Vitamin B12 is an interesting water soluble vitamin. There are fat and water soluble vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins can build to levels of toxicity if you take too much. The water soluble ones, such as vitamin C and B12, typically do not reach toxic levels even if you take too much. Plus, if you are looking at the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for B12 intake, it refers to the minimum amount that is considered sufficient for already healthy people. Statistically, the B12 RDA would be too little for even a percentage of healthy people. Some extra B12 may be beneficial to some and necessary for others, and it is unlikely to become toxic at moderately high doses. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional for individual advice, but here are three major benefits some people may gain from taking B12 shots.
Replace the B12 That Your Medications Cause You to Lose
You may become B12 deficient if you take medications such as metformin (Glucophage) or proton pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium). You should research every medication you take to see its potential side effects, according to Med Supply Store. Most medications come with a long list of potential side effects. That does not mean they will all happen to you, but you should be aware of them to be on the lookout for symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiency caused by metformin, esomeprazole magnesium or other drugs may be linked to your own susceptibility or your dietary intake of B12 as well as how long and how much of the drugs antagonistic to B12 that you take. A single monthly B12 shot can fix deficiency that is caused by medication.
If You Lack Intrinsic Factor, Then You Need B12 Shots
Vitamin B12 absorption begins in your mouth. A protein binds to B12 to help it survive the acid in your stomach. Another protein, known as intrinsic factor or gastric intrinsic factor, then permits B12 to be absorbed when it reaches your small intestine. If you lack the intrinsic factor protein, you cannot absorb dietary B12. You have two options for getting sufficient B12. You can use a sublingual B12 pill that is dissolved under your tongue or you can take B12 shots. Your doctor will give you an intramuscular (into the muscle) shot of B12, but you may be eligible to inject subcutaneous (just under the skin) B12 at home.
Reversing Mood and Behavior Disturbances
The National Institutes of Health details a case history of a woman in her late 60s who was engaged by the police in a high-speed pursuit. She was combative and taken to the hospital. She had to be sedated so she could be removed from the police vehicle that transported her there. Blood work showed low vitamin B12. She was treated with vitamin B12 shots and was able to return to work. Low vitamin B12 levels can begin to show up as memory problems and progress to much worse. A simple monthly injection of vitamin B12 can fix the problems. Deficiency of B12 can be part of the problem in everything from depression to psychosis, and a full medical evaluation is helpful in determining the cause.
Vitamin B12 is cobalamin. The injectable form is available in two types. One is cyanocobalamin, and the other is methylcobalamin. You need it to make red blood cells, and your nervous system uses it too. Methylcobalamin is preferred by some, but it is more expensive to purchase. It does not have to be converted in your body like cyanocobalamin does to be absorbed. If you are experiencing memory problems, tingling sensations, weakness, breathlessness, fatigue or poor balance, B12 deficiency may be part of the cause. There are many other diseases and conditions that can cause these symptoms, but a blood test can reveal your B12 level. The same test will also indicate if you have the intrinsic factor to absorb B12. Also, since B12 is only sufficiently available in animal products, vegetarians and vegans should be tested periodically to be sure to avoid a B12 deficiency.