What is Vitamin B12? Why is it important?
Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the function of all cells. Like other B vitamins, it is an essential water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B12 is necessary for proper brain and body function, the formation of red blood cells in bone marrow, and energy production. It plays a major role in central nervous and circulatory function.
B12 plays a role in many bodily functions. Some of these functions include:
- DNA synthesis
- energy production
- nerve cell health
- red blood cell formation
- neurological function
- cell reproduction
- Assistance in immune system function
B12 is present in many food sources, primarily animal-based, where it is bound to protein molecules. During digestion, the vitamin is separated from the protein and absorbed into the bloodstream.
The human body needs vitamin B12, along with other factors, to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions. It is vital for your health. The average adult should ingest about 2.4 micrograms a day.
Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be made by the body. Instead, it must be obtained through food, supplements or b12 injections.
Forms of Vitamin B12
B12 exists in four chemical forms:
There are many benefits involved with B12 injections. Beyond the reduction of vitamin B12 deficiency risk, B12 shots reduce the risk of associated serious complications, help you lose weight, and can reduce hair loss.
Some of deficiency conditions and complications include:
- heart disease
- loss of vision
- neurocognitive disorders
- peripheral neuropathy
- coordination problems, or ataxia
- infertility (can be resolved through B12 treatment)
- neural tube defects in the babies of women with B-12 deficiency
Methylcobalamin helps in the synthesis of neuronal lipids, regeneration of axonal nerves and has neuroprotective activity, which promote neurons to function in proper way and thus improves Alzheimer disease, Parkinsonism, Dementia and neuropathic syndromes. It is an approved treatment for peripheral neuropathy.
It has been used to treat some nutrition based diseases, by promoting regeneration to injured nerves. This can include dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as exerts neuronal protection . It has been known to assist in the alleviation of pain behavior in diabetic neuropathy, neuralgia, and low back pain. It can also promote nerve conduction.
Weight loss difficulties can occur as a result of a variety of different conditions. From stress and changes in the body to diabetes, a range of factors may influence these characteristics. One of the most often overlooked conditions is the vitamin deficiency.
The body relies on a variety of vitamins to maintain optimal health, and B12 is among the most important for weight management. If you want to lose excess weight, vitamin B12 is not only energy enhancing, it has also been linked to weight loss.
Increasing your intake of the vitamin not only helps the body utilize fats and carbohydrates, it can improve your overall health, boost energy levels, fight fatigue, and even speed up your metabolism.
Studies have shown that a B12 deficiency or low levels can lead to an increase in body fat percentage, and may result in an altered metabolism. Adequate levels of B12 have been linked to lowered risk of weight gain and obesity, while lower levels of the vitamin have been connected to higher levels of such conditions.
Our Injections Program
Our physician supervised vitamin b12 injection program costs only a little over $5 per injection. Kits include all the supplies necessary to administer the shots on your own
Instructions for Use:
1ml 2-3 times weekly. (One 10ml vial will yield 10 injections and 3-5 weeks of usage)
Each Kit Includes:
- 30ml vial of Methylcobalamin 1mg/ml B12
- 30 intramuscular syringes
- Alcohol prep pads
The thigh is the most common injection site for intramuscular self-injections, but one may also inject the vitamin B12 shot at the upper buttocks or shoulder. An experienced doctor may administer B12 shots in the deltoid muscle.
More About B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be fairly common- some people do not consume enough vitamin B12 in their daily diets to meet their needs, while others face an difficulties in the absorption of the vitamin. Due to a decrease in the production of stomach acid with age, this deficiency can become quite common among older populations.
Often unrecognized, vitamin B12 deficiency affects about a fifth of older adults.
Vitamin B12 is found in animal-based foods and byproducts like meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy. This means that those who maintain a vegetarian or vegan diet may be at greater risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. A source published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that vegans and some strict vegetarians are at greater risk of experiencing a deficiency.
This deficiency may also occur as a result of other conditions and factors that affect absorption such as Crohn's Disease , colitis, pernicious anemia, gastrointestinal issues, or the use of some prescriptions.
A vitamin B12 deficiency has the potential to cause severe and irreversible damage, especially to the brain and nervous system. At levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms may be experienced especially in those with a gastrointestinal tract that does not function normally, as well as people over age 60.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is also known to be present in some patients with untreated celiac disease.
Adequate stomach acid, as well as a substance called intrinsic factor is required to release the vitamin from the protein and ensure its absorption.
People who are unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly may have pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor.
B12 Deficiency: Signs & Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can also come on relatively quickly. At levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms may be experienced, especially in those over the age of 60.
Anyone who is displaying any of the signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia should consult a doctor and seek immediate medical attention.
Common signs and symptoms of deficiency include:
- decreased cognitive function, such as issues with memory or understanding
- fatigue and lower energy levels
- hair loss
- feeling faint
- depression or irritability
- difficulty maintaining balance
- a swollen, inflamed tongue
- heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
- mouth ulcers
- strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
- difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)
- vision changes and loss of vision similar to that of Leber's disease
This is not a complete list of symptoms, others may occur.
Given the array of symptoms cause by a vitamin B12 deficiency, the condition can be easily overlooked or mistaken for something else.
If you are experiencing these symptoms or suspect a possible deficiency, consult a doctor or healthcare professional for a diagnosis.
Deficiency Risk Factors
There are several factors that are known to put one at higher risk of developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some of these factors include:
- alcohol abuse
- certain prescription medications, like antacids and certain type 2 diabetes drugs
- endocrine-related autoimmune disorders, such as a thyroid disorder or diabetes
- eating a vegetarian or vegan diet
- certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease
- The presence a medical condition known as autoimmune atrophic gastritis
- gastric bypass, weight loss surgery, removal of parts of the stomach
Vitamin B12 Supplements
A vitamin B12 prescription is not only available in the form of injections, but also as oral supplements in liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Fortified foods, like cereals and non-dairy milk and yogurts, often contain the man-made form of vitamin B12, cyanocobalamin.
For many people with low levels of B vitamins, a daily supplement in the form of a pill is as effective as taking a monthly muscle injection. Vitamin B12 injections, however, allow for quick restoration, and are best suited for those who suffer from pernicious anemia or suffer from health problems that would increase the risk of a deficiency.
Vitamin B12 shots are injections that can be used to treat a B12 deficiency. In addition to obtaining the vitamin from food sources, one may acquire B12 through supplements.
Vitamin B12 shots can be either self-administered or given by a doctor, and are absorbed directly. They function to quickly boost B12 levels in those who are deficient.
Methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin are the two most commonly used forms of B12 in injected supplements.
Methylcobalamin and Cyanocobalamin: What's the difference?
Methylcobalamin and Cyanocobalamin are nearly identical, both containing a corrin ring, which surrounds a cobalt ion .
Although both forms contain this cobalt ion, each have a different molecule attached to it. Methylcobalamin contains a methyl group, while cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule. Cyanocobalamin is converted into either methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin, the two active forms of Vitamin B12 in humans, upon entering your body.
Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B12. It can be obtained through food sources such as fish, meat, eggs, and milk supplements, as well as through supplements.
Unlike methylcobalamin, Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12 found only in supplements. Studies have found that methylcobalamin, although not absorbed as efficiently as cyanocobalamin, retains a higher retention rate. Other studies have found that the differences in absorption and retention are minimal.
Methylcobalamin is physiologically equivalent to vitamin B12, and can be used to treat or prevent pathology arising as a result of B12 deficiency or lack of intake.
Methylcobalamin assists in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine and is also used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and as a preliminary treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 may interact with certain medications and. It is always important inform your healthcare professional about any prescriptions, over-the-counter, or other drugs you may be taking along with other required personal data before receiving or administering a shot.
Health care professionals can supply trustworthy health information and provide medical advice. Always consult a doctor before beginning or partaking in injections
Common prescription medications that may interact with B12 shots:
- proton pump inhibitors
- oral contraceptives
- H2 receptor antagonists
Medical Conditions and allergies
Those who have allergies or known health conditions should always inform their doctor before receiving B12 injections.
At a very high dose, methylcobalamin can cause blood clots, diarrhea, paresthesia, rhinitis, allergic reactions, and more.
People with polycythemia should consult with a doctor and seek a proper diagnosis before partaking this therapy.
Examples of allergies or conditions that may interact with B12 shots include:
- allergy to cyanocobalamin or cobalt
- low potassium levels or hypokalemia
- kidney disease
- polycythemia vera
- Leber’s disease
- deficiencies in other nutrients, particularly folic acid and iron
Product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any diseases.
Vitamin B12 Injections Program 30ml
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