What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, is a water soluble vitamin naturally found in meat, fish, or dairy products. This vitamin helps the body to properly form red blood cells, grow tissues, and replicate DNA. It also helps to form myelin sheath to protect nerve cells and conduct nerve impulses, and lowers homocysteine levels thereby reducing the risk of strokes or heart attacks. Vitamin B12 works together with folate in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells.
Why is Vitamin B12 important?
Vitamin B12 is required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.
Vitamin B Injections can be useful for the following conditions:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Poor Memory
- Male and Female Infertility
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Age Related Macular Degeneration
Consequences of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:
Some common reasons for Vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Poor Eating Habits
- Being vegetarian/vegan – studies have shown that 50% of long-term vegetarians and 80% of vegans are Vitamin B12 deficient
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Having low stomach acid – common with blood type A
- Pernicious anemia – an autoimmune condition
- Medications such as PPIs (Proton-Pump Inhibitors) which suppress stomach acid
Who should be getting Vitamin B12 Injections?
- Vegetarians and vegans
- People aged 60 or over
- People who regularly use PPIs or acid suppressing drugs
- People on diabetes drugs like metformin
- People with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Women with a history of infertility and miscarriage
How often should one get vitamin B12 injections?
For those with pernicious anemia, a cycle of 8 to 10 injections within a two month period to build up Vitamin B12 storage. After that, a once per month dose is needed to maintain proper B12 levels. If your B12 deficiency is caused by longterm vegetarianism/veganism, monthly injections are recommended.
Why Vitamin B12 Injections over oral Vitamin B12?
A lack of a protein called intrinsic factor in people, digestive issues, and the destruction or removal of parts of the stomach, does not allow Vitamin B12 to be absorbed from food or oral vitamin supplements. Vitamin B12 injections are a more direct method of delivering the vitamin into the system as it gets completely absorbed by the muscle tissue and bypasses the digestive system, allowing for maximum absorption.
Are there any side effects of vitamin B12 injections?
Aside from the positive side effects of Vitamin B12 injection, you might notice a slight vitamin taste that lasts for a minute while you are receiving the injection. Although it is nothing to worry about, the first couple of times you urinate after your injection, you may notice an orange or red hue in your urine. Although extremely rare, there have been cases where people have developed a redness or a rash – around the injection site – indicating a Vitamin B12 allergy.
Cautions and Contraindications:
It is rare to have an allergic reaction to Vitamin B12 injections but it has been known to occur. Symptoms will be swelling, redness, hives, or a rash around the injection site. If this occurs, you may want to switch to an oral liquid vitamin B complex or a sublingual B12 and folic acid tablet.
Avoid B12 Injections if you have Leber’s disease.
Vitamin B12 injections should be used in caution with those that have Gout or high uric acid levels.
Caution should be taken with those that have megaloblastic anemia as B12 can reduce potassium levels in the blood.
Pregnant and breast feeding women who are low in B12 should only receive smaller doses.