, Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin, Vitamin B12 Cobalamin

She didn’t improve dramatically, but slowly started to complain less within a few weeks, then was feeling slightly better in March 2001 and significantly better when she came back five months later, in August 2001. Very interestingly, vitamin B12 blood levels started to decrease to 2740pg/ml on 24/3/01 and then down to 2132pg/ml on 22/08/01. In fact, the last result provided her lowest blood value since the beginning of the study. In September 2001, we then asked the gastroenterologist to perform a new endoscopy, in order to dismiss the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and make sure that we were not harming her by not giving the prescribed drugs. The digestive exploration was then considered as normal, besides some “non specific mucosal inflammation”.

Vitamin B12 deficiency - WebMD Boots

Her digestive problems started during the summer season in 2000, with IBS like symptoms, bloating, diarrhoea and excruciating pain in the belly. She was examined thoroughly and the gastroenterologist initially suspected Crohn’s disease due to the presence of mucosal ulcerations in the proximal small intestine. During that period of major clinical deterioration, blood vitamin B12 level increased even further as seen from two measurements performed on 25/08/00 (3220pg/ml) and on 28/11/00 (3221pg/ml). Then, she refused to take the corticoids prescribed by the specialist and went on a natural treatment based on diet modifications (exclusion of high IgG foods, in her case: dairy products, beef, bananas and black pepper), supplements (according to her biological results in blood and in 24-hour urine), antimicrobial herbs (such as grapefruit seed extracts) and probiotics.

The original data from our records follows [NOTE: All results for vitamin B12 are expressed in pg/ml and the normal range provided by the Belgian laboratory is 200pg/ml to 900pg/ml, even if the lower limit could be considered as too low to be compatible with optimal health].

Vitamin B12: Functions, deficiency, and sources

Case Study involving Elevated Vitamin B 12 Levels
We present a second case study concerning a thirty-year old woman (in 1999) whose blood parameters were monitored for unrelated matters but strikingly presented repetitive high vitamin B12 levels without any related supplementation neither from the vitamin itself, nor through vitamin B complexes / multivitamin formulas.

Now, supposing that all these steps leading to an effective absorption of vitamin B12 function adequately, then the presence in significant amounts of bacteria producing cobalamin in the terminal ileum would explain - at least theoretically - a sharp increase in absorption and lead to higher blood levels of this vitamin. If we consider some specific circumstances in the above mentioned study about folate absorption [9], we might discover the mechanism which could lead to an excessive absorption of cobalamin and to an elevation of blood levels.

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14/10/2014 · Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin

More recently, the same methodology has been utilized with humans in order to determine whether folate synthesized by bacteria in the small intestine rather than in the colon is assimilated by the human host [9]. Indeed, the perfusion of tritiated PABA, a classic precursor substrate for the bacterial folate synthesis, led to the identification of bacterially synthesized (as marked) folates aspirated from in the small intestine. Subsequently, tritiated 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, a major metabolite of folate, was isolated from the human host urine, demonstrating that the human host did absorb and consequently metabolized these bacterially synthesized folates [9].

This means that the body requires vitamin B12 to work properly

However, careful enquiry very frequently demonstrates that no external human intervention explains the finding of high vitamin B12 levels. Thus the answer to the puzzle must be found within the body’s internal metabolic processes. It is clear that the amount of vitamin B12 excreted in human faeces does not only correspond to what was not absorbed in the ileum (the last of the three sections of the small intestine), but also reflects the production of significant amounts of cobalamin by the colonic microflora [1].

Vitamin B12 Synthesis and Industrial Production

The researchers also evaluated 12 studies concerning the connection between dietary intake of folic acid and homocysteine level. They found that folic acid is very effective in lowering homocysteine levels. An intake of 400 micrograms per day (the level found in most supplements) lowers the homocysteine level by about 6 micromol/L. The researchers conclude that over 44,000 lives could be saved every year if just half the population of the United States were to supplement with 400 micrograms per day of folic acid. Unfortunately, recent surveys have shown that 88 per cent of American adults have a daily intake of folic acid below 400 micrograms. The researchers warn that an increased intake of folic acid may mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency and recommend that 1 mg of vitamin B-12 be added to all supplements containing 400 micrograms of folic acid. They also recommend that consideration be given to fortifying grain products with 350 micrograms of folic acid per 100 grams of grains. This strategy would have the added advantage of making it easier to prevent neural tube defects in newborn babies.

What is the role of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in my body

Vitamins may help prevent strokes in lupus patients
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have an increased risk of suffering strokes, heart attacks, and other arterial thrombotic events such as gangrene of the fingers. It is believed that this higher risk is at least partially related to a greater propensity among SLE patients to develop premature atherosclerosis. High concentrations of homocysteine (a sulphur-containing amino acid) have previously been linked to an increased risk of stroke and coronary artery disease. Now researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions report that many SLE patients have high homocysteine levels and that these higher levels correspond to a significantly increased risk for stroke and other thrombotic events. The study involved 337 SLE patients who were followed for an average of 4.8 years. The average age of the patients was 35 years and 93 per cent of them were women. The researchers found that 15 per cent of the patients had raised homocysteine levels (greater than 14.1 micromol/liter). They also noted a strong inverse correlation between homocysteine levels and the levels of folic acid and vitamin B-6 in the blood. After adjusting for other relevant risk factors the researchers conclude that SLE patients with elevated homocysteine levels have a 2.4 times higher risk of having a stroke and a 3.5 times higher risk of having an arterial thrombotic event. The researchers suggest that supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B-6 may help prevent thrombotic events in SLE patients. Other studies have found a clear inverse correlation between homocysteine levels and vitamin B-12 levels. This correlation was not observed in the present study - most likely because the patients were relatively young and therefore less likely to be deficient in vitamin B-12.

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