Vitamin B12 belongs to the vitamin B family. It is a water-soluble vitamin that means it doesn’t store in body. It excretes through urine. It’s a very important vitamin for formation of red blood cells and regulation of nerve system. Its deficiency can cause anemia. Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common in people. That’s why most people opt out vitamin B12 shots.
Vitamin B12 shots are taken to boost the level of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes depression, mood disorder, fatigue, memory loss, anemia, low blood pressure and giddiness. It’s shot directly into muscle, usually into the thigh or upper arm, for an easy absorption into the bloodstream.
Benefits of Vitamin B12 shots
Vitamin B12 shots can help you to recover from its deficiency. Here are some benefits of vitamin B12 shots.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with depression. Experts found that the condition can be improved with supplementation of vitamin B12. Intramuscular treatment is better option than oral supplementation as it directly gets into the blood. A study was done to evaluate the impact of intramuscular treatment and it demonstrated neurological responses with vitamin B12 shots.
Fatigue, muscle cramps and giddiness are common symptoms in vitamin B12 deficiency. You can get more energy from B12 shots. However, more studies are to be done to support this claim. If you feel sluggish due to B12 deficiency, then shots can help you. Otherwise it’ll be wasting time and money.
Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Homocysteine levels are mainly associated with coronary heart disease. A study found that supplementation of folic acid with B12 can lower homocysteine levels. However, the study also found that B12 shots alone can’t lower the homocysteine levels.
Boosts Male Fertility
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes erectile dysfunction in males. Therefore B12 shots can help males to sustain erection and healthy ejaculation. However, if you are not B12 deficient and suffering from infertility, extra B12 intake can’t help to improve fertility.
Vitamin B12 shots may help to reduce the risk of breast cancer but there is no evidence that it alone reduces the risk of breast cancer. Some studies found that folate with combination of vitamin B12 works better to reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, more studies are to be done to evaluate this.
Side Effects of Vitamin B12 Shots
You can absorb vitamin B12 through food. The most common foods that provide copious amount of this vitamin are dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt and meat products like lamb, beef, chicken and pork.
The natural form of vitamin B12 is called hydroxocobalamin. It’s found in foods and dietary supplements. However, intramuscular shots are used in the form of cyanocobalamin as a standard therapy for treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 shots don’t cause major side effects. They are safe to consume. However, in very rare cases, some people can experience side effects. It can cause mild side effects such as diarrhea and swelling. Sometimes, it can cause some serious side effects such as muscle cramps, bewilderment, skin rashes, exhaustion, headache, extreme thirst, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. However, serious side effects like difficulty in breathing and irregular heartbeat are rare. You should immediately contact your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.
Be careful while taking intramuscular vitamin B12 as it has the potential to interact with certain medications such as diabetic prescriptions and antibiotics. High doses might also possibly interfere with levels of other vitamins, enzymes and minerals.
How Vitamin B12 shots Differ from Oral Supplementation?
If you’re a deficient of vitamin B12, you can recover the deficiency either through vitamin B12 shots or oral supplements. B12 shots are not expensive and you can purchase them over the counter. You can visit a doctor to administer the shots and they can show how to administer it so that you can take at home.
Vitamin B12 shots are better than B12 supplements because your gut can’t absorb the entire amount of vitamin B12. The absorption rate depends on your body. It varies from person to person. shots directly help vitamin B12 to enter blood and therefore it’s a most effective therapy treatment than oral supplementations.
To make oral supplements effective, you should increase the amount of dose. The dosage should be 1000mcg to 2000mcg of vitamin B12 supplements. A study has shown that high oral doses of B12 were as effective as vitamin B12 shots to improve the functioning of nerve system.
What are the Other Things to be Noted?
- If you eat a well-balanced diet that includes foods rich in vitamin B12, then it is unlikely that you’ll need to take additional B12 through shots.
- For most people, dietary sources provide everything that is needed. However, people who are at risk of deficiency will probably need to take supplements but at higher doses as they are not absorbed by gut completely.
- Vitamin B12 shots don’t cause side effects but if you have any, you should consult a doctor immediately.
- Though, vitamin B12 shots can help you to recover from the deficiency of vitamin B12 but you have to understand that sometimes these symptoms are not due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Despite of that if you keep taking doses of B12 through shots, it’ll not contribute any benefit.
- Most people take vitamin B12 shots to improve metabolism but vitamin B12 shots are not likely to improve metabolism. Generally these shots focus on preventing anemia and help to improve the functioning of nerve system.