B12 Deficiency–Common. Dangerous. Naturally Treatable.

Could you be B12 Deficient? It's very common. And it's serious. And it's treatable naturally. Come find out how.

{Today please welcome back Kristin from Nature Had It First.  Kristin is sharing some very important information about B12 levels–why they are important and how to get them where they should be–naturally.}

When one of our readers, Karie Kinney, told me about liver pills after reading about it on the web, I knew it was something that I needed to incorporate into my own routine.

Even after a very short period of time, Karie was noticing dramatic improvements.

After taking the liver pills for only 2 weeks, she was:

– no longer experiencing dizziness
- the cracks in the corners of her mouth had healed and
- her nails were getting strong again.
– When she had her period a month later she noticed even more profound changes.  See the end of this post for more…..

I ordered organic grass-fed liver that evening.

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
– Alzheimer’s.

One U.S. study looked at vitamin B12 levels in college students attending Tuft’s University and found that approximately 40% of the students tested were deficient in spite of the fact that they were eating a diet that included foods containing B12. Additionally, the study used a very low level to determine a deficiency 258 pg/mL. Even at that very low level, 40% of participants had a vitamin B12 deficiency (McBride, 2000).

Why are We B12 Deficient?

The reasons for the widespread deficiency found in this study are probably two-fold.

1.  First, our only dietary source of B12 comes from animal proteins. Vitamin B12 comes from soil and to have sufficient levels of B12, that animal had to be pasture-raised. Many of our animal proteins in the U.S. are raised on concrete and never have access to grass and soil.

2.  Second, vitamin B12 is a very difficult vitamin for the body to assimilate. To properly absorb vitamin B12 we need optimal digestive conditions, including adequate levels of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Without these conditions, we will not be able to absorb the vitamin B12 we ingest.

Get the Best Quality Liver Possible

Sourcing your liver is extremely important.

Make sure to use liver from an organic, pasture-raised and pasture-finished source. By using pasture-raised and finished liver, you are not only getting liver that will have higher B12 levels, but higher levels of omega-3’s and other nutrients.

Additionally, you will not be ingesting the large doses of antibiotics and steroids that are given to conventionally raised animals.

Two companies we like to get our grass-fed meat from are:

Good Earth Farms
Alder Spring Ranch

Liver Pills

You can make pills using fresh liver (which I think would be a slimy, time-consuming process), or you can dry the liver first.

The payoff of either method is that you have a rich source of vitamin B12 daily, without having to make liver every night for dinner :).

Here are step by step instructions showing how to make liver pills, but here are the Instructions in a Nutshell:

Of course, if you are squeemish about making liver pills, you can buy dessicated liver pills as well.

Always Eat With a Fermented Food–ALWAYS

As with any protein you consume, always make sure to eat a fermented food, such as a couple of forkfuls of raw fermented sauerkraut, along with it. So each time I take my liver pills (five in the morning and five in the evening), I take some organic raw sauerkraut or raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water along with them.

Fermented foods contain enzymes just like the digestive enzymes in our own pancreas that help us to break down and metabolize the foods we are eating. By eating a fermented food with your liver pills, you will help your body extract all the wonderful nutrition the liver has to offer.

Conclusion

So for many reasons, you should definitely think about including liver pills as part of your regimen. By incorporating this B12 rich food into your diet and pairing it with the digestive enzymes found in fermented foods, you can raise your B12 levels naturally and that can have a significant impact on your overall health.

Karie’s update:

A few days ago, Karie sent me this message, “I forgot to tell you when I was talking to you earlier. This last period (just getting over now) was the best period I think I have ever had in my life. I don’t know if it’s the bone broth, turmeric or the liver pills or a combo of everything but I am not changing a thing! Wow, very light and short!! So exciting:)”

*Pregnant women are told not to consume liver due to high vitamin A content.

References: McBride, J. 2000. B12 deficiency may be more widespread than thought. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 4/3/11

{Please note – the above information is for entertainment and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician prior to changing your diet or exercise program.}

Are you thinking YOU will try Liver Pills?

Kristin Urdiales - contributing writerKristin Urdiales @ NatureHadItFirst is an author, blogger, speaker, and mother of two children. Kristin was only fourteen when her mother became ill with lupus in 1992. Having already begun to suffer from migraine headaches and extraordinary fatigue, she knew that she was most likely on the same path if she did not make some changes. It would not be until Kristin was in her early 30s that she and her mother would truly discover the things that would improve the health of her entire family. Learn more by visiting Kristin’s blog at Nature Had It First or connecting with Kristin on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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  1. Susan F. says:

    Hi – I talked to Annesse once on the phone as she had contacted me through the Interstitial Cystitis Network and that was very kind of her. I have the Autoimmune Cause… and also the Fibromyalgia book on Kindle. I never went on the WAPF diet including all that sauerkraut (fear of the sour aggravating IC plus my difficulty in making it) which is basically what Annesse’s cure is I believe (really derived from the work of Weston A. Price and then Sally Fallon). I did however, try the Paleo Approach autoimmune protocol for a bit (no grains, dairy, legumes, seeds, nuts, eggs) but without much change in my various symptoms ( I really do not think I am gluten intolerant but how can one really know, so much know is being attributed to that) so I am back thinking about Annesse’s connections of the different studies and about B12. I’ve found out that I am homozygous for MTHFR c677t gene which means I got 2 copies of a bad gene and I may have difficulty with methylation. Therefore my naturopath has me on Metabolic Maintenance which contains all the B’s including the methylated ones (b12 and folate). My b12 blood test then went up from low 400s to over 700s, but from what you are saying I may not actually be getting it into my cells. So if I could tolerate eating all that sauerkraut and liver, are you suggesting one could abandon taking a formula that contains all the B vitamins as I have mentioned? I just want to make sure and thank you so much. Also what about k2 and fish oil?

    • Hi Susan. I will email the author to see if she can respond. Thanks!

    • Hi Susan,

      Research confirms that patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and autoimmune disease lack the enzymes that are necessary for the proper metabolism of vitamin B12 – protease and DNase 1.

      The lack of these enzymes leads to a “cellular” vitamin B12 deficiency. Increasing “blood” levels of vitamin B12 though supplementation will not correct the underlying cellular deficiency. It may however greatly increase the risk of disease.

      Cancer cells put out extra receptors to vitamin B12 because it helps them divide. Drug companies know this and have actually designed new cancer therapies that involve using supplemental vitamin B12 to deliver cytotoxic agents to cancerous tumors. Here is one study that discusses this. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18540842

      The same is true of folate. Here is a study on this. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9741912

      As we discuss in our books, every nutrient works with at least 8 other nutrients in order to function properly and to prevent causing harm, so we think it is best to keep nutrients in their whole form. You can effectively and safely address the lack of vitamin B12 and the other nutrients you mentioned by focusing on healing your GI tract and restoring the missing enzymes.

      We are also posting some info on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Autoimmunethecauseandthecure

      Hope that helps answer your question, thanks!