Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin for your body. B12 helps your body make DNA and RNA and the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. If you are low in B12, you will feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 can give you more energy, boost your metabolism, and help you lose weight. The expert team at Anazoa MD in Steamboat Springs, CO can administer a B12 injection to improve your health.
Will My B12 Injection Work Right Away?
B12 injections work quickly; they are the most effective way for your body to absorb Vitamin B12. Within 48 to 72 hours, your body will begin to make new red blood cells. For mild deficiencies, you may need two to three injections over several weeks to notice peak impact.
B12 injections must be administered by a licensed medical professional. Your medical team will evaluate your health and determine the ideal frequency for injections.
What Does B12 Do for Your Body?
Nicknamed the “energy vitamin”, Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse in your body. B12 is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. It helps make nerve and blood cells as well as DNA, the genetic material in all cells. B12 is also critical to your metabolism.
Where Do You Get B12 From Naturally?
Your body does not naturally make B12. You can get most of the vitamins your body needs simply by eating right, but B12 is unique. It is only found in animal products like eggs, meat, dairy, or shellfish. The B12 is bound to the protein molecules.
During the digestion process, Vitamin B12 is separated from the protein and absorbed into your bloodstream. To ensure proper absorption, you must eat sufficient foods that are rich in B12, your body must have sufficient stomach acid, and you must have the intrinsic factor necessary to utilize B12. B12 deficiencies are quite common; some estimates say that as many as 40% of Americans are deficient.
How Else Can You Get the B12 You Need?
B12 can be created synthetically. Synthetic B12 allows medical professionals to efficiently supplement in people with a deficiency, a difficulty absorbing B12 through food, or with underlying conditions that impact B12 absorption.
What Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
When your body does not receive enough Vitamin B12, it will develop a deficiency. Although treatable, a long-term deficiency can cause irreversible damage. Even slightly low levels of B12 can cause symptoms throughout your body.
Who Is at Risk for a B12 Deficiency?
People with digestive issues or celiac disease may not be able to process and absorb B12. Vegetarians or vegans will not be getting sufficient B12 in their diets. As you age, you produce less stomach acid, which is critical for the absorption of B12. Adults over 50 are at a higher risk for a B12 deficiency.
Oral contraceptives that are high in estrogen put women at risk of a B12 deficiency. B12 is stored in the liver. People who drink regularly may be depleting their B12 stores. Various medications can put you at risk for a B12 deficiency. People with gastrointestinal diseases may have trouble absorbing B12.
How Do You Know if You Have a B12 Deficiency?
The symptoms of a B12 deficiency include exhaustion and difficulty concentrating. Early symptoms may be as subtle as feeling worn out and weak. Because B12 is so important for your metabolism, if you’re having difficulty losing weight, you may need more B12.
The symptoms of B12 deficiency are varied and may include:
- Numbness or tingling in your limbs
- Depression or paranoia
- Pale skin
- Mouth sores
- Abnormal reflexes
- General feeling of weakness
- Memory loss or confusion
B12 Deficiency Can Put You in Jeopardy
A B12 deficiency can cause a specific form of anemia called “pernicious anemia”. Pernicious means dangerous; this anemia can be life-threatening. Pernicious anemia is a red blood cell anemia that originates in the stomach. Pernicious anemia is caused when someone doesn’t make enough of the protein “intrinsic factor”, which helps the intestines absorb B12.
Depleting your B12 can lead to nerve damage, which is why one symptom of a deficiency is numbness or tingling. A long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to your body, including insomnia, neurologic damage, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty with bowel and bladder control. A B12 deficiency can also leave you at a higher risk of infections.
Are B12 Injections More Effective Than B12 Supplements?
Any oral supplement must be ingested and absorbed through your digestive tract. An injection of B12 is delivered directly into your bloodstream, where it is needed. For most people, a B12 injection will be more effective than taking an oral B12 supplement.
For people with gastrointestinal issues, oral B12 supplements will not be effective.
Who Could B12 Injections Help?
- Vegetarians or Vegans
- Adults over 50 years old
- People taking proton-pump inhibitors for heartburn
- People lacking the intrinsic factor to absorb B12
- Women on estrogen-based birth control
Benefits of B12 Injections
Energy comes from glucose, and Vitamin B12 helps turn the food you eat into glucose. Without sufficient glucose, you will feel lethargic. A general feeling of fatigue is often one of the first signs of a B12 deficiency. B12 is essential for your body to make the red blood cells that carry oxygen to your organs. Without enough oxygen in your cells, you’ll feel exhausted no matter how much you sleep.
Weight Loss and Metabolism
Vitamins are a key part of managing your weight because they are essential to your metabolism. Vitamin B12 aids in both fat and protein metabolism. Without sufficient B12, your body cannot metabolize fats or carbohydrates properly. When your metabolism is working efficiently, your body will burn fat for fuel, helping you lose weight.
B12 deficiency can lead to poor sleep, lethargy, exhaustion, all of which can impact your weight management. Weight loss is both psychological and physiological; sufficient B12 can benefit both. B12 can boost both metabolism and energy.
B12 is involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals including serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a significant role in regulating your mood. B12 can reduce anxiety and stress by regulating the proper function of your nervous system. Vitamin B12 can also help enhance your ability to focus.
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 is associated with a significantly increased risk of depression. B12 can also increase the effectiveness of antidepressants. High levels of B12 in the blood are linked to better treatment outcomes with depression.
Memory and Dementia
Supplementing with B12 may play a role in reducing brain atrophy, the loss of neurons in the brain. Brain atrophy can result in diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
B12 powers oxygen delivery. Without sufficient oxygen being delivered from red blood cells, your muscles will feel weak. B12 is also critical in communication between the brain and muscles, and this impacts both muscle growth and overall co-ordination.
Vitamin B12 is essential to a healthy immune system. A deficiency of B12 can leave you with a compromised immune system and more susceptible to germs and viruses.
Ensuring your body has adequate levels of B12 may support your skeletal health. Many people with a B12 deficiency also have a lower than normal bone density. Your risk of osteoporosis is increased when you have a decreased bone mineral density.
Having sufficient levels of Vitamin B12 could help decrease the risk of age-related eye problems. Supplementing B12 can lower homocysteine, an amino acid in your bloodstream. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that primarily impacts your central vision.
High levels of homocysteine have also been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Supplemental B12 can lower homocysteine, lowering your risk of developing cardiac disease.
Healthy Nervous System
Vitamin B12 levels are directly linked to your nervous system. B12 is essential to producing the myelin (or fatty sheath that protects your nerves). When you’re deficient in B12, your nerve cells are unable to function properly.
The early signs of nerve damage as a result of a B12 deficiency are tingling and numbness. Left unaddressed, this can progress to balance problems, making it more likely that you’ll fall.
Low levels of B12 can interrupt your sleep patterns, making it more difficult to both fall asleep and stay asleep. Vitamin B12 has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on patients with sleep disorders and those who have difficulty getting to sleep.
B12 is involved in melatonin production, the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm. In numerous studies, melatonin has been shown to induce a feeling of sleepiness, help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, and improve the quality of your sleep. Vitamin B12 increases the production of melatonin and encourages your body to release it earlier, helping you fall asleep.
Promoting Healthy Skin
B12 is critical in cell production. Adequate B12 is vital for healthy hair, skin, and nails. A deficiency of B12 can cause various dermatologic issues, including hyperpigmentation and nail discoloration.
B12 deficiencies in the early stages of pregnancy increase the risk of neural tube birth defects and low birthweights. Low B12 levels are linked to miscarriages and premature birth. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 results in a three-times increase in the risk of birth defects.
Reduce Your Use of Stimulants
Vitamin B12 injections give your body a natural and lasting energy boost. When you’re no longer feeling fatigued, you’ll be less likely to reach for another cup of coffee to get you through your day.
Is There a Risk of Too Much B12?
There are no reported risks with taking large doses of Vitamin B12. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that accumulate in your body, excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted through your urine.
B12 Injections Can Improve Your Overall Health
B12 is essential for so many aspects of your health, from your head to your toes. B12 is essential for building DNA and blood cells, developing healthy skin, and reducing your risk of heart disease and vision loss. Come speak to the professional team at Anazoa MD in Steamboat Springs, CO to learn how injections of B12 can boost your energy, kickstart your metabolism and help you lose weight, and improve your overall health.