The Importance of Vitamin B12

What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is required for neurological function, carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and cognitive brain function. Vitamin B12 is water soluble, meaning your body does not store it. If you consume more B12 than your body needs, your kidneys will filter out what your body cannot use and excrete it through your urine.

B12 Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
While vitamin B12 deficiency is most common after bariatric surgery in Roux-En-Y (gastric bypass) patients due to the malabsorptive nature of the procedure, it can certainly be a concern for patients who have undergone other types of weight loss procedures as well.  For patients who have had a sleeve gastrectomy or other restrictive procedure such as the adjustable gastric band, or intragastric balloon, B12 deficiency can occur because overall food intake is reduced. In addition, patients who have had other types of weight loss procedures often do not tolerate food sources of vitamin B12 such as meat and dairy as well as they did before their procedure. 

Signs and Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
If you are not getting enough vitamin B12 you may experience some of the following symptoms:

* Shortness of breath

* Diarrhea

* Nervousness

* Numbness

* Tingling sensation in the fingers and toes

Why B12 Sublingual Spray?
The reason Vitamin B12 is so effective as a sublingual spray vs pill form is because it doesn’t need to go through the stomach and G.I. tract to be absorbed. When B12 is taken in a pill form or in a regular multivitamin, it is not absorbed well in bariatric patients because it is a large molecule; too large for your cells to let it inside. Therefore it requires a protein called the intrinsic factor to help it get inside the bodies cells for use. The intrinsic factor is made in the stomach. After gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, there is less intrinsic factor made. In addition, for gastric bypass patients, there is now less absorption of nutrients making it harder for B12 and other vitamins to be absorbed. When taken under the tongue, vitamin B12 does not require the intrinsic factor to allow it into the cell and is readily available to the body, along with other vitamins.