The third post in the Micronutrients and Macronutrients with SIBO series is Vitamin D and SIBO.
You will heal. I will help.
I’m kicking off the Micronutrients and Macronutrients with SIBO series with Vitamin B12 and SIBO.
Why this one, if I’m not even deficient in it currently? Because I have been. In 2014 when I was first diagnosed with SIBO, I was so deficient in it that I did weekly B12 injections to my stomach. (Insert sarcasm) It was so much fun that I don’t ever want to have you to go through the same. (My latest testing results showed that I am 14% above average with my B12 stores.)
I know that if you have SIBO now (or have yet to be diagnosed) a Vitamin B12 deficiency is very likely.
Click HERE to save the Vitamin B12 and SIBO information for later.
A common complication of bacterial overgrowth is cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency. Patients with normal intestinal enteric flora rely on gastric intrinsic factor to bind to vitamin B12 to permit absorption in the ileum.
Chris Kresser states,
Although rates of B12 deficiency are much higher in vegetarians and vegans than in omnivores, that doesn’t mean it’s rare in omnivores. According to a study, approximately 1 in 20 omnivores are B12 deficient. In my practice I’d estimate the rate at closer to 1 in 15, possibly because I see a lot of people with gut problems and that is one of the risk factors for B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs in four stages, beginning with declining blood levels of the vitamin (stage I), progressing to low cellular concentrations of the vitamin (stage II), an increased blood level of homocysteine and a decreased rate of DNA synthesis (stage III), and finally, pernicious anemia (stage IV).
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin required for many reactions in your body as well as for the health of your nerves, red blood cells, and DNA. Its most important role is as a methyl group donor, which is a crucial step in many of our main detoxification pathways.
Cyano B12 is a cheap, synthetic, slightly-toxic, inactive form of B12 that is made with a cyanide donor and is used commercially. It is the most stable form, because the cyanide molecule has the greatest attraction to the cobalamin and protects it from extreme conditions (like high temperatures). However, it doesn’t absorb well and requires methyl groups to detoxify it.
When cyano B12 does absorb, it converts to hydroxocobalamin (hopefully discarding of the cyanide in the process) and then to methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. When taken orally, absorption of this form is drastically reduced if you have any gastric acid problems. (Source.)
Methylcobalamin, the kingpin, one of the two active, natural forms of B12. It helps reduce homocysteine concentrations and generates SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine), the most important methyl donor in your body, supplying methyl groups for crucial chemical reactions to help maintain your health.
Where methyl B12 shows its greatest utility is with people suffering form degenerative neurological symptoms, where it’s often the only promising treatment. It bypasses several potential issues in the absorption cycle and helps relieve or completely reverse symptoms. (Source.)
Those with digestive disorders, in general, are more susceptible to a Vitamin B12 deficiency because typically they are losing a lot of nutrients (both micro and macro) via the passing of too much stool.
But those with SIBO are oftentimes affected by a Vitamin B12 deficiency because they produce less stomach acid that is needed to convert vitamin B12 properly.
Those with SIBO (and the general population as a whole) are also affected due to:
(Source: Chris Kresser’s ADAPT Program)
Click HERE to save these symptoms for later.
According to Dr. Axe, here is a list of Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:
According to Chris Kresser,
B12 is the only vitamin that contains a trace element (cobalt), which is why it’s called cobalamin. Cobalamin is produced in the gut of animals. It’s the only vitamin we can’t obtain from plants or sunlight. Plants don’t need B12 so they don’t store it.
Even still, I was eating meat and was severely B12 deficient.
This goes beyond simply eating meat. Recovering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency could mean any or all of the following things:
Have your Vitamin B12 levels been tested lately? How are they? I’d love to hear from you.
Read all posts from this series:
Magnesium deficiency is very common, but how do magnesium, constipation and digestion fit together?
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