What does B12 do and why do I need so much?
You might’ve noticed that our formulas’ amount of Vitamin B12 is well above what’s typically recommended per day in a multivitamin. But there are good reasons for that!
First, for women and people with eggs, it’s important to understand how crucial B12 is in pregnancy. Along with its better-known counterpart Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 helps keep homocysteine from building up. That’s crucial because high levels of homocysteine have been linked to neural tube defects, pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, restricted fetal growth, preeclampsia and other cardiovascular complications.
And for men and people with sperm, Vitamin B12 plays a key role in sperm production and the male reproductive organs. Again, this has to do with its role in keeping homocysteine in check. High levels of homocysteine are known to contribute to poor sperm quality, low sperm count, reduced motility and higher DNA fragmentation. This can often result in longer times to conception and early pregnancy loss.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for your body to get enough B12 without a little help. In your diet, you can only get it from animal products, and your absorption can be affected by certain autoimmune conditions or even just taking antacids.
Because it’s so critical for pregnancy (and before, so that you can build up enough stores by the time the neural tube develops in early pregnancy!) and for sperm DNA replication, it’s important to cover your B12 bases with a great supplement. There’s no set upper limit for Vitamin B12 nor is there an established toxic level, but our naturopathic doctors suggest that optimal levels should be much higher than the recommended daily allowance in order to have a therapeutic effect. That’s why we pack 1 mg of a bioavailable form of Vitamin B12 called Methylcobalamin in The Prenatal Essentials for Females, The Power Prenatal for Females and The Gentle Prenatal, and 500 mcg in The Prenatal Essentials for Males and The Power Prenatal for Males. Learn more about Vitamin B12 on The Nest.