What is B12?
Vitamin B12 prevents anemia, but it has many other benefits and functions. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to anemia, include impaired nerve function and lowered mental alertness. Because B12 comes mostly from animal-origin foods, vegetarians and vegans are susceptible to B12 deficiencies (McBride). Methylcobalamin is a highly bioavailable form of B12 that dissolves quickly under the tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream. A randomized, controlled trial involving 93 patients found that oral B12 was even more effective than B12 injections. (Butler). Vitamin B12 levels are impaired by age, smoking, alcohol consumption, and medications that inhibit stomach acid.

What are the benefits of B12?
This water-soluble vitamin supports:
• Energy production
• Production of genetic materials
• Nervous system function
• Memory, learning and brain health
• Synthesis of red blood cells
• Cardiovascular health

The latest research states:

B12 helps improve cognitive function
A person’s B12 levels decrease as they age, especially if digestion is impaired. Age-related B12 deficiency can increase the risks of hearing loss, memory impairment, and mood disorders, as well as heart disease. 

B12 improves sleep patterns
Poor sleep quality increases one’s risk for illnesses and accidents. Several studies show that sublingual methylcobalamin is an effective way to improve sleep for shift workers and for people who experience daytime sleepiness, restless nights, and frequent awakenings. In one study subjects taking B12 reported improved sleep quality and increased daytime alertness and concentration and, in some cases, improved mood (Murray).

B12 supports heart health
Vitamin B12 works with B6 and folic acid to reduce homocysteine levels, a factor in heart disease.  Elevated homocysteine levels are found in 20-40% of patients with heart disease and may also play a role in osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, and rheumatoid arthritis. An American study of elderly people found those deficient in B12 and folic acid also had homocysteine levels 63% higher than those with healthy B12 levels. Vitamin-deficient seniors who received B12 daily, with folic acid and B6, saw an average drop of 32% in homocysteine (Johnson).

Natural Factors B12 sublingual tablets are an excellent supplement for overall good heatlh.

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References:
Butler C.C., et al., “Oral vitamin B12 versus intramuscular vitamin B12 for vitamin B12 deficiency: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials”, Fam Pract, 2006 Jun; 23(3): 279-85, Epub 2006 Apr 3
Healton E.B., et al., Medicine, 70: 229-45; 1991
Jalaludin M.A., “Methylcobalamin treatment of Bell’s palsy”, Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol, Oct; 17(8): 539-44; 1995
Johnson M.A., et al., “Hyperhomocysteinemia and vitamin B-12 deficiency in elderly using Title IIIc nutrition services”, Am J Clin Nutr, 2003 Jan; 77(1): 211-20
McBride J., “B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought”, USDA, August 2, 2000.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm
Mitchell T., “B12: the vital vitamin”, Life Extension Magazine, Aug; 1999
Murray M.T., et al., “How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine”, Riverhead Books; 2002
Van Goor, et al., “Review: Cobalamin deficiency and mental impairment in elderly people”, Age and Ageing, 24: 536-42; 1995
Wade D.T., et al., “A randomised placebo controlled explorat-
ory study of vitamin B-12, lofepramine, and L-phenylalanine (the “Cari Loder regime”) in the treatment of multiple
sclerosis”, J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 2002 Sep; 73(3): 246-9