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Benefits of Vitamin B12 Injections

Benefits of Vitamin B12 Injections

By: Dr. Crystal Wells, N.D.

We’ve all heard of clinics proclaiming B12 injections as a miracle cure for weight loss. Well that’s only partly true.

Cobalamin, more commonly known as vitamin B12, is the most complex of all B vitamins. It is necessary for synthesizing DNA for red blood cells and is vital for metabolic processes. Since it naturally supports and works with the body’s metabolism, B12 can be incorporated as part of a healthy and successful weight loss program, however, B12 injections alone will not be responsible for significant or sustainable weight loss.

B12 deficiency becomes more common later in life, although deficiency affects individuals of all ages. It may occur due to inadequate intake, or most commonly malabsorption. Since vitamin B12 is derived from animal products, it is bound to protein bonds after ingestion. These bonds must be severed via gastric secretions. Once released, B12 must attach to intrinsic factor in order to travel to the distal ileum for absorption. Clinical trials have shown that vitamin B12 supplementation can be used to reduce serum homocysteine levels, which is an independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Studies have also shown a correlation between low B12 levels and higher rates of depression and some cancers, particularly breast. Vitamin B12 is generally considered safe, even in large doses.

Naturopathic doctors use B12 injections for a variety of health situations:
– B12 deficient and pernicious anemia
– Health wight loss
– Chronic Faitgue
– Allergies
– Immunosuppresion
– Neurological conditions (nerve palsies, ALS, MS)
– Reduction in cardiovascular risk factors
– Anxiety and Depression

Intramuscular injections by-pass intestinal absorption, yielding 100% absorption and delivery of B12 to the body tissue. It is important to consult with your health care provider to determine whether B12 injections are right for you.
References:

Andres E, Goichot B, Schlienger JL. Food cobalamin malabsorption: a usual cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:2061-2.
Eussen SJ, de Groot LC, Clarke R, et al. Oral cyanocobalamin supplementation in older people with vitamin B12 deficiency: A dose-finding trial. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:1167-72.
Nourhashemi F, Gillette-Guyonnet S, Andrieu S, et al. Alzheimer disease: protective factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(2):643S-649
Quinlivan EP, McPartlin J, McNulty H, et al. Importance of both folic acid and vitamin B12 in reduction of risk of vascular disease. Lancet. 2002;359(9302):227-228
Nourhashemi F, Gillette-Guyonnet S, Andrieu S, et al. Alzheimer disease: protective factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(2):643S-649
Ravaglia G, Forti P, Maioli F, et al. Homocysteine and cognitive function in healthy elderly community dwellers in Italy. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(3):668-673.
Seshadri S, Beiser A, Selhub J, et al. Plasma homocysteine as a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(7):476-483.

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