Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.

Choosing a Vitamin B12 Supplement

Wednesday, 04 Sep 2013 12:42 PM

By David Brownstein, M.D.

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Question: Can you offer some guidance about supplementing with vitamin B12?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that we cannot manufacture in our bodies. Therefore, we have to get it from our diet. It is required for many functions, including:
 
• Brain function
• DNA synthesis and regulation
• Fatty acid synthesis
• Nervous system function
 
One of the most important functions of vitamin B12 is to modulate energy production in
the body.
 
I have been successfully using vitamin B12 in my practice for 20 years. In fact, natural, bioidentical vitamin B12 has become an indispensable part of how I treat patients. Synthetic B12 is labeled as cyanocobalamin. Natural, bioidentical vitamin B12 is labeled
as hydroxy-, methyl-, or adenosylcobalamin. A quick look at any nutritional supplement’s label should identify which form of vitamin B12 is being used.
 
I can assure you that synthetic vitamin B12 — cyanocobalamin — does not have the efficacy that the natural, bioidentical forms of vitamin B12 possess. Any supplement that contains synthetic vitamin B12 should be avoided. More information on vitamin B12 can be found in my latest book, Vitamin B12 for Health.
 
Taking nutritional supplements can result in great health benefits. However, taking the wrong supplements or taking supplements that have synthetic substances in them can be counterproductive.
 
It is important to educate yourself on how to quickly read a supplement label. Simply searching for synthetic items can help you make the best choice.
 
Don’t get fooled by clever marketing; it is up to you to make the right decision.

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David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is author of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter.
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