Vitamin B12 Injections: Good or Bad?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common and supplementing with B12 injections or vitamins has become popular over the last few years. At East Boca Acupuncture, we believe in knowing all of the information before trying anything like B12 injections. Here’s what you should know before you try it.
What is Vitamin B12 and What Does it Do?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as cobalamin. It plays a vital role in brain function and the production of DNA and red blood cells. Chemically, vitamin B12 can exist in a number of different forms, but all of them contain the mineral cobalt. The vitamin can be stored in the liver for a long time, so it may take a few years for a deficiency to develop.
Many People Are Deficient
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin B12 is 6 micrograms per day. Deficiency is common, especially in people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. In fact, it’s thought that up to 90% of people following these diets have a deficiency. This is because B12 is only found naturally in animal foods.
However, vegans and vegetarians are not the only ones who are deficient. Even some meat eaters don’t absorb it very well.
Unlike other vitamins, the absorption of vitamin B12 depends on a protein produced in your stomach, called intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor binds to vitamin B12, so that you can absorb it into the blood. People who don’t produce enough intrinsic factor can become deficient.
Deficiency is particularly common in elderly people, because the ability to absorb vitamin B12 can decrease with age.
Other people at risk of deficiency include those who have had intestinal surgery, including weight loss surgery. Those with diseases that affect the gut, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, are also at risk.
Vitamin B12 Shots Are Very Effective
An untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems or pernicious anemia, which occurs when your body doesn’t have enough B12 to produce the amount of red blood cells it needs.
Vitamin B12 shots are the most common way to prevent or treat a deficiency. The injections can be prescribed by a doctor and given intramuscularly, or into the muscle, by any registered specialist. At East Boca Acupuncture, we specialize in B12 injections and have extensive knowledge in the benefits and risks. B12 injections are very effective at raising blood levels of B12 and preventing/reversing a deficiency.
Safety and Side Effects
Vitamin B12 injections are generally considered to be very safe. They have no major side effects. However, in very rare cases, some people can experience side effects caused by allergic reactions or sensitivity. If you experience any side effects, speak with your doctor.
Please call East Boca Acupuncture today to find out more about B12 injections and if they are right for you.