Eight essential B vitamins make up the building blocks of a healthy body.
B complex vitamins help you make energy from your food, improve brain function, prevent memory loss, and increase cell metabolism.
They prevent infections, lower homocysteine levels to prevent heart disease – and boost your immune defenses.
And that’s more important now than ever.
You see, B vitamins contribute to your body’s first immune response once it has identified a pathogen like a virus.
They do this by influencing the production and activity of “natural killer” cells.
Natural killer cells are your body’s own “hit squad.” At the first sign of infection, these white blood cells flood your bloodstream. They seek out and target infected cells to die in a process called apoptosis.
Big Food loves to brag about how they fortify food products like cereal and milk. They say it’s because they care about your health.
Don’t believe it for a minute. They simply want to manipulate you into spending more money on their fake foods by including synthetic nutrients.
Here’s how I know these chemical copies disguised as vitamins don’t do any good…
I measure the blood vitamin levels of most people who come to my clinic.
When I get the results back, I have to tell them that they’re practically malnourished – even the most health-conscious of my patients.
Especially when it comes to the B complex vitamins vital to every aspect of your overall health, three of the top five vitamin deficiencies in the United States are B vitamins – B12, B6, and B9 (folate).
Their Fake Vitamins Won’t Work
We can easily be fooled into a false sense of security if we think foods fortified with B vitamins are going to help us…
The “vitamins” they use in their products are made from the cheapest ingredients on the market. These tend to be synthetic versions of the vitamins they list on the label. Then they blast them into a tiny little pellet and coat it with chemicals.
Your body can’t absorb most of what’s in them, so it eliminates them. So you’re not getting any real health benefits.
You end up just throwing money away without getting results.
These synthetic vitamins are made in a lab, whereas natural vitamins are from a source that occurs in nature.
Here’s how I explain the difference to my patients: A synthetic vitamin is a kind of like a reflection in a mirror… It looks like the real thing, but it’s not. Toss an object into the reflection, and it shatters.
This is important because you are designed to get your vitamins and other nutrients from food. Vitamins from natural sources will have all the trace minerals, enzymes, and co-factors that make them work so well in nature.
Vitamins constructed in the lab have none of these. They’re stripped-down chemical copies of the real thing.
Prevent Deficiency And Boost Immunity
To prevent a vitamin deficiency, I recommend you get your B vitamins from food whenever possible. Here’s what I tell my patients…
- Vitamin B6: Your body isn’t able to store very much B6. To avoid deficiency, you need to consume it regularly. The best sources are grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and turkey, pastured pork, wild-caught halibut and salmon, organic bananas, red pepper, prunes, and avocado. Pistachios and sunflower seeds are also high in B6. As I always say, getting what you need from today’s vitamin-depleted food sources is not easy. I recommend adding a supplement. I suggest consuming at least 25 mg of B6 a day.
- Vitamin B9. Boosting your levels of vitamin B9 combats the inflammation triggered by high levels of the amino acid homocysteine. The best sources are grass-fed calf’s liver and beef, dairy, pastured poultry, eggs, seafood, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. Look for vitamin B9 in the form of folate and not folic acid. Folate occurs naturally, while folic acid is an oxidized monoglutamate form of vitamin used in dietary supplements and fortified foods. Your body only absorbs half the folate you get from food. So I recommend supplementing with 800 mcg a day.
- Vitamin B12: B12 is found only in animals. Grass-fed liver, wild-caught salmon, tuna and trout, clams, and grass-fed beef are all my go-to food sources. But today, getting the nutrition you need from just your food is hard. I recommend supplementing or getting a vitamin B12 injection from your doctor. Most nutritionists say you only need 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of B12 daily. That’s way too low. I recommend at least 100 mcg per day. But during this virus outbreak, I advise my patients to take as much as 2,000 mcg daily. You can take B12 in a capsule, lozenge, or spray. I prefer a spray because the capillaries and small blood vessels in your mouth quickly absorb the mist. They deliver B12 directly to your circulatory system, tissues, and cells. B12 injections are important if your body has a hard time absorbing the vitamin. This is common in older adults and those suffering from intestinal disorders. Here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, I offer intravenous B12 injections. The shots are a good option if you have trouble absorbing B12. They bypass the gut and go directly into the bloodstream. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for B12 injections, call my staff at 561-784-7852 to get the details.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
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