Vitamin B-12 Injections
Vitamin B-12 is a very important nutrient necessary for sufficient formation of mature red blood cells and for the proper functioning of the brain and spinal cord. Studies have also shown that Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins (folate and B-6) may help prevent heart disease by lowering blood levels of homocysteine. In recent years, experts have become more concerned about Vitamin B-12 deficiency in people over 50 and those following a strict vegetarian diet, even though people of any age can be deficient in this essential nutrient. Although Vitamin B-12 is found primarily in red meats, it is also found in dairy products, fish, poultry, other meats, and fortified foods.
For our bodies to utilize the Vitamin B-12 consumed in our diets, the stomach must secrete adequate amounts of gastric acid, plus the digestive enzyme pepsin, and then, in order to be absorbed, the free vitamin must combine with a protein known as "intrinsic factor. In older people this process may be incomplete: 20 to 30% of people over age 50 don't produce enough stomach acid, and thus their B-12 absorption is reduced. A poor diet and heavy drinking at any age can contribute to a Vitamin B-12 deficiency as can taking certain medications such as glucophage (for Type II diabetes) and many stomach antacids. Vegans (who eat no animal products, which are the best sources of B-12) can be deficient, as can those who undergo gastric bypass surgery or have diseases of the intestinal tract.
When deficiency is the problem
In today's society, many people complain of being tired all of the time, lacking energy and not sleeping well. For many people, simply adding a good multi-vitamin to their daily diet is enough to lessen these complaints. On the other hand, severe Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause confusion, memory loss, tingling and weakness in the limbs, hallucinations, and listlessness. This may be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease or other conditions or the person suffering from these symptoms may simply attribute them to "aging. If you have any of these serious symptoms or suspect you are deficient, please get medical help. Blood tests can diagnose deficiency, and blood levels of the Vitamin B-12 can be brought up in various ways”oral or sublingual tablets, nasal gels, and injections.
Injections vs. pills
Many people have found that monthly injections of Vitamin B-12 have helped them in many ways that tablets have not. Many of them report they have more energy, stronger immune systems (with less allergies and incidences of seasonal illness), less stress and depression, more restful sleep, and less frequent/less severe headaches when they take Vitamin B-12 injections on a regular basis. Because of variations in individual metabolism, some people who begin taking Vitamin B-12 injections may feel the differences within several days while others may take up to several months to discern a change in their health.
Please note that persons with chronic liver or kidney disease and those allergic to cobalt
should not take Vitamin B-12 injections and should consult with their physicians.