Over the years, treating fatigue has become a big part of my practice.
Every day, I have patients in my waiting room with the same complaint – their ‘get up and go’ has ‘got up and gone.’
Their energy levels are dwindling. Getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle – and they’ve lost the get up and go they need to play with the grandkids, work in the garden, or enjoy their other favourite activities.
Sounds familiar, right?
But when I recommend a vitamin B12 injection – or advise my patients to start a supplement programme – often they’ll object. And it’s because some mainstream doctor has tested their B12 levels and claimed they were fine, or even elevated.
I’ve even had some patients who had doctors warn them about ‘poisoning’ themselves with B12.
It’s a load of nonsense based on a seriously flawed testing system. And, unfortunately, too many doctors are using it to deny patients a life-changing vitamin treatment that could help protect their hearts and brains, and give them more energy than they’ve felt in years.
What your B12 test isn’t telling you
As a doctor, it pains me to admit this – but the medical world got really stupid when lab testing was invented. Doctors stopped using their brains!
Conventional doctors tend to use lab results as ‘gospel’. They’ll tell a patient they don’t have a disease or vitamin or hormone deficiency, even if they have EVERY symptom of it, just because the blood work came back ‘normal’.
And it’s the same deal with B12. If your results come back within the normal range, doctors will steer you away from shots or supplements.
But what they won’t tell you is that there’s a BIG problem with how they define normal.
The conventional medical community has devised those ‘normal’ lab values by taking a population of patients and taking the AVERAGE of them. That’s it.
The established norms aren’t even CLOSE to being based on perfect people with perfect energy levels, so I don’t think the bar has been set high enough.
Because when you’re my patient, I want you to live a life that’s MORE than average… and BETTER than normal.
Are you getting ENOUGH of this monumental nutrient?
If there were a Mount Rushmore of vitamins, B12 would be on it.
It always amazes me how many biochemical processes are tied to B12. It’s responsible for the repair and upkeep of the nervous system and the refinement of every red blood cell your body makes.
B12 also lowers your levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that’s been implicated in stroke and cardiovascular disease.
And B12 helps provide you with energy and stamina and even helps your body produce serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates your mood. Even better, you feel the results very quickly.
Its incredible breadth of responsibilities in the human body – and amazing healing properties – make B12 a staple of my practice.
In fact, I’m adamant about maintaining my patients’ B12 levels to be in the upper end of normal – and even getting in to the elevated levels – because I’m looking at B12 for its therapeutic purposes.
You can’t get too much of this good thing
Now, because B12 is a watersoluble vitamin, your body absorbs some of it to use for its healing purposes… and then urinates the rest out.
So you wouldn’t get the maximum benefit of B12 unless you SATURATE the body with it via a shot or highdose oral supplements.
Supplementing with B12 can help ward off disease and restore your energy levels, but only if you’re getting ENOUGH of it.
Some studies do show that certain diseases are linked to having naturally-elevated levels of B12 in your bloodstream WITHOUT the influence of vitamin supplementation but by and large, the scientific community agrees that this ageold treatment has stood the test of time and is a very safe therapy… even at high levels.
Unlike the prescription drugs that have countless side effects and have been linked to some pretty scary risks, there’s scant, if any, data showing any real dangers of taking too much B12.2
In future issues of Nutrition and Healing, I’ll discuss the differences between the oral, sublingual (under the tongue), and shot versions of B12 – all of which can raise your levels to the supposed ‘danger’ zone, or what I consider the ‘optimal level’!
But to get more B12 than what’s available in one of those supermarket vitamin brands, you might need to get a very different kind of prescription from your doctor. As I shared with you last month, some supplements are so strong that they require a prescription.
They’re called ‘medical foods’, and I’m a fan of them. Metanx has methylated versions of B12, B6, and folic acid. In fact, this US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated medical food will likely raise your B12 level to the upper echelon on the B12 laboratory spectrum… if not make your B12 level appear to be ‘elevated,’ according to their established norms.
But don’t worry about those elevated levels. Because aside from giving you an energy boost, Metanx is a wonderful tool in the healing of the nervous system, having helped ease the discomfort of peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the extremities – often, the feet).3 You can find out more at www. metanx.com.
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Vol. 10, Issue 5 • May 2016
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.