Apr 12, 2011

Posted by in Blog, Fitness, Nutrition, Supplements, Weight Loss | 92 Comments

B-12 and fat burning!

B-12 and fat burning!

B-12 and fat burning!


When I first started doing nutrition I had the opportunity to work in a weight loss clinic.  Something that we used weekly for the patients was B12 injections.  This really helped along with the diet that we used, for people to drop body fat.  When it comes to burning fat, B-12 is definitely a supplement that you want to add to your supplement list.

Why do you need B12

B12 is very important for red blood cell formation and the life of your cell, as well as helping the nervous system to control body respiration.  It is also very important when it comes to nerve function.  Around our nerves is what is called the myelin sheath.  Think of a wire with a rubber coating.  The wire is the nerve and the rubber coating is the myelin sheath.  So why is this coating so important, well think of anyone you know that has a nervous system disorder. These fatty sheaths play a vital role as they cover and protect your nerve endings. B12 is necessary for overall healthy neurological function and helps your nerves communicate at an optimal level.  It also helps make DNA, which is very important.  DNA is the blueprint that tells your body what your cells should look like when it is time to make new cells.  It also helps with memory, immunity, mood, helps your body use iron, mental clarity, and there is more!!

Intrinsic factor is a unique protein made in the stomach.  Along with hydrochloric acid and a gastric enzyme called pepsin, intrinsic factors get B12 to the rest of the body where it is needed.  But here is the problem.  As we age our levels of hydrochloric acid become depleted and pepsin is increased and that is what we call GERDS.  Many people don’t realize you can increase your hydrochloric acid in a matter of a month or two.  That is why many people, especially the elderly, suffer from low levels of B12.

B12 and Fat loss

If you are trying to lose weight and build muscle, B12 is essential.  There are multiple ways that B12 helps boost your metabolism and promote fat burning. Through your metabolism it helps transform your fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy.  With out B12 protein cannot cycle through the body properly.  You can not use certain amino acids with out B12, so if you are doing ton’s of protein and have low levels of B12 you may be spinning your wheels. Since one of the steps in carbohydrate and fat processing requires B12 for its completion, insufficiency of the vitamin can also affect the movement of carbohydrates and fats through the body. It is needed for proper digestion, food absorption, as well as carbohydrate and fat metabolism.  You have heard me say that if you are dieting and training, you want to be on an adrenal support.   Well B12 is critical to your circulation and adrenal hormone production.  And ladies, it also helps with female reproductive health.  Because it is involved in the formation of red blood cells that have the oxygen, you can see why it is important to have this vitamin. Another great thing about B12 is it is known to give you energy.  If you have more energy, you feel like getting up and moving.  This is far better to reach for B12, than caffeine or other stimulants.  Now I know you are wondering, can you take too much?  No there is no research that shows toxicity because this is a water-soluble substance, so this means your body cannot store it.  It is flushed out through your urine so it needs to be ingested and absorbed daily to prevent deficiency.

Symptoms of deficiencies

The symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are anemia, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache, nervous breakdowns and loss of red blood cells may lead to white patched in skin.  People suffering from B12 deficiencies are on the rise and doctors are seeing more and more of this.

Here are some symptoms that may be letting you know that your levels are on the low end and may need some B12. Red or sore tongue, tingling or numbness in feet, nervousness, heart palpitations, depression, memory problems, dandruff, decreased blood clotting, decreased reflexes, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, menstrual problems, paleness, weakness, and weak pulse.

The best sources for vitamin B12 are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fortified cereals and milk and other dairy products (you would want to make sure they are organic!!!).  If you are a strict vegan you will definitely want to supplement your B12.  That is something I have consistently seen when levels are checked that they are very low.

I personally do a sub-lingual and sometimes injections.  I have always used B12 when trying to reduce body fat and have found it very helpful.  In closing here is an interesting study on the brain and B12.  Some thing to think about.

Older individuals with low levels of vitamin B12 are at increased risk of having brain atrophy or shrinkage. Brain atrophy is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and impaired cognitive function.


Vitamin B12 deficiency is a public health problem, especially among older people.

In a study involving more than 100 volunteers aged 61 to 87, all participants underwent annual clinical exams, MRI scans and cognitive tests, and had blood samples taken. Individuals with lower vitamin B12 levels at the start of the study had a greater decrease in brain volume. Those with the lowest B12 levels had a sixfold greater rate of brain volume loss compared with those who had the highest levels.

However, none of the participants were actually deficient in vitamin B12 — they just had low levels within a normal range.

Other risk factors for brain atrophy include high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.


U.S. News & World Report September 8, 2008

Neurology 2008; 71: 826-832