Necessary for our nervous systems to function properly, Vitamin B12 nourishes the outer covering of our nerves called the myelin sheathe, promoting healthy conduction of energy throughout the entire nervous system. By protecting our nerve cells, B12 indirectly influences our ability in all aspects of the central nervous system. B12 aids in the normal formation of the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies.
B12 also helps metabolize iron, carbohydrates, and fats and is needed for proper digestion and absorption of other nutrients from food by aiding the formation of the powerful chemical signal in our brains acetylcholine, Vitamin B12 supports memory and learning capabilities as well.
Why athletes use Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has long been held in high regard for its purported capacity to increase energy, and while this claim is largely anecdotal, there is no disputing the potentially crippling effects on performance and energy that a B12 deficiency could produce. While serious deficiencies are not a common occurrence in normally healthy people, an athlete's body is taxed by intense workouts and dietary modifications that prevent the comparison to the "average" adult.
While available as an individual vitamin supplement, sufficient B12 can be gained from a complete Vitamin B complex. Given the increased stresses on the bodies of athletes in intense training, this should provide a good "insurance" level.
Carmel, R., "Subtle and Atypical Cobalamin Deficiency States," Am J Hematol 34.2 (1990) : 108-14.
Ellis, F.R., and Nasser, S., "A Pilot Study of Vitamin B12 in the Treatment of Tiredness," Br J Nutr 30.2 (1973) : 277-83.
Pennypacker, L.C., et al., "High Prevalence of Cobalamin Deficiency in Elderly Outpatients" (see comments), J Am Geriatr Soc 40.12 (1992) : 1197-204.
Markle, H.V., "Cobalamin," Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 33.4 (1996) : 247-356.
Toxicity of Vitamin B12
None known. Well tolerated even at high dosages.
Biosynthesis and radical scavenging activity of betalains during the cultivation of red beet (Beta vulgaris) hairy root culture.
Group of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Plovdiv.
Betalains biosynthesis and antiradical scavenging activity were investigated during cultivation of four hairy root cultures of Beta vulgaris, obtained from different cultivars (Bordo, Egyptian, Detroit 2 and Detroit Dark Red). The best producer of betalains was a hairy root culture from Beta vulgaris cv. Detroit Dark Red (13.27 mg/g dry weight total pigment production). The ethanol extract, derived from roots of the same culture grown for 15 days under submerged conditions, showed a high antiradical activity (83% of inhibition of the stable DPPH.).
Plasma membrane of Beta Vulgarious shows high water channel activity regulated by cytoplasmic pH and a dual range of calcium concentrations.
Laboratorio de Biomembranas, epartamento de Fisiologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155 Piso 7, (C1121ABG) Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Plasma membrane vesicles isolated by two-phase partitioning from the storage root of Beta vulgaris show atypically high water permeability that is equivalent only to those reported for active aquaporins in tonoplast or animal red cells (Pf=542 microm s(-1)). The values were determined from the shrinking kinetics measured by stopped-flow light scattering. This high Pf was only partially inhibited by mercury (HgCl2) but showed low activation energy (Ea) consistent with water permeation through water channels. To study short-term regulation of water transport that could be the result of channel gating, the effects of pH, divalent cations, and protection against dephosphorylation were tested. The high Pf observed at pH 8.3 was dramatically reduced by medium acidification. Moreover, intra-vesicular acidification (corresponding to the cytoplasmic face of the membrane) shut down the aquaporins. De-phosphorylation was discounted as a regulatory mechanism in this preparation. On the other hand, among divalent cations, only calcium showed a clear effect on aquaporin activity, with two distinct ranges of sensitivity to free Ca2+ concentration (pCa 8 and pCa 4). Since the normal cytoplasmic free Ca2+ sits between these ranges it allows for the possibility of changes in Ca2+ to finely up- or down-regulate water channel activity. The calcium effect is predominantly on the cytoplasmic face, and inhibition corresponds to an increase in the activation energy for water transport. In conclusion, these findings establish both cytoplasmic pH and Ca2+ as important regulatory factors involved in aquaporin gating.
Liver extracts are "a decent source of iron and B vitamins that may have some use as an adjunctive treatment for iron deficiency anemia." In the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Murray and Pizzorno cite one study whose hepatitic subjects saw a reduction in liver enzyme levels following liver extract supplementation. This decrease in enzyme levels, Murray and Pizzorno say, suggest that liver extract is "effective in treating chronic hepatitis." Similarly, The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2003) notes liver extract's ability to "stimulate liver cell proliferation in experimental animals after partial hepatectomy." Michael DiPalma, N.D., in Nature's Medicine (Rodale, 1999) advocates liver extract supplementation for anemics, saying that it contains "all the things that your body needs to rebuild blood."
The desiccated liver powder comes from fresh, hormone-free beef liver. It contains all the factors occurring in low-heat non-defatted beef liver. It is pure liver and has nothing added.
[CLINICAL RESEARCH ON THE HEMOPOIETIC ACTION OF NUCLEOSIDES ASSOCIATED WITH LIVER EXTRACT, VITAMIN B COMPLEX AND VITAMIN B 12.]
[Article in Italian] Will be available in English
[PHARMACOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON A NEW LIVER EXTRACT WITH CARDIOSTIMULATING ACTIVITY.]