It always amazes me how complex depression is.
It also always amazes me when someone simply has one vitamin deficiency and once that is fixed, all symptoms go away.
Depression is tricky yet simple. On the one hand, it can be hard to figure out what the root cause of your own depression is.
It also is especially hard when you’re already depressed in the first place and have a foggy head, no energy, feel faint, and trying to figure out how to cure yourself all at the same time.
On the other hand, with a simple diagnosis of symptoms, it can be very straightforward.
On the spectrum of amazingly simple, a B12 deficiency is quite common. When this is the case, all it can take is one supplement to fix your depression.
Read on to find out what the best b12 supplement to take is and to see a reader’s story of finding relief in 5 days.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B 12 also goes by the name cobalamin. According to Wikipedia, it is involved in in every single cell of the human body. It affects the creation of DNA, fatty acids, and producing energy.
No plant or human alive is capable of producing Vitamin B12. It can only be produced by humans using bacteria. The reason I recommend eating lots of healthy foods, including healthy meats, is if you aren’t getting enough Vitamin B12, you are going to be depressed.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of Vit B12 deficiency is, you guessed it, depression. Any B Vitamin deficiency will result in depression. B Vitamins are crucial to every step in creating neurotransmitters and overall mood.
If you’ve been stressed out for a long time or suffered from trauma It is likely that you are deficient in B Vitamins one way or another. Sugar also depletes B Vitamins. If you’ve been stressed and eating sugary foods to ease your pain, then B Vitamins become even more important.
Low Vitamin B12 symptoms can include or mimic:
- Memory problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bipolar disorder
- Learning disorders
Yes, cancer. Don’t mess around with B Vitamin deficiencies. Especially Vitamin B12.
B12 deficiency if far more common than you might think. Data from the Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study shows that 40% of people in the age range of 26 to 83 have plasma B12 levels in the lower ranges.
If any of those symptoms above sound like what you are experiencing, try supplementing with B12 for a few days to see the results.
Who Is Most Likely To Benefit From Taking A B12 Supplement?
Vitamin B12 is more complex than just simply eating the right foods. If you have any problems with your digestive system, have leaky gut or gut inflammation, drink a lot of alcohol, or take medications your ability to absorb and utilize B12 can suffer.
Even if you are eating plenty of healthy food and animal products, if your digestive system is off, you are going to have a hard time getting enough B12 to feel the best that you can.
Vegetarians and vegans are the most suspect to having a B12 deficiency. A lot of plant sources don’t contain actual B12, just B12 analogs. 80% of vegans are shown to be deficient in B12. All vegans and pretty much all vegetarians should supplement with B12.
If you truly want to know for sure whether or not you are deficient in Vitamin B12, most insurance companies will cover the cost if you go to a doctor. If not, you can order a simple test from a place like DirectLabs for around $65.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin. Without it, you cannot properly renew the skin cells. Benefits of B12 also includes converting carbohydrates into energy. Experiencing severe fatigue is another sign you may be deficient in B12.
Vitamin B12 helps protect against cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease. It helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
Last but not least, it helps regulate the nervous system. Vitamin B12 benefits include preventing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
Sources of Vitamin B12
The top Vitamin B12 sources are shellfish, beef liver, fish, crab, tofu (although I recommend being careful eating soy), red meat, dairy (check for allergies first), cheese, and eggs. As you can see, vegans and vegetarians are at risk for not getting these foods rich in vitamin B12 in their diets.
Vitamin B12 is made in the gut. If you are eating enough healthy foods and your digestion works properly, you should be getting enough Vitamin B12. If you are taking a Vitamin B Complex on top of it all you shouldn’t have any problems.
However, you may need to take extra B12 if you find yourself with low energy, depression, anxiety, and have responded well to B Vitamins in the past. Try taking B12 especially if you are depressed and tend to stay away from eating meat, or if you are experiencing feelings of faintness or serious fatigue.
Vitamin B12 Side Effects
Severe allergic reactions can occur if your body can’t tolerate B12 supplements. This can include getting a rash, hives, having difficulty breathing, having tightness in your chest, or swelling in your mouth.
However, according to Drugs.com there are no commonly reported side effects by taking Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Overdose
Symptoms of taking too much Vitamin B12 can include itchiness, improper heart functioning, giddiness, and regular headaches.
Again, this is very rare. Just be careful if you are the very rare minority that begins to feel any of those symptoms.
What B12 Supplement is Best?
The best B12 supplement for absorption is sublingual B12 or taking injections.
The most common form of Vit B12 is called cyanaocobalamin. Methylcobalamin has recently been shown to be a better choice. Japanese studies show that it is better absorbed because it bypasses a few problems that can occur in the B12 absorption cycle. It also provides methyl groups to the body, which are important for overall health and mood.
Best B12 Supplement Reviews
Many people believe that Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin is the best B12 supplement on the market. It can be placed under the tongue for maximum absorption. Supplements don’t have many restrictions and regulations to ensure quality, but Jarrow Formulas is a brand I know that I can always trust.
A bottle of 60 lozenges at 5,000mcg from Jarrow Formulas is priced right around $15. On Amazon.com, it is the best seller out of all the B12 supplements
Nature’s Bounty comes in a close second place to Jarrow Formulas. The price is significantly lower. At 250 microlozenges and 2500mcg, the price is $15. Jarrow Formulas is about twice the price of Nature’s Bounty if you factor in the dosing difference.
Nature’s Bounty is sublingual also and can be placed under the tongue for absorption. It is the same cherry flavor as Jarrow Formulas.
The one thing I don’t like about Nature’s Bounty is it contains mannitol. Some people can have issues digesting this artificial sugar and others are allergic to it. Jarrow Formulas uses xylitol as a sweetener, which most people are able to handle.
My personal recommendation is to go with Jarrow Formulas unless you are really struggling financially, then Nature’s Bounty would be an option.
B12 Dosage can vary, but most people who are deficient find that 5,000 mcg is an effective dose.
Best Time To Take A B12 Supplement
Don’t take a B12 supplement too close to bedtime as Vitamin B12 can be stimulating and cause insomnia. We all know what insomnia can do to our moods.
When taking a sublingual lozenge, it is important to let the tablet dissolve as slowly as possible under the tongue. Sublingual B12 can be taken at any time. You don’t have to take it with food or not, although many people report that taking it right after a meal has positive effects.
How Quickly Can Taking A B12 Supplement Work?
One reader was emailing me and his symptoms indicated he may be deficient in B12 the more I talked with him. I simply told him to take the brand I recommended to you above, Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin, and he experienced relief in only a few days.
From not being able to work from dizziness, severe fatigue, and feeling faint, he found himself finally being able to function from taking one supplement.
With depression, it is important to go deep and find your own root cause for why your experiencing these awful symptoms of despair. People always ask me if it is possible to beat depression. My answer always is the same and can be found in the linked article.
To learn more about vitamin B supplements, amino acid supplements, antioxidant supplements, methylcobalamin b12, or the best vitamin brands, make sure to check out the supplements for depression master page.
If you want a proven depression relief system that takes what symptoms you are currently experiencing and shows you the best route and action steps to take for your own individual depression type, check out the course here.
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