As with most vitamins, B12 is usually ingested simply from the foods you eat every day. B12 has many functions and is responsible for helping the body maintain the nervous system, blood cells, and metabolism. Some of the best sources of vitamin B12 include beef, lamb, fish, cheese, and eggs—many of these are foods that you probably eat every day.
So if vitamin B12 naturally occurs in food, you might be asking yourself why people would need to take injections of it. There are actually several reasons why a person might choose to receive B12 injections, including to aid with weight loss, to boost energy, or to correct a B12 deficiency.
HOW VITAMIN B12 WORKS
Vitamin B12 stimulates the body so that it more quickly converts carbohydrates into fuel and energy. It also helps your body in extracting other vitamins and nutrients from foods, a process that becomes less efficient as we age. Basically, B12 is key in helping your body to function more efficiently.
BENEFITS OF B12 SHOTS
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that it can be tough. Part of the problem with losing weight is that many people struggle to overcome fatigue and low energy levels so that they feel motivated enough to exercise. As you probably know, exercise can be the key to weight loss, so lacking the energy to exercise can be a real problem. One of the benefits of taking B12 shots is that it increases energy levels, giving you the stamina to go for that much-needed workout.
That’s not the only thing B12 can do for weight loss, however. B12 actually helps the body to process carbohydrates more effectively and boosts your metabolism; this enables the body to burn more calories and fat. That all equates to more efficient weight loss.
Another benefit of a B12 boost is that it can increase energy. Not only does this aid weight loss, but it’s a desirable effect on its own. B12 helps your body to turn carbohydrates into energy more quickly than usually happens as food works its way through the digestive system. And, because B12 helps the body to produce energy more quickly and effectively, it means that you are better able to maintain energy levels, whether it’s through a high-intensity workout or that mid-afternoon slump we all experience.
After receiving a B12 injection, many people experience a feeling of being energized almost immediately. However, unlike just drinking caffeine for a boost, B12 injections do not result in an eventual crash. Instead, they provides a steadier feeling of energy.
Some people may experience a B12 deficiency, which might necessitate B12 injections. Many of these people are vegetarians or vegans because, with no meat in their diet, they eat few foods that contain B12. People who do not eat meat aren’t the only ones at risk, however. Studies show that as many as 40% of Americans may actually have a vitamin B12 deficiency. According to some researchers, there may even be a large number of people out there who don’t even realize they are vitamin B12 deficient.
People at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include: individuals over 50, those who have acid reflux, or anyone with a digestive disease. In most cases, vitamin B12 deficiencies are due to having “a leaky gut” or an inability for the body to properly absorb B12 from the foods we eat.
So what happens if your body isn’t getting enough B12? You might exhibit any number of symptoms including low energy, poor memory, mood swings, digestive issues, general fatigue, or even numbness or tingling in the hands or feet. Luckily, if you are deficient in this important vitamin, B12 injections are one way to eliminate the problem.
TYPES OF B12 SHOTS
There are four different types of vitamin B12 shots. Though they will all provide you with B12, each is slightly different in how the body processes it or in what it contains.
This type of injection is the most affordable. It’s also the least painful type of B12 injections because it’s injected straight into the bloodstream. However, your body does have to do some work to use it, converting it first to methylcobalamin and finally to hydroxocobalamin. This type of injection won’t be very effective for people who are smokers, as their bodies may struggle to make this conversion.
This type of B12 shot is one of the more popular types. It can be slightly more uncomfortable for some people, as it is injected into muscle rather than into the bloodstream. This particular type of B12 shot is often used for weight loss purposes, as it is effective in boosting the body’s metabolism. However, for the body to use the B12, it also has to convert the methylcobalamin to hydroxocobalamin.
These injections are the most effective and they are also considered by some people to be the safest. These injections are generally more potent and, because they stay longer in the body, you do not need injections as often. Ultimately, hydroxocobalmamin injections are the most successful when it comes to how the body is able to absorb B12. Unlike methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamib, the body does not have to convert it in order to be able to absorb it.
These injections are more than just a B12 shot, including other essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Each of these is targeted at improving the function of the liver. These shots also help to boost the metabolism and promote overall feelings of wellness.
INJECTIONS VERSUS ORAL SUPPLEMENTS
In general, injections are more effective than taking oral supplements. Taking oral supplements can sometimes make it more difficult for the body to absorb the B12, mainly due to the complicated nature of the body’s digestive system. If taken orally, the body typically only absorbs about 1 percent of B12—some of it simply gets lost in your gut. Injections, on the other hand, are beneficial because the B12 is injected directly into the body’s bloodstream, basically bypassing the digestive system. This means that there is less opportunity for complications in how your body absorbs the B12.
HOW TO TAKE B12 INJECTIONS
Typically, a doctor can teach their patients how to do their own B12 injections using the same syringes that are used by diabetics. Before giving yourself a B12 injection, you will probably want to speak to your health care provider to make sure you are administering it correctly.
Depending on the reason you are taking B12 injections—whether it’s for weight loss, energy boosts, or a deficiency—and the type of B12 injection you are taking, the dosage will vary. Be sure to read the packaging on your B12 solution or to consult with your doctor. Often, dosages are administered more frequently when you first begin taking B12 injections, tapering off over time. Again, how long you take B12 and the frequency of the dosage will depend on the type you are taking and your reason for taking it.
B12 shots, depending on the type, are administered into the shoulder, hip, thigh, or upper arm, either into the muscle or under the skin. You should follow these steps when giving yourself a B12 injection:
- With medical alcohol, clean the skin at the injection site and the surface of the B12 container as well.
- Insert the need of the syringe into the container, pulling the plunger back until you have drawn the correct dosage of vitamin B12 into the dosage chamber.
- With your free hand, pull the skin around the injection sight tight.
- At a right angle, inject the needle into your skin.
- While holding the needle in place, push the plunger down until all of the B12 solution has been inserted.
- Remove the needle at the same right degree at which it was inserted.
- Use a bandage or cotton ball to apply pressure to the injection site to stop any bleeding.
- Be sure to dispose of needles properly.
SIDE EFFECTS OF B12 INJECTIONS
There are minimal side effects associated with B12 injections, but these include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or soreness and swelling at the site of the injection. As with any injection, more serious side effects—such as chest pain and irregular heartbeat—are rare but possible.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
By now you may be wondering where you can purchase B12 injections. Besides a doctor’s office, there are several places where you can buy them online. This includes including TeleWellnessMD (https://telewellnessmd.com/) and NewEdge Health (http://www.newedgehealth.com/services/b12-energy-booster). Both of these websites offer different types of injections, and their sites gives detailed information about their products.
You’ve probably heard people talking about B12 before, so now you know what all the buzz is about. If you’ve been struggling with losing weight, low energy levels or are experiencing a B12 deficiency, then B12 injections may be right for you. If you hesitate to buy these injections online or aren’t sure which is right for you, consider seeing your doctor. These injections may just be the little something extra that you need