What comes to mind when I mention vitamin B12? Most likely, you think of this vitamin as the energy vitamin or “weight loss” vitamin. Vitamin B12 does not cause weight loss. I will put that myth to rest! But, yes, B12 can help with energy, but only if you run low.
Contrary to what conventional medicine tells us (this website is not a substitute for medical advice), I find many people are low in B12. B12 deficiency is more common in those with hypothyroidsim. Some research states about 40% of those with hypothyroidism are low in B12.
I have never been low in B12 that I know of. But, I have been taking a methylated B complex for years, so this may help me to avoid deficiency.
Without B12 it becomes much harder to make thyroid hormone! So, it becomes a vicious cycle. Then, that hypothyroid person low in B12 suffers low energy for both reasons: low B12 and lower thyroid hormone!
Why Low B12
Those with Hashimoto’s or Graves’ are at greater risk for pernicious anemia. And, those with autoimmune disease often have a harder time absorbing and using B12. This may be due to intestinal system dysfunction, lack of stomach acid, or other digestive complications that may impair absorption.
What To Do
Get tested! A simple blood test can tell you your B12 levels. It is important to stay towards the higher end of the “normal range” as the low end of the “normal” lab range may still be a tad bit low.
Next, work on those levels naturally by adding more potent sources of B12 to your diet! Supplementation is an option as well, but I recommend working with a doctor familiar with MTHFR genes or a Dietitian who is familiar with this as well.
Excellent Food Sources of B12
Fish is a very surprising and potent source of B12! Sardines and salmon (wild) are two of my favorite protein and B12 sources. They are fantastic! As you will notice, all of the below are animal sources. This is why eating vegan can potentially cause deficiency unless you manage your nutrition well by including fortified B12 sources.
There are many wonderful vegan sources of B12, but these are mostly fortified sources and can be harder to absorb and use that B12.