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OKINAWA GOLD™
Coral Calcium (90 capsule bottle)

Okinawan Coral Calcium Vitamins, Coral Calcium Supplement, Coral Calcium Pills


 
Price $24.95

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Product Label
Supplement Information

Serving size 3 capsules
90 capsules per container
%Daily Value
Amount Per Serving: 1 capsule
Vitamin A (as beta-carotene) 2500 IU 50%
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 80 mg 133%
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 400 IU 100%
Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl succinate) 30 IU 100%
Vitamin K (as phylloquinone) 80 mcg 100%
Vitamin B1 (as thiamine hydrochloride) 1 mg 67%
Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin) 1.5 mg 88%
Vitamin B3 (as niacin) 12 mg 60%
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 1.5 mg 75%
Vitamin B9 (as folic acid) 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) 6 mcg 100%
Vitamin B5 (as d-calcium pantothenate) 6 mg 60%
Calcium (from coral) 600 mg 60%
Iodine (from kelp) 100 mcg 67%
Magnesium (from coral) 300 mg 75%
Selenium (as amino acid chelate) 30 mcg 43%
*% Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Other Ingredients: V-caps, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), silicon dioxide.

Okinawa Gold™

A potent calcium supplement with the requisite magnesium and Vitamin D

Okinawa Gold contains a high-grade coral calcium along with the requisite dose of vitamin D and magnesium to ensure optimum absorption. Besides these important minerals, we have included many B vitamins for energy, along with A, C, K and E vitamins, and iodine and selenium.

Calcium promotes:

  • Healing
  • Strong Bones & Teeth
  • Healthy Hair & Nails
  • Proper Muscle, Nerve & Blood Function

Why Okinawa Gold

  • One of the most promising organic multi-minerals available
  • Contains 73 minerals not found in calcium carbonate supplements
  • These minerals are often missing from our soils & food
  • Unique formula
  • Contains the usual Calcium, Magnesium & Vitamin D ingredients
  • Additionally contains a Vitamin B complex & Vitamins A, C, E, & K
  • It may contribute to reversing acidosis

Why you need Calcium?

One of the most important minerals in our bodies

Calcium is the mineral in your body that makes up your bones and keeps them strong. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. The remaining 1% is in your blood and soft tissues and is essential for life and health. Without this tiny 1% of calcium, your muscles wouldn’t contract correctly, your blood wouldn’t clot and your nerves wouldn’t carry messages.

It is mainly the calcium in your diet that spares, or protects, the calcium in your bones. In addition to their structural role, your bones are your emergency supply of calcium. Your body actually tears down and builds bone all of the time in order to make its calcium available for your body’s functions.

If you don’t get enough calcium from the food you eat, your body automatically takes the calcium you need from your bones. If your body continues to tear down more bone than it replaces over a period of years to get calcium, your bones become weak and break easily.

Calcium is key to keeping your body running smoothly. Because your bones are made from calcium, if you do not get enough from your daily diet, your body will "steal" the calcium from your bones to make up the difference. Over the long run this can reduce your bone strength and lead to osteoporosis, a potentially crippling condition of thin and fragile bones.

Approximately 25 million American women have some degree of osteoporosis; the disease will affect one-third to one-half of post-menopausal women, and 5 million American men suffer from osteoporosis. And osteoporosis is preventable.

Many experts believe that high levels of acidity may lead to inflammation, joint discomfort, unhealthy cells, and a host of health issues.

Commentary

An observation by an Expert: - Dr. Robert P. Heaney

Observations of an Expert: Dr. Robert P. Heaney

Dr. Robert P. Heaney of Creighton University, an internationally recognized expert on calcium and bone health, makes the process clear. He explains that bone is formed from structural materials such as calcium, phosphorus, and protein, all of which must be obtained from outside sources - that is, from dietary intake. A growing body must obtain these materials in adequate amounts from the diet. Even after growth has stopped, these substances must continue to be provided, because calcium and other components of bone are used for other functions and are lost from the body in considerable quantities every day. These losses must be offset by more intake. Otherwise, the body will treat the bones as a nutritional reserve and extract calcium from them to satisfy other needs. (Heaney 2000).

 

Ingredients - A description

A detailed description of each ingredient

Calcium

It is now readily accepted by the scientific community that nutritional deficiency contributes to common diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease and that correcting these deficiencies can contribute to their prevention and reversal. In that regard, coral calcium appears to have great power as nutritional support for many functions of the body.

Corals belong to a group of organisms (phylum) called Coelenterata (Cnidaria), which also include jellyfish, sea anemones and hydroids. Corals are deposited over many thousands of years from external supporting skeletons of minerals that are particularly rich in calcium.

While there are compelling anecdotal arguments about the health benefits of coral calcium, there remain limitations of knowledge that exist to explain the overall, versatile biological actions of this marine "nutraceutical". That said, the importance of calcium for health and disease prevention is certainly not in question and, while we acknowledge that coral calcium is considered a dietary supplement, the reports of its successful therapeutic use in 600 years of scientific and folklore literature cannot be ignored.

We have studied the chemical composition of many types of coral and have investigated extensively the claims of radio-protective, anti-microbial and anti-cancer activities reported with the use of coral. There exists a great deal of supporting information that many of these claims of benefit for coral have a credible basis in science. The current situation with coral calcium as a remedy of natural origin is similar to that of several other health-giving nutraceuticals in that it is difficult to satisfy the conventional burden of scientific proof of the effectiveness of coral in disease treatment or prevention. Indeed, as a matter of law in many countries, nutraceuticals cannot be used to cure or prevent any disease. However, many individuals have exhibited self-reliance in the use of coral calcium as a highly potent, health-giving, dietary supplement with reported, potent and versatile health benefits.

Hundreds of years of precedence exist to show that certain relatively isolated communities such as Okinawa, Japan enjoy prolonged and healthy life. Not surprisingly, 600 years of Japanese folklore describe certain corals of Okinawa origin to be important factors in the vibrant health and longevity of the indigenous population. One common identified factor in their longevity is the balance of mineral intake through the dissolved mineral solids in their water. Traditional Chinese medicine employs many natural products of marine origin to treat a variety of diseases. Extracts of fish, sea plants and corals have exhibited antibiotic, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Several Chinese academic institutions focus on the enormous potential that the oceans hold as a source of nutritional and pharmaceutical substances. Among this potential they have identified the positive biological and nutritional characteristics of coral and work continues in this regard on many fronts. In recent years, the specialty of marine pharmacognosy, (the science that deals with medicinal products from plant, animal, or mineral origin in their crude or unprepared state), has become well developed and much information has emerged about the biological activity of sea dwelling organisms. Indeed, some fascinating pharmaceutical compounds have been found among primitive marine organisms such as coral.

The value of calcium for health requires little introduction and a vast body of literature exists on its positive role in the chemistry of life. The multiple health benefits of coral calcium, as reported for 600 years, extend far beyond its content of valuable calcium. Please enjoy this product in health and reflect on its contribution to health throughout 600 years of human history. There must surely be a reason that its worldwide consumption continues to grow and that reason could have a positive impact on your future health and well-being.


Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that functions as a coenzyme (part of ~100 enzymes) for nerve/muscle function, regulation of body temperature, energy metabolism, DNA/RNA synthesis, and the formation of bones. The majority of the body's magnesium (60%) is found in the bones. Food sources include artichokes, nuts, beans, whole grains and shellfish. Too much can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Builds bone
  • Increases energy levels
  • Promotes heart health
  • Enhances protein synthesis (muscle building)

Because magnesium is needed as a co-factor for several enzymes to help convert carbohydrates, protein, and fat into energy, magnesium supplements may play a role in energy metabolism. Due to the role of magnesium in conducting nerve impulses, supplements have been promoted for support of heart function. Magnesium's role in bone health stems from its primary location in bone tissue and its ability to help increase calcium absorption.

The scientific support for magnesium as an adjunct to calcium supplements is fairly well founded. Magnesium can help improve calcium absorption and may help maintain bone density in those individuals at risk for excessive bone loss. A few studies have suggested a potential role for magnesium supplements in energy metabolism by showing an increase in exercise efficiency in endurance athletes. In general, however, there is no overwhelming evidence to suggest any increases in muscular strength or boosted energy levels following magnesium supplementation.

Excessive magnesium intake can cause diarrhea and general gastrointestinal distress as well as interfere with calcium absorption and bone metabolism. Since there are no known benefits associated with consuming more than 600 mg per day of magnesium, higher intakes should be avoided.


Vitamin D

Although vitamin D is typically classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, it actually functions as a hormone in the body. Because it can be manufactured by the body (formed in the skin following exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun), vitamin D is not technically classified as an essential nutrient at all. In the skin, exposure to ultraviolet rays converts vitamin D precursors (compounds with structures similar to cholesterol) into an inactive form of vitamin D. This inactive form is then converted to the active form by enzymes located in the liver and kidneys. Regular sunlight exposure is the primary way that most of us get our vitamin D. Food sources of vitamin D include only a few such as vitamin D-fortified milk (100 IU per cup), cod liver oil, and fatty fish such as salmon and small amounts are found in egg yolks and liver.

  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Increase bone strength
  • Increases calcium absorption
  • Treats psoriasis

The primary effect of vitamin D is to maintain calcium levels in the blood. To do this, vitamin D promotes both the absorption of calcium from the intestines into the blood and the removal of calcium from the bones into the blood. Vitamin D also reduced calcium loss in the urine. In most cases, the increased calcium absorption results in an increase in bone density and bone strength, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

It is well accepted that adequate vitamin D levels are crucial for healthy bone development, maintenance of bone density and bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency results in rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults) both of which are characterized by a reduced level of calcium being deposited in bones and a weakening of bone strength.

A number of studies have clearly demonstrated that supplemental vitamin D intake 200-1000IU/day), usually combined with calcium, increases bone density and thus helps prevent osteoporosis. In one study, 240 healthy postmenopausal women consumed calcium (900md/day) and vitamin D (200IU/day) for 2 years. Results showed a reduced loss of calcium in the urine and an increase of almost 2% in lumbar spine bone mineral density (a highly significant increase). Another study, also in postmenopausal women, gave supplements containing 1000mg of calcium (as calcium carbonate) and 500IU of vitamin D and showed a positive effect on bone density even though initial calcium and vitamin D status was adequate.

Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is stored in the body and has the potential to reach toxic levels if taken in high doses for prolonged periods of time. Intakes over 1000IU (nearly 3 times the daily value) can cause nausea, diarrhea, skin rash, headaches, muscle weakness, calcium deposits and kidney stones. Prolonged sunlight exposure does not cause buildup of vitamin D as the body down-regulates its production when body levels are adequate. For most people, there is no reason to take more than the recommended daily value (400IU) of vitamin D. During the winter months, synthesis of vitamin D in the skin is severely reduced due to reduced exposure to sunlight. In some parts of the country (northern latitudes such as Boston or Seattle ) virtually no vitamin synthesis occurs in skin during the winter months. As such, people who are not exposed to sunlight on a regular basis should consider vitamin D supplementation as well as people living in northern cities. In addition, elderly individuals should consider vitamin D supplements, as skin loses its ability to adequately synthesize vitamin D as we age. Frequent sun block users may also consider a vitamin D supplement, as sun blocks can reduce the skin's ability to produce vitamin D.


B 1 Thiamine

Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin. The active form is a phosphorylated form of thiamin called thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) - which functions in carbohydrate metabolism to help convert pyruvate to acetyl CoA for entry to the Krebs cycle and subsequent steps to generate ATP. Thiamin also functions in maintaining nervous system and heart muscle health. Food sources include nuts, liver, brewer's yeast and pork.

  • Increased energy production
  • Maintains memory
  • Improves carbohydrate tolerance

Because of thiamin's role in carbohydrate metabolism and nerve function, supplements have been promoted for increasing energy and maintaining memory. Thiamin does seem to be involved in the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, from nerve cells and thiamin deficiency is associated with generalized muscle weakness and mental confusion.

Because dietary thiamin requirements are based on caloric intake, those individuals who consume more calories, such as athletes, are likely to require a higher than average intake of thiamin to help process the extra carbohydrates into energy. During acute periods of stress, thiamin needs may be temporarily elevated, but outright thiamin deficiencies are rare except in individuals consuming a severely restricted diet.

No adverse side effects are known with thiamin intakes at RDA levels or even at levels several times the RDA.


B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It functions primarily as a coenzyme for many metabolic processes in the body such as red blood cell formation and nervous system function. Riboflavin is involved in energy production as part of the electron transport chain that produces cellular energy. As a building block for FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), riboflavin is a crucial component in converting food into energy. FAD is required for electron transport and ATP production in the Krebs cycle. Liver, dairy products, dark green vegetables and many seafood's are good sources of riboflavin.

Increases energy levels

  • Reduces chronic fatigue
  • Improves concentration and moood

Requirements for riboflavin, like most B vitamins, are related to calorie intake so the more food you eat, the more riboflavin you need to support the metabolic processes, which will convert that food into usable energy. Women should be aware that riboflavin needs are elevated during pregnancy and lactation as well as by the use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). Athletes may require more riboflavin due both to increased caloric intake and increased needs of exercise.

There is no strong support for the efficacy of isolated riboflavin supplements in promoting health outside of correcting a nutrient deficiency. Despite the role of riboflavin in a variety of energy generating processes, the role for a supplement in improving energy levels in a well-nourished person is unlikely.

No serious side effects have been reported for supplementation with riboflavin at levels several times above the DV of 1.7mg. Because the body excretes excess riboflavin in the urine high supplemental levels are likely to result in a bright yellow color.


B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is a water-soluble B vitamin and the common name for niacinamide. Like all B-vitamins, niacin plays a role in many aspects of energy metabolism (as a component of NAD) and nervous system function. Rich dietary sources of niacin include many high-protein foods such as meat, chicken, tuna and other fatty fish, peanuts, pork and milk.

  • Lowers Cholesterol & Triglyceride Levels (Niacin)
  • Prevents / Treats Diabetes (Niacinamide)
  • Relieves Arthritis (Niacinamide)

Because niacin is involved in the proper functioning of more than 200 metabolic enzymes, it plays a role in a wide range of bodily processes, including synthesis of hormones and blood cells and the release of energy from fats, carbohydrates and proteins. There is some evidence that it may be helpful in preventing the development of childhood diabetes (Type I) in high-risk children. It should be cautioned that there is a strong possibility of liver inflammation with large doses of any form of niacin (see safety considerations below).

There have been some reports that niacinamide may be effective in controlling blood sugar and possibly preventing the development of diabetes in certain high-risk children.
The niacinamide form of niacin does not cause side effects.


B5 (PantothenicAcid)

Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin widely distributed in most animal and plant foods. It is physiologically active as part of two coenzymes: acetyl coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein. Pantothenic acid functions in the oxidation of fatty acids and carbohydrates for energy production and the synthesis of fatty acids, ketones, cholesterol, phospholipids, steroid hormones, and amino acids. Food sources include liver, egg yolk, fresh vegetables, legumes, yeast, and whole grains. Because it is found in many foods, a deficiency is extremely rare.

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Increases energy (aerobic power) and improves sport performance
  • Good for rheumatoid arthritis
  • Antistress vitamin

Vitamin B5, similar to most B-vitamins, is involved as a cofactor in a variety of energy systems for several enzymatic reactions. One of its primary roles is to serve as a constituent of coenzyme A. Acetyl coenzyme A, or acetyl CoA, is a key metabolic intermediate in the processing of carbohydrate and fat for ATP production via the oxygen energy system in the mitochondria. Theoretically, vitamin B5 supplementation could facilitate the formation of acetyl CoA for processing through oxidative metabolic pathways, enhancing performance in long aerobic endurance events.

While one report indicated that vitamin B5 supplementation decreased lactic acid accumulation during a standardized exercise task, no performance improvement was noted. Other research with highly trained distance runners reported no significant effect of vitamin B5 supplementation on physiologic responses, such as pulse rate, blood levels of cortisol or glucose, or run time to exhaustion in a maximal treadmill test. The limited research on vitamin B5 does not suggest an ergogenic benefit during exercise with supplementation. Claims for the benefits of vitamin B5 supplementation in reducing cholesterol levels and treating rheumatoid arthritis lack support from well-controlled scientific studies. Likewise, although vitamin B5 is often referred to as an "anti-stress" vitamin, because of its central role in adrenal cortex function and cellular metabolism, there is currently no evidence from controlled studies to suggest that vitamin B5 reduces feelings of stress/anxiety or provides protection during times of stress.

As a water-soluble B-vitamin, B5 is generally considered a safe vitamin supplement, but large doses (10 grams or more) may cause diarrhea. Deficiencies are rare since it is widespread in food and toxicity is usually uncommon.


B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is also known by the names pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal. Vitamin B6 performs function as a cofactor for about 70 different enzyme systems, most of which have something to do with amino acid and protein metabolism. Because vitamin B6 is also involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain and nerve cells, it is frequently recommended as a nutrient to support mental function (mood) and nerve conduction. Some athletic supplements include vitamin B6 because of its role in conversion of glycogen to glucose for energy in muscle tissue. Food sources include poultry, fish, whole grains and bananas. Often recommended (erroneously) for carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Supports optimal nervous system function
  • May improve emotional outlook/mood (serotonin synthesis)
  • Needed for hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell growth
  • Immune support (white blood cell development)
  • Arthritis relief

Vitamin B6, like most of the B-vitamins, is involved as a cofactor in a wide variety of enzyme systems. As such, "structure/function" claims can be made for virtually any health condition. For example, because B6 is needed in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into niacin, a common B6 claim relates to "healthy cholesterol levels" (because niacin can help lower cholesterol in some people). Because B6 also plays a role in prostaglandin synthesis, claims are often made for the "benefits" of B6 in regulating blood pressure, muscle and heart function and pain levels (each of which is partially regulated by prostaglandins). Vitamin B6 needs are increased in those individuals consuming a high protein diet as well as in women taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills).

Vitamin B6 supplements (in conjunction with folic acid) have been shown to have a significant effect in reducing plasma levels of homocysteine (an amino acid metabolite linked to increased risk of atherosclerosis). Scientific data show that homocysteine concentrations are reduced with low to medium divided doses of vitamin B6 (with or without folic acid). When combined with magnesium (300 mg/day as magnesium oxide), vitamin B6 (10 mg/day) appears to reduce oxalate excretion and decrease the occurrence of kidney stones.

Vitamin B6 is often recommended as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In the vast majority of cases, CTS is caused by repetitive hand/wrist motions (such as typing), which causes inflammation and nerve compression in a region of the wrist known as the "carpal tunnel." CTS is also known to occur in some women during pregnancy, in which case the nerve compression may be related to water retention and swelling, rather than to repetitive motion. B6 is the most frequently recommended dietary supplement in cases of CTS (traditional treatments often include rest, splints, anti-inflammatory medications and surgery). In some cases of CTS, approximately 100-300 mg of vitamin B6 in divided doses has been shown to alleviate symptoms, although these results are not consistent and several studies have found no benefit of vitamin B6 in treating CTS.

As a water-soluble B vitamin, B6 is generally very safe as a dietary supplement. Excessive intakes (2-6 grams acutely or 500 mg chronically) are associated with sensory neuropathy (loss of feeling in the extremities) - which may or may not be reversible. The RDA for vitamin B6 is only 2 milligrams per day, an amount contained in virtually all multi-vitamin supplements. Pregnant and lactating women should not take more than 100 mg of vitamin B6 per day.


B8 (FolicAcid)

Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays an important role DNA and RNA synthesis, production of red blood cells and maintenance of the nervous system. Fruits and veggies are the best dietary source (think folic "foliage"), with dark leafy greens, oranges and orange juice, beans and peas leading the way. Brewer's yeast is also a good source of folic acid and other B vitamins.

  • Prevention of neural tube birth defects
  • Promotes heart health (reduced plasma homocysteine levels)

Because folic acid has functions in DNA synthesis and nervous system maintenance, it has been linked to growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy. Clinical evidence clearly shows a beneficial effect of adequate folic acid intake in reducing the risk of brain and spinal cord birth defects. Due to its role in red blood cell formation, homocysteine metabolism and the fact that deficiency of folic acid results in megaloblastic anemia, supplemental levels are often associated with maintenance of energy levels and heart health.

It is abundantly clear that an adequate intake of folic acid is essential during pregnancy. Overwhelming evidence is available to show women given folic acid supplements during pregnancy have a lower incidence of delivering babies with neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Oral contraceptives ("the pill") have been associated with lower folate levels in women who conceived soon after they stop taking the pill. In some cases, former contraceptive users and women who have delivered babies with neural tube defects may especially benefit from supplemental levels of folate in their diets.

The U.S. Department of Health recommends that pregnant women (and those trying to conceive) should take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 mcg (0.4mg). The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age consume the same amount of folic acid each day to decrease the risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect (just in case). Three strategies are available to women to achieve this goal: eat more foods with naturally occurring folate (fruits/veggies); eat foods fortified with folic acid; or use dietary supplements.

Despite the wide-ranging public health benefits of adequate folic acid intake and the widespread public awareness of these benefits, as many as 68-87% of American women of childbearing age still have folic acid intakes below the recommended 400 micrograms per day. Elderly populations are also thought to be at increased risk for folate deficiencies which may exacerbate the risk associated with heart disease, cancer and neurological impairments that are more prevalent in this population. Several recent studies have suggested that folate supplementation should be considered in elderly people, especially those with elevated plasma total homocysteine levels and cardiovascular disease, as well as in those individuals who experience neuropsychiatric disorders. Because of the possibility for high dose folate supplements to mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) deficiencies (which are also common in the elderly), folic acid supplements should be given in conjunction with B12.

Extremely high intakes (1-5 mg/day) have been associated with masking the signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency). However, because folic acid is destroyed during cooking, levels are typically highest in raw (or lightly steamed) vegetables. The chemical form of folic acid found in foods, (mono)-glutamic acid (conjugated), however, is less well absorbed compared to the synthetic form, polyglutamic acid (unconjugated), found in dietary supplements suggesting that supplemental forms may even be warranted in high risk individuals in addition to a well-balanced intake of fruits and vegetables.


B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble B vitamin. B12 is also known as cobalamin because it contains cobalt. The form of B12 most commonly used in dietary supplements is called cyanocobalamin. B12 is only produced by bacteria, so it is only found in food products of animal origin and in some fermented vegetable products such as tempeh and miso (fermented soybeans). B12 functions in a wide variety of metabolic processes, many of which are involved in transferring methyl groups between amino acids. B12 works closely with another B vitamin, folic acid, in reactions involved with DNA synthesis, blood cell formation, nervous system maintenance and heart health. If that weren't enough, B12 is also involved in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as it is needed to produce succinyl CoA, an intermediary in the Krebs cycle that generates ATP for cellular energy.

  • Improves memory
  • Promotes concentration
  • Increases energy
  • Reduces heart disease risk

Vitamin B12 absorption begins in the stomach, where it must combine with Intrinsic Factor, a compound synthesized by the stomach and required for proper absorption of B12 in the small intestine. An inadequate production of intrinsic factor and hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) in the elderly is a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Because B12 is stored in the liver, the symptoms of deficiency develop very slowly, typically not showing up for 5-10 years. Strict vegetarians (vegans), who consume only plants are at the highest risk for developing B12 deficiency and should consider supplements.

Vitamin B12 levels decrease with age and various measures of cognitive impairment are associated with reduced B12 status. In one study of subjects suffering from senile dementia, 78% of the subjects had metabolic cobalamin deficiency. Among those subjects supplemented with vitamin B12, significant improvements in IQ, motor function and mental state were noted.


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