First of all, B12 is so, so important for your health. It's responsible for your brain, nerves, blood…everything! It helps your body make new DNA, new red blood cells, and plus it helps out with our cell respiration process.
Basically, it's taking food and converting it into ATP, which is the energy form used by all life. So your metabolism, your cells…basically, YOU would not function without B12!
But this brings into question the idea of WHEN a vitamin deficiency actually becomes a "deficiency." What do I mean by that?
Well, as a Tufts University study showed, about 10% of people vitamin B12 deficient, the way that "deficiency" was defined at the time.
However, 40% of participants had "low normal range" B12 levels, and also reported tiredness, inability to concentrate, and moodiness.
The reason I bring that up is to show that you don't have to be extremely deficient in something to start suffering negative effects! If you're not eating enough meat or other animal products…maybe you're vegan! But unfortunately that means your B12 will be low unless you supplement it. (And if you've ever wondered why that is…why only meat sources have B12…it's because B12 is produced by bacteria. Which, I know, that sounds gross! But the B12-producing bacteria survives on animals by getting absorbed in their gut. So if you aren't eating animal products, then you aren't able to get B12 through food.)
Also, drinking lots of alcohol or consuming lots of antacids can inhibit B12.
If you're saying, "Melissa, what the heck does 'liposomal' mean?" Don't worry, I'm getting to that! 😉
Basically, regular B12 supplements are sufficient for most people. (One scoop of Shakeology has 50% of your daily B12 value!) But some people have conditions that make it difficult for their bodies to absorb B12. These include:
If you have any of these conditions, and you're feeling sluggish, it's probably because your body isn't able to absorb B12 normally. The solution is a special microscopic "packaging" for B12: liposomal B12.
It's a special transport method for B12 that is absorbed intraorally, meaning it gets absorbed in the mouth, before it hits the stomach (where the absorption problems happen for some people). You buy this stuff in a spray, and it's unfortunately sometimes north of $50. But I recommend it for anyone who talks to their doctor and determines they may have a B12 absorption deficiency!