Vitamin B12

This Week In The HSI Forum

With most vitamin supplements, there’s not much question about
how to take them. But vitamin B-12 is an exception.

In an HSI Forum thread titled “Vit. B12 – how to take?” a member
named Isabel asks: “I have a question about Vit. B12, inspired by
Dr. Spreen’s recommendation. I understand that this is not readily
absorbed, so the recommendation is a sublingual formulation.
However, the ones I have tried are loaded with sugar. Any

“Dr. Spreen,” of course, is HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., and
we’ll hear more from him in a moment. Meanwhile, two members
suggest other ways to increase B-12 in the diet. Dolores notes that
garbanzo beans are “a high protein source of B-12.” And Anne
offers this: “I understand that milk is an excellent source of Vit.
B12, as are eggs.”

We’ll give a thumbs-up to the eggs, but unless the milk is raw and
unpasteurized, that’s not the healthiest source. Here’s a comment
from a member who goes by the initials “RN”: “Dairy products so
closely mimic human hormones that many times an autoimmune
response is mounted, aka, arthritis, irritable bowel, phlegm in the
throat, fatigue, the list is endless, I would never personally look to
milk as a good source of anything based on the studies I’ve read.”

B-12 supplements are generally well absorbed when delivered by
sublingual tablet – that is: they dissolve under the tongue. But as
Isabel pointed out, many of these supplements contain sugar. As a
rule, I would agree that it’s best to avoid supplements that contain
fillers or additives such as sugar, starch or artificial flavors. But the
sugar content in these compact tablets is very small.

For those who want to avoid all contact with refined sugar, a
member named Allspice has this suggestion: “Solaray makes a
1,000 mcg sublingual B12 that has no added sugar at all. They use
Sorbitol and natural cherry flavoring. Sorbitol is a FORM of sugar,
not actual sugar.”

Allspice is right; sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol and xylitol) are
hydrogenated sugars distilled from fruits, berries, milk and corn.
They have fewer calories than table sugar (sucrose), and create far
less of an impact on blood sugar levels. That said, sorbitol may
pose a problem for some because it’s not completely absorbed in
the small intestine, which can cause gas and other problems in the
large intestine. But just like sugar, the very small amount of
sorbitol contained in a B-12 tablet will not present a problem for
most people.

If sugar or sorbitol need to be completely avoided, a member
named Leppert has this suggestion: “You can ask your DR for a
prescription for the injectible B12. It is very cheap and soon one
becomes used to doing their own shots.”

As for dosage, Dr. Spreen recommends 1 mg of sublingual B-12
per day. And the form you choose is important too. Dr. Spreen:
“Use methyl-B-12, instead of cyano- or hydroxo-B-12. It’s harder
to find and more expensive, but worth every penny.” Dr. Spreen
also notes that the only dietary source that delivers adequate
amounts of B-12 is red meat.

Other topics on the HSI Forum this week include:

* Fish oil for depression
* FDA “too cozy” with Big Pharma
* Gum infections
* Melatonin for migraines
* Insulin resistance
* Fiber & supplements

To reach the HSI Forum, just go to our web site at, click on “Forum,” and add your voice to
the wide range of topics concerning health care and nutrition.


Are you sick of eating turkey burgers and sprouts sick of
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exercising until you can hardly breathe?

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it’s healthy Find out why vegetarians actually die
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Saturday, November 20, 2004
Breathe disease out of your body
Major medical journals confirm: Simple breathing techniques can
reduce blood pressure, treat asthma, and eliminate pain, without
drugs, surgery or even supplements. We’ll tell you how Chinese
healers used this powerful science to heal and prevent everything
from common colds to cancer, long before the advent of modern
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Monday, November 22, 2004
Around the Middle
Is it really the fountain of youth? That’s how some refer to
supplements of DHEA, the natural hormone that has been shown
to increase energy levels, improve memory and protect the heart.
Now a new study demonstrates a very practical way that DHEA
may help diabetics and those with pre-diabetic conditions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The Beat Goes On
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements may sharply reduce
the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) in patients who
are prone to this condition. New research reveals another easy
dietary change that may help keep the beats in sync while offering
protection against sudden cardiac death.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Club Med
The Mediterranean diet (consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish,
whole grains, beans and olive oil) has developed a heart-healthy
reputation through the results of many studies over the past two
decades. We’ll tell you about research that focuses on one element
of this diet – an element that may help provide significant blood
pressure control.

Thursday, November 25, 2004
Conquer diabetes by eating eggs, pizza, and brownies!
The complications of diabetes can be managed and even reversed
by eating the right foods and taking specific supplements. We’ll
tell you about a new book in which award-winning author Dr.
Patrick Quillin explains how you can improve eyesight, enhance
circulation and get control of diabetes with 10 secret super foods.
(if you can’t open here use the HTML links listed below)



It doesn’t take much to make me happy. This week on ESPN’s
Monday Night Countdown, Michael Irvin was about to announce
his weekly “Playmakers.” Before he launched into this week’s top
5, he looked at the camera and said, “Kyle Boller: we’ve been
tough on you but you’ve shown us something in the last few
weeks.” He then raised his hand so his index finger and thumb
were almost touching and said, “I just need to see this much more
from you for you to be a Playmaker.”

Through the magic of Tivo, I watched that three times, smiling like
a kid at Christmas during each one. Baltimore’s little boy is
growing up. He had another great week, throwing for 232 yards,
two touchdowns and no interceptions or fumbles. He’s calling his
own plays and really maturing in front of everyone’s eyes.

The Ravens won a decisive second-half victory against Dallas on
Sunday. Down 3-0 at the half, they came back to win 30-10. The
defense had two interceptions – one for a touchdown – and a
forced fumble that Baltimore recovered at Dallas’ one-yard line.

We did have a couple of bad plays – two fumbles by receivers, too
many dropped passes and a fumble on the snap for the extra point
after our last score. But overall, the team played an impressive
game and Kyle Boller showed he is capable of being a true leader.

That’s going to be important come this Sunday. After a turkey and
mashed potato hangover, the Ravens head to New England to face
the nearly undefeated SuperBowl champion Patriots. And it looks
like they’ll be doing it without Jamal Lewis.

The Ravens have been plagued by injuries to their pro-bowlers all
year and have been able to pull out enough victories to bring them
to their best 10-week record ever.

The Patriots have their share of injuries, too. But this team seems
to have a magical ability to adapt. They use receivers on defense,
spread the ball out morewhatever it takes. And Tom Brady
seems to have a pocketful of wins that he can pull out just about
whenever he needs them.

Hopefully the Ravens – and Boller – will continue their strong
performance and deliver the upset.

After all, hasn’t Boston had a good enough year?


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