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What is sublingual B12?

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Quick Answer

Sublingual B-12, known as cyanocobalamin, is a manufactured supplement used to prevent and treat low vitamin B-12 levels, notes WebMD. The sublingual form of the supplement is taken under the tongue for rapid absorption through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

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Full Answer

The body cannot make vitamin B-12; it must be obtained through diet and/or supplementation, says Harvard Health Executive Editor, Patrick J. Skerrett. Two of the most common reasons for vitamin B-12 deficiency are the inability to absorb the vitamin and the inability to get enough in the first place. Absorption issues can arise after weight-loss surgery or with conditions like Crohn's or celiac disease. Strict vegetarians and vegans are also at risk if they do not eat fortified grains or take a supplement as plants do not make vitamin B-12.

Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency come on gradually, intensifying over time. Symptoms of anemia, including tiredness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and paleness, may be present, says Wikipedia. As the vitamin B-12 deficiency progresses, there may be a sore tongue, stomach upset, weight loss and diarrhea or constipation. If uncorrected, nervous system damage can occur, leading to numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulty walking, mood changes, disorientation and, in the worst cases, dementia.

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