Vitamin B12 FAQ
Blue Water Spa Serves NC Clients in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Surrounding Areas
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for life. This vitamin is naturally found in animal proteins such as eggs, milk, and meat. According to research, 39% of Americans ages 26 and older have low normal B12 levels, while 30% of Americans over the age of 50 are deficient. B12 deficiency can result in dysfunction in multiple body systems and processes. Vitamin B12 is needed to produce red blood cells, for DNA synthesis and repair, and for the maintenance of the myelin sheath around nerve cells. B12 deficiency can result in numbness and tingling, as well as confusion and memory loss. Vitamin B12 is a vital catalyst in the body’s energy pathways, so B12 deficiency often causes lethargy. B12 deficiency also disrupts circadian rhythms, causing irritability and insomnia.
What are some of the potential benefits of B12 supplementation?
- Increased energy
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased metabolism
- Better sleep
- Improved concentration
- Boosted mood
- Improved immunity
- Healthier skin, nails, and hair
What increases risk of B12 deficiency?
- Gastrointestinal disorders, such as Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease
- History of weight loss surgery (gastric bypass surgery, ileum resection)
- Advanced age
- Use of metformin
- Nitrous oxide exposure
- Chronic PPI use (omeprazole or Prilosec, esomeprazole or Nexium)
- Chronic use of H2 blockers (famotidine or Pepcid, ranitidine or Zantac)
- Veganism and strict vegetarianism, due to animal protein being a main source of Vitamin B12
What are the contraindications to B12 injections?
- Allergy to cobalt
- Renal dysfunction
- Leber’s disease (hereditary optic nerve atrophy)
- Severe megaloblastic or pernicious anemia – supplementation with large doses of B12 can result in dangerously low potassium. Megaloblastic anemia needs to be managed by your primary care provider or hematologist.
What is involved in the treatment?
Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin, is administered by intramuscular injection in either the deltoid or gluteal region. Since this treatment is non-toxic, injections can be given weekly, monthly, or as needed for a rejuvenating boost.
What are the possible side effects and risks of B12 injection?
Local discomfort and irritation at the injection site are possible. Please be advised that your urine may turn a reddish color post-injection. This discoloration is completely harmless and transient. According to the Institute of Medicine, “no adverse effects have been associated with excess Vitamin B12 from food and supplements in healthy individuals.”
How much does an injection of B12 cost?
One injection of Vitamin B12 is priced at $45.
How often should I receive a B12 injection?
The recommended frequency of B12 injections varies for each individual. For patients at a very high risk of B12 deficiency, we recommend a treatment plan of one injection per week for four weeks followed by one injection per month. However, even one injection of B12 is beneficial! Since there are no adverse effects associated with excess B12, patients may opt to be injected as often as they like.