27th November 2021. Written by Emily Birch for VitalOrganico
Read time: 5 minutes
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ve most likely been prompted to supplement your diet with vitamin B12 at some point. But did you know that if you eat meat, are pescatarian or flexitarian, the chances are that you need additional B12 too?
What does vitamin B12 do?
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, which simply means that our bodies need it to survive.
Derived from a group of compounds known as cobalamins (so called because they contain the mineral, cobalt), vitamin B12 is a water soluble, highly complex vitamin which our bodies are unable to make. This means that we have to ensure that we consume it via the food we eat, or by supplementation.
Vitamin B12 is important because it plays a vital role in some of the most critical processes in the body. It’s required for the proper function of your brain and nervous system, the making of your red blood cells and is even an essential co-factor in the production of your DNA. In fact, vitamin B12 is so critical to health that it appears on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Also known as hydroxocobalamin, you may have seen Vitamin B12 in supplement form as cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin.
Where do we get vitamin B12 from?
Vitamin B12 is naturally synthesized by certain bacteria and other microorganisms called archaea, which are primarily found in soil.
As animals graze, they ingest vitamin B12 from the soil and this, as well as being exposed to bacteria laden manure and drinking untreated water, causes them to accumulate vitamin B12 in their body tissues. As our soil quality has dramatically dropped over the last few decades, farmed animals are also often given supplemental feed fortified with vitamin B12. Just like us, they’re unable to make vitamin B12 themselves and must have adequate amounts of it in their diet to remain healthy.
Once upon a time, we would have obtained our vitamin B12 in much the same way as the farmed animals do. In years gone by, when families grew their own vegetables in soil that was far richer in nutrients that it is today, food hygiene practices weren’t as stringent as they are now and we didn’t treat our water supply, we had more exposure to beneficial bacteria and therefore, more access to vitamin B12. However, the latter advances are positive; whilst we don’t get vitamin B12 from our interaction with soil bacteria these days, we don’t generally tend to get cholera either!
By ingesting the body tissues of animals, we absorb the vitamin B12 that they’ve absorbed, into our own tissues. This is why the most common dietary sources of vitamin B12 are animal-based foods, such as meat, milk, eggs and also fish (who ingest the vitamin B12 that they carry from phytoplankton). However, a few plant-based foods such as nori and mushrooms contain substantial natural amounts of B12 too.
It goes without saying that vitamin B12 supplementation is critical for health if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. But, it’s equally important to understand that even if you do consume animal products, the chances are still high that you require additional vitamin B12 supplementation.
With many of us now identifying as pescatarian or flexitarian, we are eating less meat as a society.
Our farmed animals are also fed from increasingly nutrient-depleted soils and oceans, so are unable to provide as much vitamin B12 as they once did. This is why you can no longer rest assured that if you eat animal products you have the optimum vitamin B12 levels for full health.
The final thing to consider is that the absorption of vitamin B12 is a complex process, subject to various problems in many places. If you eat a diet rich in products that contain vitamin B12 but have any gastrointestinal issues, such as low stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes; cell deficiencies or a lack of intrinsic factor (a protein made by cells in your stomach which is required for vitamin B12 to be absorbed in your intestines), you are still at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, due to inadequate absorption.
The good news is that vitamin B12 is now found in many fortified foods, such as cereals, bread and plant-based milks. And of course, it can be very easily added to your diet via high quality vitamin B12 supplements such as VitalOrganico Liposomal Vitamin B12.
So, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, meat-eating or flexitarian, you can very easily ensure that your vitamin B12 levels are topped up to level that will help you to feel great every day.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
The reality of a vitamin B12 deficiency Often referred to as ‘The Chronic Masquerader’, Vitamin B12 deficiency is classically very difficult to diagnose, because it produces symptoms that are similar to many other illnesses. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is a common but often under recognised condition, which can take a long time to diagnose and can potentially be very serious.
The list of symptoms associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency is long. It includes extreme tiredness and fatigue, heart palpitations, weight loss, hair loss, organ failure, vision disturbances, dizziness, ‘pins and needles’, anaemia, cognitive difficulties including brain fog and memory loss, incontinence and even psychiatric problems, such as psychosis.
Prevention, early detection and management of a B12 deficiency therefore, is of paramount importance. Long term vitamin B12 deficiency can cause the symptoms above to become progressive and permanent; especially those associated with neurological damage. Fortunately, once a vitamin B12 deficiency is identified, the treatment is a very simple case of B12 supplementation. Though of course the easiest and best thing to do is avoid a B12 deficiency in the first place!
Until recently, evidence suggested that vitamin B12 in injectable form was the most effective and easily absorbed route of administration. However, many recent studies have in fact shown that sublingual (under the tongue) vitamin B12 supplementation is in many cases, just as effective. Which is good news for those that don’t like needles!
VitalOrganico Liposomal Vitamin B12 We’ve taken great care to source the highest quality vitamin B12, encasing it within liposomes, which are tiny bio-compatible and biodegradable delivery systems that increase the absorption and
bioavailability of this important vitamin by up to 9 times that of non-liposomal alternatives.
VitalOrganico liposomal vitamin B12 can safely be taken through pregnancy and breastfeeding, by infants and adults alike, throughout life.
Supplemental vitamin B12 can interact with some medications so please check with your Doctor and/or your medication safety data sheet before taking it.
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Only few drop per day will have the power to detox and nourish your body
by Emily Westwood
It's highly probable that if you're reading this article, you already know that vitamin C is an essential nutrient; required by every single one of us on a daily basis in order to maintain good health and vitality. If you didn’t know that, don’t worry - you can find out more by reading our last blog ‘Why is Vitamin C so important”.
Despite being absolutely critical for our general wellbeing, our bodies aren’t capable of making their own vitamin C, so it’s imperative that we top up our vitamin C levels daily, via good quality, vitamin C rich foods and/or supplements.
If you’ve ever looked at purchasing a vitamin C supplement you’ve probably seen that there are several different types of vitamin C available; including liposomal vitamin C powdered ascorbic acid (another name for Vitamin C), capsules, tablets and even IV Vitamin C drips. But the chances are that
you don’t know the difference between them; more specifically why you might choose one type over another, how to decide which is the right supplement for you, at what point, and why. Not to mention how you can make sure you that don’t waste your hard-earned money on something that may not be
as effective as you hope!
At VitalOrganico we’re happy to guide you on the answer to this question, any time. Simply call or email us and we’ll guide you towards the right supplement for you. In the meantime, as most of us know what a powder is by definition, let’s get down to talking about liposomal vitamin C.
W H A T I S A L I P O S O M E ?
Liposomes are microscopic phospholipid bubbles that mimic the body’s own cell membranes. That might sound complicated, but they’re basically little spheres that can carry a substance into the body very effectively.
So tiny that they’re invisible to the naked eye, for many years liposomes were primarily used in pharmaceutical medicine for the targeted delivery of certain drugs. However, in recent times they’ve been utilised in cosmetics, botanicals, agriculture and nutritional supplementation.
Liposomes are specifically designed to protect substances from damage as they travel through the body, and they’re very good at this job. If formulated correctly, liposomes can facilitate the absorption of the nutrients they carry as soon as they land on your tongue; helping to protect the nutrients from breakdown by your digestive acids and enzymes, and optimizing delivery into your cells. In fact, the efficacy of these tiny spheres is well documented - they're the subject of more than 50,000 peer reviewed published studies to date.
W H Y I S L I P O S O M A L V I T A M I N C A N I M P O R T A N T O P T I O N ?
Because your digestive system is incredible! At more than 20 feet long and containing more than 100 million neurons, all communicating continually with your brain (that’s more than in your spinal cord),
your digestive system is designed to chemically and mechanically digest your food incredibly effectively, delivering maximum nutrition into your blood and your cells, so that you can turn most of what you eat into energy.
Your stomach is one of the major players in this process. This wonderful organ acts as a temporary store for your food, churning and breaking it down into much smaller particles before moving it on to your small intestine for absorption. As well as breaking down your food mechanically in this way, your stomach also breaks your food down chemically, by mixing what you’ve eaten with hydrochloric acid, otherwise known as your stomach acid. In fact, your stomach is so acidic (pH 2-3) that the juices within it could burn through wood and even some metals!
Once you know this, and understand that everything you ingest travels via your stomach, it becomes easy to see how some medications, vitamins and supplements could be damaged and/or compromised by this naturally acidic environment. Add to this the fact that many of us in the Western world have compromised digestion to varying degrees (due to high stress levels, high toxin exposure and low nutritional value dietary choices), and so we don't generally absorb all of the nutrients we consume anyway, you can see how we quickly end up with much lower absorption rates of the vitamins that we’re so diligently taking; including vitamin C. This is precisely where liposomal encapsulation comes in.
H O W D O E S I T W O R K ?
Simply put, by wrapping our Vital C Liposomal vitamin C in a protective liposome bubble, we protect it from the acid and other digestive enzymes in your stomach. This gives it a really good chance of reaching your tissues and bloodstream as effectively and as fully as possible; optimising the absorption of vitamin C in your cells.
G E N T L E O N Y O U R S T O M A C H
OK, we're getting into the science a little bit here but the reason liposomal vitamin C can be easier on the stomach for some of us, is this: In order to transport vitamin C from your small intestine into your bloodstream (“absorption”) your body has to instigate the help of "transporter proteins". Once these handy little transporter proteins have assisted in moving the vitamin C in to your bloodstream, you then need more of them to then carry the vitamin C out of the bloodstream and into your cells. This process requires energy, and it's also dependent on the presence of sufficient transporter proteins at each step of the way.
If you have more vitamin C molecules than you have transporter protein capacity, the excess vitamin C can't be absorbed into your bloodstream and instead, is excreted in your urine. This excess can also cause an upset stomach.
Due to their composition nearly matching that of the cell membrane, liposomes can assimilate into the cell and drop off the vitamin C where it is fully absorbed and where it is needed, without the need for transporter proteins. In other words, liposomal vitamin C cuts out the middle man!
T H E P U R E S T F O R M U L A
When you take VitalOrganico liposomal vitamin C on a daily basis, you can rest assured that you’re getting the highest quality vitamin C, supported by only the purest ingredients.
Our Vital C liposomal vitamin C is encapsulated with organic non-GMO sunflower lecithin, Seabuckthorn extract, Xylitol (a sweetener derived from the birch tree) and natural orange flavouring.
That’s it. No alcohol, no potassium sorbate, no artificial flavourings, no soya and no citric acid.
Super clean ingredients and no nasties. This is the foundation stone of VitalOrganico.