In order for our body system to produce normal healthy cells everyday, it needs an ample supply of vitamins and nutrients. Modern medical science has discovered numerous kinds of vitamins and has established their important role they play in our health. One of the most important vitamins our body needs is vitamin B12.
B12 or known as cyanocobalamin in medicine plays a major part in helping our nervous system, especially the brain, to function properly. Vitamin B12 is also needed by our body to synthesize DNA in our cells. This vitamin greatly affects the formation of red blood cells and has a key role in ensuring good cell metabolism. It is also one of the vitamins that helps our body to produce sufficient amount of energy.
Though we could get an adequate amount of B12 from animal food products, most people are not eating adequate amounts of meat and fish. Some are just busy with their work and usually don’t practice healthy eating habits. In response to this situation, pharmaceutical companies have developed, mass produced and commercialized synthetic vitamin B12. These are actually supplements usually in the form of tablets, pills, or injections which can be taken easily.
Vitamin B12 oral tablets are the most common and popularly used form of B12 supplement nowadays. In recent years, drug manufacturers have decided to produce other forms of supplement such as sublingual B12. Some health experts say that you can use it as alternative or even as a replacement of other forms of B12. But what does the term ‘sublingual’ really mean? Sublingual literally means under the tongue.
Unlike pills that are swallowed, sublingual B12 is just placed directly under the tongue where it will be absorbed readily. Tablets that are swallowed must first pass the digestive tract before it will be absorbed to the bloodstream. When taken orally, it could take hours before B12 will be absorbed, whereas in the sublingual form, it will only take a few minutes. Sublingual B12 bypasses the digestive tract and goes directly to the bloodstream. Under the tongue is a thin mucosal membrane, where there is a rich supply of blood vessels where sublingual vitamin B12 can go directly.
In addition, the absorption of oral tablets largely relies on the amount of gastric acid and intrinsic factor on the stomach. If you’re digestive system is not functioning properly and not producing enough gastric acid, then oral tablets won’t be absorbed completely. The vitamin needs to be released by gastric acid for it to be absorbed.
Intrinsic factor is also needed by the stomach for proper absorption of B12. Insufficient amount of intrinsic factor will decrease the absorption of B12 in the stomach unless it is administered in high doses. Old adults and elderly usually have digestion problems and don’t produce enough gastric acid and intrinsic factor. It’s better for them to use the sublingual form instead of oral tablets. In view of these factors, it can be said that it is better to take Vitamin B12 sublingually.
Because sublingual B12 is absorbed faster, many experts claim that you will feel the effects of the vitamin quickly. A lot of people say that they feel energized right after taking sublingual B12. It also boosts brain power by sharpening memory, increasing mind clarity, and enhancing focus and attention. Sublingual B12 also helps to stabilize mood, control hunger and promote regular sleep pattern. Taking B12 regularly can greatly reduce your risk of developing anemia, dementia, and even cardiovascular disorders. Though sublingual B12 costs a little bit higher, you can absorb more of it in this form. Therefore it gives you more value for the amount of money you have used to buy it.