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As a part of the vitamin B complex, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is unique among all the water-soluble vitamins in that it is not excreted quickly in the urine. Rather, vitamin B12 is accumulated and stored in the liver, kidney, and other body tissues. As a result of this storage factor of vitamin B12, a deficiency in this vitamin may not manifest itself or show its symptoms until after five or six years of diet with inadequate supply of vitamin B12.
By making sure you do have enough Vitamin B12 in your body, you can avoid permanent nerve damage with associated symptoms like
- pins and needles,
- memory loss,
- attention deficit disorder,
- and mood swings.
Vitamin B12 shots are designed to provide the user with a boost in energy and a prolonged source of energy to use during the day.
The main benefit of vitamin B12 in food is to function as a methyl donor. By working with folic acid, it plays an important role in the synthesis of DNA the genetic material of all cells.
Red Blood Cells: Vitamin B12 appears to promote and maintain the normal function of healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 in food is also vitally important in maintaining the health of the insulation sheath or the myelin sheath that surround all nerve cells. Thus, lack of vitamin B12 in the body may sometimes result in neurologically related conditions.
White Blood Cell production: Vitamin B12 also assists in white blood cell production. White Blood Cells are crucial to keeping the immune system strong. Another way vitamin B12 benefits the body is by properly maintaining the nervous system and helping to keep nerve cells healthy, which keeps the brain functioning the way it should. The B12 vitamin also assists in the creation and regulation of DNA, which is present in every cell in the body. Since this nutrient is also a very powerful antioxidant, it helps fight off free radicals which researchers have said can lead to cancer.
Depression: Observational studies have found as many as 30% of patients hospitalized for depression are deficient in vitamin B12. A cross-sectional study of 700 community-living, physically disabled women over the age of 65 found that vitamin B12 deficient women were twice as likely to be severely depressed as non-deficient women. A population-based study in 3,884 elderly men and women with depressive disorders found that those with vitamin B12 deficiency were almost 70% more likely to experience depression than those with normal vitamin B12 status.
Alzheimer's and Dementia: Individuals with Alzheimer's disease often have low blood levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 may help prevent mental decline In elderly. Elderly people with mild memory problems may benefit from taking very high daily doses of vitamin B to slow the rate of brain shrinkage, say researchers. A University of Oxford study found that taking vitamin B tablets every day can reduce the rate of brain atrophy in older people with mild cognitive impairment by as much as half.
Breast Cancer: Researchers at John Hopkins University compared blood samples of women with breast cancer to those without cancer. They found that women with breast cancer had vitamin B12 plasma levels that were lower than those without cancer. Other cancers that may be linked to a vitamin B12 deficiency include oral cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer. A case-control study compared prediagnostic levels of serum folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 in 195 women later diagnosed with breast cancer and 195 age-matched women who were not diagnosed with breast cancer. Among women who were postmenopausal at the time of blood donation, the association between blood levels of vitamin B12 and breast cancer suggested a threshold effect. The risk of breast cancer was more than doubled in women with serum vitamin B12 levels in the lowest quintile (1/5) compared to women in the four highest quintiles.
Cancer: Folate is required for synthesis of DNA, and there is evidence that decreased availability of folate results in strands of DNA that are more susceptible to damage. Deficiency of vitamin B12 traps folate in a form that is unusable by the body for DNA synthesis.
Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease: The results of more than 80 studies indicate that even moderately elevated levels of Homocysteine in the blood increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, though the mechanism by which Homocysteine increases the disease risk remains the subject of a great deal of research. The amount of Homocysteine in the blood is regulated by at least three vitamins: folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 (diagram). Some evidence indicates that vitamin B12 deficiency is a major cause of elevated Homocysteine levels in people over the age of 60. Two studies found blood methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels to be elevated in more than 60% of elderly individuals with elevated Homocysteine levels. An elevated MMA level in conjunction with elevated Homocysteine, in the absence of impaired kidney function, suggests either a vitamin B12 deficiency or a combined B12 and folate deficiency.
Too much Homocysteine can be very destructive to your veins and arteries. Toxic levels of this amino acid in your blood can lead to stroke, heart disease and even Alzheimer's. Vitamin B12 helps keep your Homocysteine at a safe level in your body.
Unlike many vitamins, B12 is not found in animals or plants; Vitamin B12 is exclusively produced by bacteria. When animals consume plants or drink water contaminated by these specific bacteria, the vitamin ends up being stored in their body, mostly in the liver. The main sources of vitamin B12 are meat, poultry, milk, eggs and fish. Naturally, those who follow a strict vegetarian diet have to rely on vitamin supplements.
There are some advantages to getting Vitamin B Vitamin supplements in the form of Vitamin B12 injections. Because the vitamin is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream this way, B12 injections can provide a quick energy boost. Many people who get Vitamin B12 injections notice an improvement in their energy level within a few days, if not sooner. In addition to feeling more energy, the shots can be effective in terms of clearer skin, better sleep, improved memory, and feeling less stressed.
Taking vitamin B12 as an oral tablet is another option. However, B12 pills are often not very effective. Vitamin B12 is one of the most difficult nutrients for our bodies to absorb, which is why so many people become deficient.
The fact is that Vitamin B12 is a Micro Nutrient that is used in the process of energy release. Without the presence of Vitamin B12 you could not burn calories and your energy would not be released.
One of its key functions is to help your body in the creation of red blood cells. These cells help carry oxygen to your vital organs, including your heart and brain. This oxygen is crucial in providing you the necessary energy to get through each day.
B12 also helps with white cell production, which is vital to keeping your immune system strong, which in turn keeps you healthy. Vitamin B12 is properly maintaining your nervous system and helping to keep nerve cells healthy. This in turn keeps your brain functioning the way it should.
B vitamins also assists in the production and regulation of DNA, which is present in every cell in your body. And since this nutrient is also a very strong antioxidant, it helps fight off free radicals which can lead to cancer. It is important that your body gets some vitamin B12 every day. It helps metabolize the food you eat so you can utilize it for energy. It does this by helping turn the carbohydrates in your food to glucose. When the glucose is released into your system, it gives you energy.
There are several people who opt for vitamin B12 injections as a cure for obesity. Vitamin B12 shots are directly injected into the muscles for better absorption. People who choose vitamin B12 injections for weight loss, often have a history of chronic fatigue syndrome or a vitamin B12 deficiency. There are many reason why vitamin B12 works for them.
Often vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is not diagnosed until it is moderate to severe. Having a B12 deficiency means that your body does not have enough of this vitamin. It can lead to Anemia, which means you do not have enough red blood cells to do the job and can leave you feeling week and tired.
Some Common Symptoms Associated With B12 Deficiency Are: Feeling week, tired or lightheaded Memory loss and or disorientation Having pale skin, or white spots on the skin, resulting from melatonin becoming absent in the area, have a sore, red or itchy tongue. Some may experience sores at the corners of the mouth. These are raw spots, not blisters, and they tend to come and go Numbness or tingling in your fingers and or toes Sharp stabbing pain in the palm of one or both hands Eye twitch, usually in one eye or the other.
Pernicious anemia: About 20% of the relatives of pernicious anemia patients also have pernicious anemia, suggesting a genetic predisposition. Treatment of pernicious anemia generally requires injections of vitamin B12 to bypass intestinal absorption. If the body's vitamin B12 stores are adequate prior to the onset of pernicious anemia, it may take years for symptoms of deficiency to develop. Because vitamin B12 in supplements is not bound to protein, and because intrinsic factor (IF) is still available, the absorption of supplemental vitamin B12 is not reduced as it is in pernicious anemia.
Atrophic gastritis: Atrophic gastritis is thought to affect 10%-30% of people over 60 years of age, and the condition is frequently associated with infection by the bacteria, Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori infection induces chronic inflammation of the stomach, which may progress to peptic ulcer disease, atrophic gastritis, and/or gastric cancer in some individuals. The relationship of H. pylori infection to atrophic gastritis, gastric cancer, and vitamin B12 deficiency is presently an area of active research.
Neurologic symptoms: The neurologic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include numbness and tingling of the arms and, more commonly, the legs, difficulty walking, memory loss, disorientation, and dementia with or without mood changes. Although the progression of neurologic complications is generally gradual, such symptoms are not always reversible with treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency, especially if they have been present for a long time. Although vitamin B12 deficiency is known to damage the myelin sheath covering cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerves, the biochemical processes leading to neurological damage in B12 deficiency are not well understood.
Gastrointestinal symptoms: Tongue soreness, appetite loss, and constipation have also been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. The origins of these symptoms are unclear, but they may be related to the stomach inflammation underlying some cases of B12 deficiency, or to the increased vulnerability of rapidly dividing gastrointestinal cells to impaired DNA synthesis.
Many people who struggle with Fatigue and low energy often have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
It can take 6 years or more of your body not getting adequate B12 before symptoms will begin showing up
Vitamin B12 and/or folate deficiency reflects a chronic shortage of one or both of these vitamins. Since the body stores 3 to 5 years worth of B12 and several months’ supply of folate in the liver, deficiencies and their associated symptoms can take months to years to manifest in adults. Infants and children will show signs of deficiency more rapidly, however, as they have not yet established extensive reserves.
Treatment is usually shots of vitamin B12 in your arm or another muscle. Typically injections once a month will reduce mild symptoms of deficiency within a few days. You don't need to worry about getting too much vitamin B12, because your body will pass extra vitamin B12 out in the urine. Most people feel better within days of beginning treatment. For more severe cases, an injection once a week may be necessary.
You may feel a difference in as little as 12 hours. Some symptoms may disappear completely within a few days, some may take a few months or longer to completely clear up, especially white spots. On the other hand some symptoms, such as eye twitch or nerve shock may vanish completely but then try to emerge again when you body starts getting low of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is also very important when it comes to helping your body metabolize a particular amino acid called Homocysteine. Homocysteine often referred to as HCY, can be dangerous to your health if the levels become too high. This is often due to a vitamin B12 deficiency. Too much HCY can be very destructive to your veins and arteries. Toxic levels of this amino acid in your blood can lead to stroke, heart disease and even Alzheimer's. Vitamin B12 helps keep your HCY at a safe level in your body.
If you feel the positive effects of the B12 injection then you can start to take it on a regular basis, some people opt for 1 time a week while others 1 or 2 times a month. You should be able to gauge how often your body needs a boost.
Vitamin B12 is a fairly non-toxic substance that is unlikely to cause problems in cases of an overdose. Even so, if you happen to overdose on vitamin B12, it is a good idea to seek immediate medical attention.