Many Americans suffer from a B12 deficiency, often times without even knowing it. B12 is essential to our well-being in so many ways, including a proper metabolism, cell division, immunity, and blood health. This article explores why B12 is so vital, why we tend to be deficient in it, and offers a surprising source for B12: liver!
“What’s So Important about B12?
1. Metabolism. Vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of virtually every cell in the human body. It is called the energy vitamin since it helps metabolize fat and protein and converts fatty acids into glucose.
2. Essential for Cell Division -B12 is involved in cell replication which is how cells divide in your body. No DNA replication–no new cells.
3. Blood Health – It’s involved in formation of hemoglobin for red blood cells (RBC’s)
4. Nerve Health – B12 is important in forming the myelin that surrounds nerve cells (affected in diseases like multiple sclerosis).
5. Immune Health – Vitamin B12 also promotes normal immune function
6. Prevents Disease -Additionally, vitamin B12 deficiency is implicated in numerous diseases including multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and many more.
Due to our monthly menses and high demand for vitamin B12 during pregnancy, women can be more at risk for developing a deficiency.
What’s So Great About Liver?
1. Great source of B12 – Organic grass-fed liver is one of the highest dietary sources for vitamin B12 available.
2. Rich in vitamins and nutrients. Liver is also rich in other vitamins and nutrients that many of us are deficient in, including other B-vitamins, vitamin A*, zinc and iron (which is beneficial for iron-deficiency anemia caused by menstruation).
Problems with Vitamin B12 Levels in the U.S.
We are Probably Deficient
The levels used in the U.S. to determine a vitamin B12 deficiency are often much lower than levels used in other countries. The U.S. uses a level of 200 pg/mL to determine a deficiency. In many European countries they use a deficiency level of 500 pg/mL and that is the level at which they see degenerative mental changes such as:
– bipolar disorder
– mood swings
– dementia and