Synthetic vs Natural Vitamin B12

Unfortified Nutritional Yeast with Natural B12:

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This video is in response to a question relating to the difference between synthetic and natural vitamin B12. 

The synthetic version of vitamin B12 is called cyanocobalamin. The natural version of vitamin B12 is called methylcobalamin. 

The main reason why people get synthetic vitamin B12 is that it’s cheaper. In many cases, on the label of synthetic vitamin B12, it will say something like 5000%. But, more is not always better. The reason why it’s 5000% is that it takes so much of it to be absorbed. 

Cyanocobalamin (synthetic vitamin B12):

• Is not easily absorbed 
• Splits of into cyanide 

Methylcobalamin (natural vitamin B12):

• Bonds to protein (needs stomach acid to break it down)
• You also need the intrinsic factor

* I recommend methylcobalamin (natural vitamin B12). Most animal products are also filled with vitamin B12.

You might have a problem absorbing vitamin B12 if you:

• Have low stomach acid
• Have atrophic gastritis (take Zypan)
• Had stomach surgery
• Take metformin 
• Are a vegan (you can get B12 from wheatgrass juice powder)

Side effects of a vitamin B12 deficiency:

• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Upset stomach
• Rash
• Headaches
• Dizziness 
• Joint pain
• Fatigue

B12 is involved in:

1. The production of red blood cells
2. Brain function/nerve function
3. The creation of DNA

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, 53 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide and other books published by KB Publishing. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media.


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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients so he can focus on educating people as a full time activity, yet he maintains an active license. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The Health & Wellness, Dr. Berg Nutritionals and Dr. Eric Berg, D.C. are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

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