Tag Archives: Vitamin B12

Inadequate Thyroid Hormone Regulation

ThyroidHormoneRegulationJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Small in stature but vital in importance, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate numerous biochemical processes including metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, the nervous system, respiration, body weight, menstrual cycles and muscle strength just to name a few. While the thyroid produces body cell-dependent hormones — well known T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) and the lesser known T2 (di-iodothyronine) — it is itself dependent on the communication between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to signal the release of these hormones to maintain homeostasis. This highly efficient, yet highly sensitive network of communication, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, ideally doles out just the right amount of hormones to keep the body running smoothly.

When thyroid hormones are in balance, the body functions like a well-oiled machine. However, when the thyroid cannot properly regulate hormone production, the body cannot be in homeostasis and overall wellbeing is threatened. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), thyroid disease is more common than both heart disease and diabetes. While it is estimated that 30 million Americans — the majority of them women — suffer from thyroid health issues, as many as 10 million remain undiagnosed. A wide range of symptoms, such as atypical depression, anxiety, rapid heartbeat and dysmenorrhea, can mask a thyroid imbalance. Fatigue, insomnia, mood imbalances and unexplained weight gain or loss may all be symptomatic of a thyroid dysregulation.

When the thyroid is underactive and hormone production is insufficient, hypothyroidism, a condition often linked to iodine insufficiency, can result. Because many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are vague and can overlap with other disorders, a diagnosis of thyroid fatigue can be overlooked. Hypothyroidism slows metabolism, resulting in symptoms such as sensitivity to cold, weight gain, and overall fatigue, which may more often than not be attributed to other causes, delaying diagnosis and treatment sometimes for years. When an over-stimulated thyroid produces excess hormones, putting the body into overdrive and speeding up bodily processes, it can cause hyperthyroidism with physical symptoms that include rapid heartbeat, sensitivity to heat, hyperactivity, anxiety, weight loss, insomnia and dysmenorrhea.

Abnormal thyroid function can also result in thyroiditis, an inflammatory condition that can render the thyroid incapable of producing enough hormones to maintain normal metabolism and energy production. One cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the immune system slowly and methodically destroys the thyroid gland. Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disorder with a strong genetic link, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. If you are experiencing symptoms relating to thyroid hormone dysregulation, see your healthcare provider for an exam and diagnostic tests.

Physical activity and nutritional factors play key roles in supporting proper thyroid function. Eating for chronic disease prevention, by emphasizing vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats and high fiber foods, can help prevent or manage not only thyroid disease but other chronic diseases associated with thyroid disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. While exercise is good for everyone’s overall health, for those with thyroid disorders physical activity may help with weight gain, fatigue, depression and sleep disturbances. Regular exercise is believed to support healthy thyroid hormone production and increase the sensitivity of bodily tissues to thyroid hormones. Adequate sleep gives the body a chance to rest, regenerate and restore and helps to reduce the effects of physiological stress.

Dietary nutrients that support thyroid hormone function include:

Iodine – Essential to thyroid function, most Americans get a sufficient amount of iodine from the use of iodized salt, along with fish, dairy and grains. As both deficiency and excess of iodine carry risks, supplementation is best undertaken under the watchful eye of a healthcare provider.

Vitamin D – Deficiency in vitamin D is linked to both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease. As many people worldwide are vitamin D deficient, be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin D through sensible sunlight exposure, vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms and fatty fish, and supplementation.

Selenium – The thyroid gland typically has a high concentration of selenium, which has been shown to be integral to thyroid function, immune health, fertility and cognitive function. Selenium-rich foods include shellfish and brazil nuts.

Vitamin B12 – Studies have shown that those who have thyroid disease are often deficient in vitamin B12. Necessary for nutrient metabolism, red blood cell formation and healthy nerve cell function, B12 can be found in fatty fish, organ meats and dairy.

As some supplements, such as chromium picolinate, calcium and fiber, can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications, always check with your healthcare provider before embarking on any supplemental program.  

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products designed to support healthy thyroid function:

Thyrosol by MetagenicsThyrosol® by Metagenics – This targeted nutritional formula provides specific vitamins, minerals and herbs that support healthy thyroid function, promote healthy thyroid hormone levels and support the enhanced conversion of thyroid hormones that control energy usage. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Iodoral 12.5 mg by Optimox Corporation

Iodoral® 12.5 mg by Optimox Corporation – Iodoral® provides high potency elemental iodine/potassium iodine in support of optimal thyroid function. This product is meant to be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.


Thyrocsin (Thyroid Cofactors) (SF765) (SF784) by Thorne ResearchThyrocsin by Thorne Research – Thyrocsin provides supportive nutrients along with an adaptogen in support of healthy thyroid function and the conversion of thyroid hormones in bodily tissues. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. This product is contraindicated for those taking MAO inhibitor antidepressant medication.


Thyroid Synergy by Designs for HealthThyroid Synergy™ by Designs for Health – This product supplies nutritional, botanical and adaptogenic support for enhancement of thyroid hormone production and peripheral thyroid hormone conversion. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Iodine Plus by Nutritional FrontiersIodine Plus by Nutritional Frontiers – Iodine Plus provides a synergistic blend of iodine, L-tyrosine and selenium in support of proper thyroid function, hormone production and maintenance. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formulation. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this product if you are taking medications or have hyperthyroidism.

Could You Have a Thyroid Problem? http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/diagnosing-thyroid-problems-women
Thyroid Gland Overview. http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-thyroid
How does the thyroid work? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072572/
Thyroid Gland, How it Functions, Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid-nodules/thyroid-gland-controls-bodys-metabolism-how-it-works-symptoms-hyperthyroi
About Your Thyroid. http://www.thyroidawareness.com/about-your-thyroid
Thyroid Disease and Diet – Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070112p40.shtml

B12 – The Little Vitamin That Could

b12JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Vitamin B12 is a complex and powerful little vitamin that may not come up on our radar screens very often. Some may think of B12 as the “energy” vitamin, but all B vitamins help to convert carbohydrates into glucose, the fuel that supplies energy to all bodily cells. B vitamins are necessary for the health of our skin, eyes, hair and liver and each has distinct roles to play in bodily functions. Specifically, vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and assists in the production of DNA and RNA, our genetic material. B12 helps produce red blood cells, aids iron in producing oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and keeps homocysteine levels, a factor in cardiovascular disease, in check.

A healthy functioning body uses B12 efficiently, largely in the course of the recycling of B12 through the liver. Even though B12 is a water soluble vitamin, the liver is capable of storing minute amounts for several years. Yet, according to the National Institutes of Health, B12 deficiency is widespread. Initially, low levels of vitamin B12 may cause a range of symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, nervousness, digestive distress and numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes. Unlike other nutrient deficiencies that can be reversed with repletion, B12 is so vital to brain and nervous system health that a deficiency can cause permanent damage.

Dietary B12 is found only in animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood and in fortified foods, such as cereal products and tofu. Many of us may not consider how much vitamin B12 we actually obtain through our diets, so supplementation of this highly important nutrient may be the best way to ensure ideal levels for optimal health support. The stages of B12 deficiency may present very slowly, so it can go unnoticed for a long period of time.

  • Stage 1 – Blood levels of B12 begin to decline, signaling the body does not have sufficient available B12
  • Stage 2 – Progression to low cellular concentrations of B12
  • Stage 3 – Increased blood levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, along with a decreased rate of DNA synthesis
  • Stage 4 – Macrocytic anemia, a condition associated with a red blood cell abnormality, resulting in both enlargement and insufficient numbers of cells and insufficient hemoglobin content of cells  

Those most at risk for B12 deficiency are the elderly, vegetarians, pregnant women, chronic alcohol abusers and those with renal or intestinal diseases. For example:

  • Those with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease that results in the failure to produce intrinsic factor, a substance required for B12 absorption that is normally secreted by the stomach. Left untreated, pernicious anemia may progress to megaloblastic anemia and irreversible neurological disorders, even when there is adequate dietary intake. Those who fail to produce intrinsic factor may require prescription injections of vitamin B12.
  • Senior citizens are at higher risk of deficiency, as at around age 50 many people begin to lose the ability to absorb dietary B12.
  • Vegans and strict vegetarians, whose diets don’t include any or insufficient amounts of animal products, are at high risk of deficiency and must be sure to supplement and include dietary foods fortified with B12.
  • Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in our food, and is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease, two factors that must be present in the stomach for B12 to be absorbed and utilized. Those who have insufficient production of hydrochloric acid may have very limited absorption of B12 and may require very high oral doses of vitamin B12.
  • Those with Crohn’s or celiac disease, disorders that affect nutrient absorption, may not be able to absorb a sufficient amount of B12.
  • Certain medications, such as those for diabetes and long term use of stomach acid reducers, increase the chances of developing a B12 deficiency.

For normal function and optimal health, the body requires essential micronutrients, including at least 30 vitamins, minerals and other nutrient compounds. Working in harmony, synergistic nutrients support the bodily functions that not only keep us healthy but, more importantly, sustain life. A deficiency in one vitamin may affect the functioning of others, meaning that multiple deficiencies may be present simultaneously. Vitamin insufficiency is linked to the development of chronic diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia and night blindness to name just a few.

B12 deficiency is a serious health issue that should not be taken lightly. For those at high risk of deficiency, supplementation with vitamin B12 is considered a safe and effective way to support neurological health, energy production, red blood cell formation, nervous system function and DNA synthesis. A multivitamin and mineral formula that includes the full complement of B vitamins or a B-complex formula that contains the complete range of synergistic B vitamins may be the ideal solution to ensure adequate intake for those at a lower risk of deficiency.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other fine products for vitamin B12 supplementation:

Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 by Designs for Health – Each natural berry flavored lozenge delivers 5,000 mcg of activated B12. Formulated to be dissolved in the mouth in order to deliver B12 through the mucous membranes and bypassing the intestines for those with absorption issues. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Vitamin B-12 2500 mcg (B12-60)Vitamin B12 2500 mcg by Douglas Laboratories – These sublingual tablets, designed to improve absorption and bioavailability, dissolve rapidly to deliver 2500 mcg of pure vitamin B12 for those who wish to increase their B12 intake. Convenient dosing with one daily tablet.


B12 5000 LiquidB12 5000 Liquid by Pure Encapsulations – This popular formula provides 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 in a convenient and bioavailable liquid form. Naturally flavored with apple and black currant juice. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Vegan Vitamin B-12 SublingualVegan Vitamin B12 Sublingual – These pleasant tasting, quick dissolving sublingual tablets supply 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, plus vitamin B6 and folate. This highly bioavailable vegan formulation helps to ensure adequate intake of this essential and very important nutrient. Gluten, soy and dairy free.


Vitamin B12. http://www.britannica.com/science/nutritional-disease/Vitamin-B12
Causes and Early Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696961/
Vitamin B12 Deficiency. http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/conditions_a-z/conditions/v/vitamin_b12_deficiency.aspx
Vitamin B12. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin

Get Your B’s

bBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

B vitamins are necessary for growth, development, enzyme activity, red blood cell formation, energy production, and proper brain function.  The term B complex encompasses eight chemically related essential vitamins that work together to boost both our mood and our energy.  Often found in the same foods, these required water soluble vitamins are not stored in our bodies and need to be replenished daily for optimal health.  What are these important vitamins and what role do they play in the health and function of our bodies?

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamine –  B1 is involved in metabolism and conversion of carbohydrates into energy, assuring smooth functioning of the body’s organs especially the heart, brain, lungs and kidneys. Vitamin B1 helps reduce stress, strengthens the nervous system and is responsible for the production of neurotransmitters that relay messages to the muscles and nerves.  Sources of B1 include whole grains, pork, organ meats and kidney beans.
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin –  Vitamin B2 helps breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.  B2 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and antibodies.  B2 helps protect the nervous system and strengthens the immune system.  Sources of B2 include whole grains, dairy products, almonds, eggs and leafy green vegetables. 
  • Vitamin B3  or Niacin –  This powerful vitamin is needed for proper circulation, healthy skin, and nervous system function.  B3 plays an important role in energy production and supports a well-functioning digestive system.  Niacin is believed to be helpful in reducing bad cholesterol and plays a significant role in heart health.  Sources of B3 include fish, chicken, nuts and beans. 
  • Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid Sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress vitamin,” B5 plays an important role in the production of adrenal hormones and is considered a vital body chemical involved in many metabolic functions and the production of neurotransmitters.  B5 also aids in energy production, the formation of antibodies, and supports hair, skin and immune health.  Sources of B5 include a wide variety of plant and animal foods including meats, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds. 
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine –  B6 is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.  It is required for normal brain function, health of the nervous system, and cellular growth.  It aids in immune system function, the production of red blood cells and the breakdown and digestion of proteins.  Sources of B6 include poultry, soy, avocados, whole grains, seafood and bananas.
  • Vitamin B7 or Biotin –  B7 aids in the formation of new skin and hair cells, fatty acid production, metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and in the utilization of all other B complex vitamins.  Biotin promotes healthy nerve tissue and bone marrow and strengthens connective tissues.  Sources of B7 include meats, vegetables, salmon, eggs dairy, sweet potatoes and whole grains. 
  • Vitamin B9  or Folic Acid Folic acid is necessary for healthy cell division and replication.  It functions as a co-enzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis.  B9 is involved in protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, energy production and brain, heart, circulatory, and immune health.  B9 is found in green vegetables, lentils, beans and fortified grains. 
  • Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin B12 is involved in growth and protection of the nervous system and is the most chemically complex of all the vitamins.  It plays an important role in protein synthesis necessary for cardiac function, aids folic acid in the production of red blood cells, and helps in the utilization of iron.  B12 is necessary for healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients and aids in cell formation and cell longevity.  Sources include eggs, meats, poultry, shellfish and dairy products. 

Because B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another. This can lead to poor functioning of any or all the B vitamins.  So, why do we need these B vitamins?  As it turns out for many, many  beneficial reasons, including  energy production, a healthy nervous system, good digestion, healthy hair, skin and nails, proper cardiac function, immune system health and normal growth and development to name just a few.  In general, it is best to  supplement with a B Complex formula to ensure that you get  all of the essential B vitamins daily.

B-Complex #6 by Thorne Research
B-Complex #6 by Thorne Research –  An optimal balance of bioactive B vitamins with extra B6.  Contains all 8 essential B vitamins.
Ultra B Complex by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals
Ultra B Complex by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals –  A complete B vitamin complex containing biologically active B vitamins for increased bioavailability for super absorption and enhanced utilization. 
Ortho B Complex by Ortho Molecular
Ortho B Complex by Ortho Molecular –  A complete vitamin B complex in a once daily natural vegetarian capsule.