The short answer for many is, absolutely! In our sleep deprived, over fed and under nourished- stress filled day to day lives, a shot of energy is appealing to most. They are safe but, do you really need it?
Vitamin B12 can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a lab or, a compounding pharmacy. This vitamin is required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.
Vitamin B12 supplementation is used for treating and preventing vitamin B12 deficiency associated with many different health ailments and concerns in addition to those simply wanting to enhance their physical and wellness capabilities. It is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins and antioxidants in various health regimens.
Vitamin B-12 Has Many Different Reasons for Usage
Vitamin B12 is used for prevention of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, boosting mood, energy, concentration and the immune system as well as slowing aging to a degree. It is also used for heart health, lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease), male infertility, diabetes, sleep disorders, depression, mental disorders, weak bones (osteoporosis), swollen tendons, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, a skin disease called vitiligo, preventing cervical and other cancers, skin infections and more.
The most commonly available form of vitamin B-12 on the market is the less effective synthetic form taken orally that's actually bound to a cyanide molecule called cyanocobalamin. Taken orally, this common synthetic form of this vitamin does not occur in nature, but is used in many pharmaceuticals and supplements, and as a food additive, because of its lower cost. In the body it is converted to the physiological, active form, methylcobalamin after passing through processing channels in the body. Although still helpful, it is not the most effective form or way of taking B-12 for best benefits.
The more readily available and active form of vitamin B-12 is called methylcobalamin. This is the form that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it's ready for your body to put to immediate use. Methylcobalamin has several key advantages over cyanocobalamin such as increased absorption, better retention in tissues and having a better impact on our homeocysteine levels. This is especially true when taken via injection versus orally.
B-12 Deficiency also Associated with Growth Hormone Resistance?
In a recent article published by the JCI - Journal of Clinical Investigation (http://www.jci.org/articles/view/72606), it was concluded that vitamin B-12 deficiencies were associated with lower bone density, growth retardation and growth hormone resistance. This is very insightful news for those with hormone imbalance concerns and blood showing low levels of growth hormone markers such as IGF-1. If and when supplementing with growth hormone, it may be helpful to incorporate B-12 with it to enhance the uptake of growth hormone and therefore, it’s desired benefits.
What Could Cause a B-12 Deficiency?
Birth control, antibiotics, some anti-convulsing or seizure meds and some anti diabetic meds may decrease B12 levels in the body. Also, medicines that treat GERD (acid reflux) such Prilosec, may decrease gastric acid production and lower B12 absorption. And if you’re a heavy smoker or alcoholic beverage drinker, you are also at a higher risk for B12 deficiency.
Even those that don’t consume these mentioned substances and are mindful of their health but are under a heavy stress load from work, keeping the home up, lack of sleep and more, may be lacking B-12 or have a higher demand for it than others.
So, Is Vitamin B-12 Right for You?
Although not everyone will need this shot of extra goodness, it most certainly is beneficial for many. Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient and if we’re deficient it can certainly end up leading to some health and wellness complications over time. Injections are warranted when a patient is not absorbing well or is truly deficient and prefers or needs to increase levels quickly.
B12 is has given countless amounts of people desired benefits and is a wonderful supplement when needed and used appropriately, and injections certainly are the right answer for many. Just keep in mind, there is no magic bullet or shot but rather a combination of healthy living and fitness that increases our overall energy levels, wellness and vitality. So take your B12, but don’t forget the rest!