Memory loss is very frustrating. Maybe it is a simple vitamin deficiency?

Older adults can become deficient in vitamin B12 (VB12) and can result in Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Give them a VB12 shot, and all is normal. VB12 does not cure Alzheimer’s disease. It only corrects the symptoms of VB12 deficiency.

Forms of VB12 VB12 is found in foods, such as clams, liver, trout, salmon, beef, ham, eggs, and more. For those preferring non-meat sources, nutritional yeast, dairy-free yogurt, breakfast cereals, plant milk (soy, almond, oat, cashew, coconut), and some kinds of margarine and spreads. As a supplement, it is labeled as cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin.

VB12 Deficiency Less than ten percent of Americans are deficient in VB12, and most of those are older adults. Aging prevents the proper absorption of this vitamin. Surgery and other conditions also affect the ability of the body to use dietary or supplemental VB12.

Pernicious anemia, atrophic gastritis, Crohn’s and celiac disease, alcohol abuse, Graves’ disease, and lupus are known to prevent the assimilation of VB12. Some medicines, such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, and some diabetes medicines (metformin and Glucophage), are known to inhibit the absorption of VB12.

Vegans are also at higher risk of becoming VB12 deficient since the most common sources are in the meat and dairy aisles of your local grocery store.

VB12 Supplements VB12 is a cobalamin. It is seen almost exclusively as cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the most common; however, it is synthesized and contains a cyanide molecule. Regardless of the small amount of cyanide, the body recognizes it as a toxic chemical and will eliminate it. Cobalamins do not survive stomach acid very well.

Methylcobalamin is taken under the tongue and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This variety of cobalamin is needed for brain and nervous system health.

New Form of VB12 is found in 70% of the body’s tissues, yet it is not sold in most stores. Both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are bioactive and work together but do not treat the same parts of the body. Methylcobalamin works primarily inside the body’s cells, whereas adenosylcobalamin works in the tissues. Adenosylcobalamin protects neurons and prevents the deterioration of dopamine, a critical neurotransmitter.

Some scientists believe that adenosylcobalamin might be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease since it directly supports mitochondrial function, an area in which Parkinson’s disease is known to attack. Some experiments on laboratory worms induced to have Parkinson’s disease were shown to weather the disease far better than the untreated worms.

Studies done on laboratory mice with dopamine deficiency were also successful in stimulating the growth of neurons compared to the untreated mice.

Adenosylcobalamin has shown remarkable results when tested against the build-up of homocysteine, impacting both healthy brain and heart functions. Elevated homocysteine levels increase the risk of vascular dementia and brain shrinkage. High levels of homocysteine over time can increase both inflammation and atherosclerotic plaque.

DNA repair is hampered by excess homocysteine. Brain shrinkage in the hippocampus (memory formation) can lead to the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that are precursors to Alzheimer’s disease. Adenosylcobalamin reduces the levels of homocysteine.


Both bioactive forms of VB12 are required. Do not substitute one for the other. Look at your diet and decide if you are getting enough VB12. When you are not being supplied adequately with diet, talk to your physician about VB12 supplements.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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