Vitamin B12 Absorption: How Your Body Handles B-12 From Food Sources



For ideal health, you need to obtain optimal concentrations of all of the beneficial nutrients normally present in the body, especially for vitamin B12 absorption. Unfortunately though, getting the B-12 you need is a little more complicated than swallowing a daily multivitamin or even eating a healthful and nutritious diet.

To understand why this is so, we need to first understand what happens to vitamin B12 after it’s consumed from a food source.

Keep in mind that your stomach is not unlike a mailroom at a giant corporation - it’s a place for sorting, separating and preparing items to be delivered to their final destination. But rather than packages and letters, your stomach sorts, separates and prepares food to be delivered where it is needed and where your body can use it.

And just like in a mailroom where letters and packages have specific rules that govern how they are processed; vitamin B12 absorption is especially important and must be handled by your body with great care. You know that liver, with its 60 micrograms of B-12, is nature’s richest source of this crucial vitamin.

But a lot of people are less than fond of liver, so let’s pretend for illustration purposes that you’ve just eaten a 3 oz. piece of trout. With 5.5 micrograms of vitamin B-12, that one portion of trout should provide you with about 90 percent of what you need on a daily basis.

After you eat the trout, it travels into your stomach where it interacts with gastric acids. These acids are responsible for opening the “package” - that is, the acids break down the ties that bind the vitamins and minerals to their food source. So, now all the vitamins are separated from their food source, your stomach then goes to work organizing everything for delivery.

And, that’s where a substance called intrinsic factor comes in. Intrinsic factor is an enzyme that is created by the parietal cells that line the inside of your stomach. It’s the yin to cobalamin’s yang, which is at times also called extrinsic factor. You see, cobalt in its natural state is not directly usable by humans; it needs to be combined with intrinsic factor, whose job it is to bind with the B-12 for maximum vitamin B12 absorption.

Once everything is sorted out in the stomach and loaded for delivery, it’s time to move into the small intestine - time to move from the mail room into the row of offices. In the small intestine, each vitamin and mineral has its own office, so to speak.

So as the deliveries are going on, vitamin A gets dropped off…most of the B vitamins (other than B-12) are delivered to their offices…vitamin C is put where it needs to go. And on the final stop, way at the end of the small intestine, vitamin B-12 is at last delivered to its destination in what is known as the terminal ileum.

But, the journey is not quite over. Eventually, the terminal ileum releases the B-12 into your bloodstream where it rides with its soul mate, transcobalamin, to be either used immediately or stored in the liver and saved for a rainy day.

If everything has gone as planned, all the B-12 that started out in your piece of fish is now busy doing its work of helping provide you with energy, mental clarity, a sense of well being, as well as helping you stave off heart disease, strokes and osteoporosis. This is the result of achieving maximum vitamin B12 absorption.

Seems pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s not.

There is a Better Way to Get the B-12 You Need!

Now that you know how the vitamin B12 absorption process works, and how it makes its way up through the food chain and into your body, as well as why it’s so important to your day-to-day functioning; you need to evaluate your daily intake and consider the possibility that you may not be getting as much vitamin B12 as you think.

The research on B12’s benefits is conclusive. Let me share these findings with you and show you how you can take charge and lead a happier, healthier life.

Contact me today and I'll show you the best way to get 100% of B vitamins’ benefits now and get my FREE report, the 10 Essentials for Health and Wellness as my gift to you.

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Some information on this page used with permission from ‘The Secret to Feeling Your Best – Sublingual B12’ by Dr. Brazos Minshew, M.Sc., N.D., L.Ac. © 2004 by TriVita Inc.