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B12 Shots & B12 Injections: The Good, Bad and Alternative!

Posted by PatchMD.com on 4/1/2019 to B12 Energy Plus Patch

Are you thinking about trying vitamin B12 shots to increase your nutrient levels? Perhaps you’re worried that you’re deficient and want to learn more about your options. Or you’re someone who follows a plant-based diet and think you might not be getting enough B12. Shots and injections are one form of supplementation that have proven to increase vitamin levels quickly and efficiently. But they also come with side effects and drawbacks which need to be weighed up carefully. In this article, we examine what shots are, the pros and cons, plus some alternative options to consider.

What Does Vitamin B12 Do Exactly?

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in keeping nerves and red blood cells healthy. It also helps to form DNA which keeps your body functioning as it should. Here is an overview of the ways in which vitamin B12 supports your health.

  • Nerves - particularly important for brain function and neurological health
  • Blood cells - aids red blood cell formation which supports oxygen transport around the body
  • DNA - involved in the creation of DNA and RNA which contains the genetic code for on-going cell reproduction
  • Anemia - helps to prevent megaloblastic anemia which causes people to feel weak, tired, and lethargic
  • Co-Factor - acts as a co-factor in over 100 crucial enzyme reactions in the body

This last point is key to why vitamin B12 is so important for our health. It’s a co-factor in a reaction that converts homocysteine into methionine which is an essential amino acid. Methionine is fundamental to so many aspects of our health, from DNA and hormones to protein and fat metabolism. Without B12, your body can’t perform the tiny chemical reactions needed to create methionine. This can have serious knock-on consequences for many different areas of your well-being.

A Little Bit on B12 Deficiencies

Vitamin B12 deficiency varies by age group, ethnicity, and dietary habits. In the USA, 6% of people aged younger than 60 are deficient, compared to 20% of those aged 60 or above. In Latin America, around 40% of the child and adult population are deficient. This rises to 70% in Indian adults and 80% in Kenyan school children.

Dietary habits also play an important role in nutrient levels. B12 deficiency is more common in people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because the main food sources are meat, eggs, and dairy products. Research shows that 11% of vegans are deficient in vitamin B12, almost double that of the national average.

The risk of vitamin B12 deficiency is also higher in people who take medication or antibiotics that can alter stomach acid composition. In order for the body to absorb the vitamin, it first needs to be broken down as part of the digestive process. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is responsible for this but is less effective if it's been altered.

The next digestive step is for B12 to combine with ‘intrinsic factor’ which is a protein that’s made in the stomach. However, people with pernicious anemia can’t make intrinsic factor which means they have problems absorbing the vitamin. Other risk factors include suffering from Crohn's disease since this may mean people are unable to absorb sufficient amounts of B12 (even if they can break it down ok).

B12 Delivery Methods

This vitamin can be consumed in food, through supplements, or delivered as B12 injections. If you eat a diet that includes meat and dairy products, then you’ll likely be getting enough from food sources. However, vegetarians and vegans may want to consider B12 supplementation in order to avoid the low levels that can cause health problems. Likewise, if you fall into an at-risk age group or ethnic background, then a vitamin supplement may be beneficial.

However, oral supplements probably won’t help people with pernicious anemia, Crohn’s disease, or other conditions that cause malabsorption. Even if you’re consuming enough to meet the recommended B12 intake, your body may not actually be absorbing it from the food. In cases like this, vitamin B12 injections, IV treatments, or a supplement patch may be a better alternative. These enable you to absorb the nutrient directly into your bloodstream and bypass the digestive tract. It’s important to note that shots are only available on prescription. So, if you’re experiencing the signs and symptoms of deficiency, then schedule an appointment with a qualified health care professional who will be able to properly diagnose you.

What Are B12 Shots?

A vitamin B12 injection is a high dose shot of the nutrient. It is used to rapidly elevate the blood levels of a person who is deficient. A prescription is required in order for this type of injection to be administered. Vitamin B12 shots are injected into the muscle tissue every other day for the first two weeks (or until an improvement is seen in your symptoms). After that, you’ll need a shot every 1-3 months but this can vary based on the age of the patient as well as their medical history.

B12 Shots Risks Vs Benefits

Now let’s look at the benefits of vitamin B12 injections along with the associated risks. For people who have been clinically diagnosed as deficient, there are some definite upsides to having shots.

Increased Energy Levels

Having a vitamin B12 shot will help to restore levels to a healthy range quickly. It can improve energy availability by aiding the conversion of macronutrients into fuel. It can also treat anemia and increase the amount of oxygen that is transported by red blood cells. This is vital for helping you to feel and perform at your best.

Improved Metabolism

The increase in energy can also benefit the metabolism. Being more physically active leads to greater calorie consumption. When combined with healthy food and good quality sleep, this can result in weight loss. Moving more will naturally increase your metabolism so that you burn more energy without even trying.

Cognitive Benefits

Low B12 levels have been identified as a risk factor for both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Deficiencies in other B-vitamins like folic acid and B6 have also been linked. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to be beneficial for depression and controlling mood. This may be because of its role in nerve development which is particularly important for brain function.

Lower Chronic Disease Risk

Vitamin therapy has also been associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions like prostate cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease. Homocysteine is a risk factor for several types of cardiovascular disease. Since B12 is involved in homocysteine conversion, it’s thought that it can help to naturally reduce levels. This, in turn, would decrease the likelihood of stroke, heart attack, or coronary heart disease. A clinical trial found an association between increased B12 and decreased heart disease risk.

Other B12 Benefits

Patients have also reported a number of other benefits including pain relief, clearer skin, and healthy hair. Migraine relief is associated with B-vitamins due to their role in maintaining brain function. It also plays a role in women’s health, particularly during pregnancy when it can aid fetal development. In terms of men’s health, it’s thought to increase sperm count and therefore improve fertility. And if you’ve partied too hard in Las Vegas, then some people recommend B12 for hangovers. But obviously, a shot or injection would be slight overkill in this case.

Whenever looking at dietary changes or health treatments, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons in a balanced manner. You can’t always trust expert answers so this means exploring the possible downsides as well as the scientifically proven benefits. In the case of vitamin B12, there are some negative points that it’s also worth being aware of.

One thing that many patients struggle with is compliance. Having to visit the medical center every two days is very time-consuming. Even going in on a monthly basis can be tricky, especially if you have work or family commitments. But unless you’re able to make these appointments, you’re not going to receive the full benefit.

Then there is the fact that someone is sticking a needle into your body. For most people, this isn’t something they’ll relish the thought of. It can be painful while the vitamin is administered and then sore afterward. If you have a physically demanding job or play sports, then having a sore arm on a regular basis is going to hold you back from performing at your best. It’s also possible to experience adverse reactions to injections, such as an itchy rash or infection.

There are also drug interactions to be aware of. If you suffer from a medical condition like diabetes, then it can behave in unwanted ways with prescriptions. Vitamin B12 also has the potential to be problematic when taken with antibiotics, metformin, antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors. If you experience any adverse effects or allergic reaction, then it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

An Effective Alternative to Shots & Injections

Our B12 Energy Plus patch is an effective alternative to shots and injections. It contains a high dose of vitamin B12 which equates to 160x of the minimum daily requirement. This 1000mg dosage is designed to elevate your levels of vitamin B12 quickly and easily. Because it’s a topical patch, the nutrient is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Unlike dietary supplements, the patch is effective for people who have digestive or chronic disorders that affect their vitamin absorption.

Vitamin B12 is an essential B vitamin that’s required for many bodily functions, including energy production, carbohydrate metabolism, and formation of healthy red blood cells. The patch also contains additional B vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and Biotin. These perform a unique role in maintaining proper metabolic functioning, while nutritionally supporting the body during the stress of daily living. In addition, these water-soluble vitamins play a necessary role in supporting cardiovascular health, the promotion of a healthy nervous system, and aid normal muscle function.

The B12 Energy Topical Patch is the best natural method of boosting energy, focusing attention, and reducing anxiety without the burden of pills or injections. For many decades, physicians and health experts have touted the benefits of Vitamin B12 to boost energy while creating a natural sense of well-being. You can even take B12 for hangovers! With the slow release technology of a topical patch, we provide you with 24-hour access to this positive source of health. The B12 Energy Patch is a safe, effective and inexpensive alternative to prescription injections and oral supplements. In addition, our effective delivery system avoids the negative absorption issues of these other methods.

Try the B12 Energy Patch today and discover this natural source of energy for yourself. Learn more about the patch and read its numerous 5* reviews here.

 

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