B12 supplement side effect: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that helps to keep your metabolism in check. B12 is found in many foods, especially animal products.
Also available in supplement form, vitamin B12 is involved in regulating metabolism, aiding in the formation of red blood cells, and maintaining the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 is also required for the proper function and development of the brain.
Vitamin B12 is said to help with a host of health concerns. For instance, research suggests that vitamin B12 may preserve your eyesight as you get older, fight heart disease, aid stroke recovery, and rev up your defense against some forms of cancer.
Other purported uses include to enhance mood, increase energy, improve memory, stimulate the immune system, promote healthy sleep, and slow the aging process.
So far, scientific support for the claim that B12 in excess of the daily requirements can treat any health condition is fairly lacking. Here’s a look at some of the studies that have been done.
When applied to the skin, vitamin B12 may help fight eczema. For a 2004 study from the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers assigned 49 eczema patients to eight weeks of twice-daily treatment with a placebo or a cream containing vitamin B12. By the study’s end, those using the vitamin B12 cream had experienced a greater decrease in the severity of their eczema (compared to those using the placebo cream).
Taking vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine (an amino acid thought to increase heart disease risk when it is present in elevated levels). According to a 2000 report from Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, daily supplementation with both 0.5 to 5 mg of folic acid and about 0.5 mg of vitamin B12 may significantly reduce homocysteine levels.
Early research indicates that vitamin B12 may protect against some forms of cancer. In a 2003 study from Cancer Causes & Control, for instance, scientists examined the dietary habits of 214 women with cervical dysplasia. (A condition marked by abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix, cervical dysplasia can lead to cervical cancer if not treated.) Analyzing their findings, the study’s authors determined that women who use vitamin B12 supplements and have a high intake of folate, riboflavin, and thiamin may be less likely to develop cervical cancer.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Injections of vitamin B12 have been shown to be effective in combatting B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency is most common among adults over age 50, vegetarians, vegans, people who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery, and people with digestive disorders (such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease).
Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include anemia, loss of balance, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, and weakness.
Although vitamin B12 is likely safe for most people when taken in reasonable amounts, it may cause certain side effects including diarrhea, blood clots, itching, and severe allergic reactions. In addition, combining vitamin B12 with chloramphenicol (an antibiotic medication) may produce harmful effects.
Vitamin B12 should be avoided by people with Leber’s disease (a type of eye disease). When taken by people with Leber’s disease, vitamin B12 can damage the optic nerve and possibly contribute to blindness.
It’s important to keep in mind that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.
Dosage and Preparation
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg/day for people ages 14 and older. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 from food, talk to your doctor about using vitamin B12 supplements. The appropriate supplemental dose for you may depend on factors including your age, gender, and medical history.
What to Look For
You can get enough vitamin B12 by consuming foods that contain this important micronutrient. To get your fill of vitamin B12, include the following foods in your diet:
- Fortified cereal (1.5 to 6 mcg per serving)
- Wild rainbow trout (5.4 mcg per 3-ounce serving)
- Sockeye salmon (4.8 mcg per 3-ounce serving)
- Plain yogurt (1.4 mcg per cup)
- White tuna (1 mcg per 3-ounce serving)
- Milk (0.9 mcg per cup)
- Eggs (0.6 mcg per egg)
- Roasted chicken (0.3 mcg per half-breast)
If you choose to take a supplement, you may take vitamin B12 in pill or capsule form. A liquid extract is also available.
Vitamin B12 is also available in a cream to use topically. Speak to your health care provider to make sure you use the correct form of vitamin B12 to meet your health needs.
Vitamin B12 Injections
Vitamin B12 injections are typically used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency in people who have trouble absorbing the vitamin (such as individuals with digestive disorders). Although some proponents suggest that vitamin B12 injections can also help promote weight loss, there’s no evidence to support this claim.
If you’re considering the use of vitamin B12 for a health condition (or are concerned that you’re not getting enough B12 in your daily diet), talk with your healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis first, then discuss whether a supplement or diet change is appropriate for you.
Vitamin B12: Overdose and Side Effects
- You cannot overdose on vitamin B12 because any excess you simply pee out.
- If you get b12 shots, you may experience side effects like dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
- It is possible to have elevated B12 levels in blood tests, which may indicate cancer or diabetes.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
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Vitamin B12 plays a key role in many bodily functions, like making red blood cells and supporting the nervous system.
Because of B12’s importance, many people choose to supplement it. Here’s what you need to know about the side effects of taking vitamin B12 supplements and whether it is possible to take too much.
No, you cannot overdose on B12
It is highly unlikely that someone could take too much B12, says Natalie Allen, RD, a clinical assistant professor of biomedical sciences at Missouri State University.
The Institute of Medicine has not established a tolerable upper intake level of B12 because studies show no adverse health effects when taking excess levels of B12, either through food or supplements.
Medical term: A tolerable upper intake level is the highest level of nutrient intake that does not pose any adverse health effects for the majority of people.
The different types of water-soluble vitamins — and how to get enough of them
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in water and is quickly absorbed by the body. It is stored in the liver and whatever your body doesn’t use is excreted through urine, Allen says. Even in high doses, your body can only absorb a fraction of B12 supplements. For example, a healthy person taking a 500 mcg oral B12 supplement will only absorb about 10 mcg.
Although uncommon, it is possible to have elevated B12 levels in a blood test, says Sheri Vettel, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
A serum B12 level between 300 pg/mL and 900 pg/mL is considered normal and levels above 900 pg/mL are considered high.
Elevated levels of B12 could be indicative of certain health concerns, Vettel says, including:
If you have elevated levels of B12, your doctor may run other tests to determine the underlying cause.
Vitamin B12 side effects
Side effects from vitamin B12 supplementation are rare, and only occur with B12 injections, not oral supplementation, Allen says. Vitamin B12 injections are typically used to treat a deficiency in people who are unable to absorb adequate amounts of B12.
The absorption rate from B12 injections is higher than it is from taking supplements, Allen says, which is why it can cause side effects.
Side effects from B12 shots
How much vitamin B12 per day
The recommended amount of vitamin B12 per day is the same for both men and women but varies by age. Here is a breakdown:
Important: Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin B12 to support both themselves and their growing fetus or nursing newborn. Pregnant women need 2.6 mcg of vitamin B12 a day and breastfeeding women need 2.8 mcg.
Most people are able to get enough vitamin B12 from their diets, Allen says, so widespread supplementation isn’t necessary. There are some groups who may benefit from or need to supplement due to a B12 deficiency. These include:
- Individuals with pernicious anemia, a condition that causes their bodies to be unable to adequately absorb vitamin B12.
- Older adults over the age of 60 because the stomach lining produces less stomach acid as we age which is needed to absorb B12.
- Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders, like Crohn’s or celiac disease. These conditions can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb B12.
- Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass surgery. These procedures can result in a loss of cells that secrete intrinsic factor — a protein in the stomach needed to absorb B12.
- Vegetarians and vegans who eat minimal animal products, which are rich in B12.
While there’s no upper limit to how much vitamin B12 you can take, there are general dosage recommendations.
For example, the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group recommends that vegans consider supplementing with 250 mcg of B12 per day.
Before starting any kind of supplement, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about your diet and health history to determine what supplements you might need and how much you should take.
The Institute of Medicine has not established a tolerable upper intake level of B12 because studies show no adverse health effects when taking excess levels of B12, either through food or supplements.
Side effects from B12 supplementation are rare, but possible when receiving B12 injections. Some people may need B12 supplementation due to certain conditions that inhibit absorption. Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about whether or not you should supplement with B12 and how much you should take.
Cyanocobalamin – vitamin B12 used to treat and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia
The amount of cyanocobalamin you need depends on the level of vitamin B12 in your blood and why your levels are low. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on what dose to take.
The usual dose for:
- diet-related deficiency is 50 micrograms to 150 micrograms, taken once a day
- B12 deficiency not caused by your diet is one to two 1,000 microgram tablets, taken once or twice a day – this is usually if you cannot have vitamin B12 injections
In children the doses may be lower.
If you are taking supplements that you have bought, follow the dosage instructions that come with them.
How to take it
Swallow prescribed cyanocobalamin tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or break them.
It’s usually best to take the tablets on an empty stomach. This means at least 2 hours after a meal or snack and at least 30 minutes before you eat again.
For cyanocobalamin supplements that you buy, follow the instructions that come in the packet.
Will my dose go up or down?
To see how well your tablets are working, your doctor may ask you about symptoms such as tiredness and lack of energy. You may also have regular blood tests to monitor the levels of vitamin B12 in your blood.
Your doctor may want to increase or decrease your dose of cyanocobalamin tablets depending on the level of vitamin B12 in your blood.
What if I forget to take it?
If you forget to take cyanocobalamin tablets, take your usual dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the missed dose and take your next one as normal.
Never take more than your usual number of tablets at one time. Never take extra tablets to make up for forgotten ones.
If you forget your tablets often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.
What if I take too much?
Taking an extra dose of cyanocobalamin tablets is unlikely to harm you.
B12 Shot Side Effects – Do They Outweigh the Risk?
Medically reviewed by Leann Poston, M.D. on 9/29/20
As vitamin B12 continues to gain popularity and attention, many are beginning to wonder what the B12 shot side effects and benefits are? Can this supplement really be as great as everyone keeps saying it is with no risks or side effects? While this treatment still fascinates us today and poses many questions, the history of the development of B12 shots is just as interesting.
In the 1850s, pernicious anemia was essentially a fatal condition – in today’s medicine, pernicious anemia is easily treated with B12 supplements. However, in the 1850s, patients suffered from abnormal gait, exhaustion, and inevitably they ended up in the hospital before they passed. It wasn’t until the 1920s when Georges Richard Minot and William Parry Murphy determined that certain foods (red meat and liver) effectively treated anemia in dogs. Almost 50 years later, Robert Woodward, an organic chemist, successfully synthesized vitamin B12. From this discovery, modern medicine created treatments based on the discovery of vitamin B12’s role in anemia and the successful synthesis of its complex structure.
Thankfully, conditions caused by vitamin B12 deficiencies are incredibly treatable through vitamin B12 supplements. Understanding the B12 shot side effects and benefits can help you manage your expectations of vitamin B12 as a treatment and whether a B12 shot it the best form of treatment.
Vitamin B12 – What It is and What It Does
Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is an important factor in DNA synthesis, the metabolism of every cell within the body, the maturation of developing red blood cells, and the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids. Because vitamin B12 is such an integral component in the function of a healthy body, maintaining the proper levels of B12 within the body is absolutely necessary to sustain a properly working nervous system and a healthy red blood cell count.
Vitamin B12 is most commonly sourced through foods that come from animals such as fish, red meat, eggs, dairy, cheese, and other dairy products. Those who are vegan or vegetarian sometimes source their B12 through fortified cereals. While many people can consume and absorb the proper amount of vitamin B12 through their dietary choices, many people cannot sustain the proper levels of B12 within their body, which can lead to dangerous conditions if left untreated.
Vitamin B12 deficiencies are rare in otherwise healthy individuals; however, those at an elevated risk at groups who do not consume a diet with animal-sourced food, as well as those suffering from other health conditions. Groups at an increased risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Adults over 50
- Those with low gastric intrinsic factor
- Those with a low amount of stomach acid
- Those taking certain medications
- Gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease
- Those who have had weight loss surgery, bowel resection, or surgery on another part of the digestive tract
- Those who take metformin and acid-reducing medications
- Those with specific genetic mutations, such as MTHFR, MTRR, and CBS
- Those who regularly consume alcoholic beverages (NIH, n.d.)
If someone fits into one of these at-risk groups, it is best to consult your doctor in considering whether or not you should undergo testing to determine if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Presently, no one test determines whether or not someone is deficient in vitamin B12. Doctors must consider both lab results and clinical conditions to reach a diagnosis.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
Before considering both the B12 shot side effects and the B12 shot benefits, it is important to understand the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Individuals cannot procure vitamin B12 without a prescription, and in order to obtain a prescription, you must be deemed deficient. It can be especially tricky to reach this diagnosis as there is no “gold-standard” test, and symptoms can long go unnoticed or be contributed to other causes.
Consider that vitamin B12 is responsible for so many bodily functions; the displayed symptoms and affected body systems can vary greatly. Another problem is that symptoms and their onset tend to increase gradually, again making it hard to connect the dots between symptoms and cause. Listed below are just a few of the symptoms caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Abnormal reflexes
- Tingling, numbness, or other neuropathies
- Impaired sense of position
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Dizziness, vertigo, or balance issues
- Difficulty walking or abnormal gait
- Confusion or memory loss
- Restless legs
- Vision problems
- Anger and irritability
- Personality changes
- Mania and/or psychosis
- Violent and antisocial behavior
- General weakness
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- White appearance; pallor
- Fatigue or general tiredness
- Coordination and balance problems while walking
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory loss
- Sleep issues
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen tongue.
- Fast heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Mouth pain
- Weight loss
Keeping an eye out and paying close attention to these symptoms can help in accurately diagnosing a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you think you may be deficient in vitamin B12, it is important to contact a health care professional and schedule a consultation.
Also read – How to Buy BPC-157 Online Safely
Treatment for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Fortunately, there are many options in modern medicine to safely and successfully treat vitamin B12 deficiency. There are three main treatment methods – a change in diet, oral supplements, and vitamin B12 injections. For those who aren’t receiving enough vitamin B12 as a result of food choices may be able to treat their deficiency by incorporating more vitamin B12 rich foods in their diets.
However, for those deficient as a result of age, a genetic mutation, stomach issues, or those taking certain medications, a change in diet may not be enough to treat a vitamin B12 deficiency. These individuals will likely have to supplement their diet with an oral B12 supplement or a B12 injection. Oral supplements are considered inferior to the vitamin B12 injections as they take longer to absorb, and some of the nutritional value is lost during digestion in the stomach.
For those receiving B12 shots as a treatment to a B12 deficiency, there are a few different forms, or vitamers, of synthesized vitamin B12 that can be used to handle the deficiency. These include:
- Cyanocobalamin – This vitamer is used for food fortification, multi-vitamin products, and dietary supplements. Cyanocobalamin is suitable for these methods of treatment because of its stability during processing and storage.
- Hydroxocobalamin – This vitamer is typically found within the pharmacology. Due to its water solubility, it is commonly used for intramuscular or intravenous injections. Also used to reverse the effects of cyanide poisoning, this vitamer is the preferred course of treatment for those with intrinsic cobalamin metabolic disease and those with optic neuropathy as a symptom of pernicious anemia.
- Adenosylcobalamin – This vitamer is an active cofactor form of vitamin B12. It naturally occurs in the liver and is active in the mitochondria.
- Methylcobalamin – This vitamer is an active form of B12 that works with several enzymes to create amino acids, produce red blood cells, repair DNA, and assist with other essential physiological processes. This form of B12 is typically administered through injections and oral supplements.
Determining the right course of treatment for a vitamin B12 deficiency is between the patient and their healthcare provider. Above all, the most important thing is that the deficiency is properly treated, treatment is working well, and the quality of the patient’s life is improving.
Vitamin B12 Shot Benefits
There are both vitamin B12 shot side effects and vitamin B12 shot benefits. Many of the benefits associated with the vitamin B12 shot include better mood, increased energy, alleviating anemia symptoms, weight loss, and many more. Though keep in mind, that these benefits are realized when a vitamin B12 deficiency is reversed. As with any treatment, it is incredibly important to weigh both the risks and benefits associated with the course of treatment. To give you a better idea, listed below are the benefits associated with vitamin B12 shots:
- Helping with red blood cell formation which may boost energy and endurance
- May support heart health by decreasing homocysteine levels
- May help prevent cognitive decline
- Anemia prevention (NIH, n.d.)
- May reduce the risk age-related macular degeneration
- May improve sperm count (Penn State, 2011)
While these are only some of the benefits associate with vitamin B12 shots, it is easy to see that vitamin B12 is responsible for so many functions within the body. Considering a deficiency can cause harm to many systems within the body, understanding the benefits of the B12 shot and know how it could improve the quality of your life is very important to leading a safe and healthy life.
Also read – What is the Right BPC-157 Dosage?
B12 Shot Side Effects
Just as it is important to understand the benefits of the B12 shot, it is also incredibly important to know the B12 shot side effects. Before anyone makes a decision regarding their health, it is imperative that they know the risks and the benefits. Understanding both the B12 shot side effects, as well as the B12 shot side effects at the injection site, is important because it empowers you to make a decision regarding your treatment that is fully informed.
B12 shot side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Swelling at the injection site
- Mild diarrhea
- Swelling in the body
- Low potassium
- Skin rash
- Pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure (in early treatment)
- Vein thrombosis
- Polycythemia vera
- A very rare, but serious allergic reaction causing swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, and difficulty swallowing or breathing (anaphylaxis)
- High blood pressure immediately after injection
- Cold symptoms
- Burning skin
- Pink or red skin discoloration
- Joint and muscle pain
- Facial swelling
- Increase and blood volume and red blood cells
Considering the B12 shot side effects listed above, it is important to understand that some of these side effects are more common, while others are incredibly rare. This is another important discussion topic to bring up with your health care provider when evaluating your diagnosis and considering treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common concerns and questions people have when considering a vitamin deficiency and the B12 shot side effects and benefits associated with this specific treatment. Read below to see if a question you may have is present or use these topics as a way to start a conversation with your health care provider.
Are Vitamin B12 Shots More Effective Than Vitamin B12 Oral Supplements?
Both methods of treatment can deliver the desired results, and the majority of the “success” of treatment is determined on a case-by-case basis and what is most comfortable and effective for the individual patient. Some studies have shown that a high-dose, oral vitamin B12 was as effective as an intramuscular injection; however, other studies have determined that oral B12 supplements aren’t as fully absorbed during the digestive process. It’s best to talk with your doctor to determine which form of treatment is best for you.
Are Vitamin B12 Shots painful?
While this is somewhat dependent on the individual’s tolerance for pain, B12 injections are mostly considered to be relatively painless. Injections given into the muscle typically present some pain, swelling, and itching at the injection site. However, these symptoms are mild and wear off pretty quickly.
Any time we are faced with unfamiliar medical treatments, it is understandable to have questions and concerns. It makes sense to wonder if the benefits outweigh the B12 shot side effects. Considering how important vitamin B12 is to the optimal function of your body; it seems as though the answer would be, yes.
When you’re ready to talk to your doctor about your prescription for your vitamin B12 deficiency, you will want to ensure that you are sourcing your vitamin B12 supplement from the best place possible.
A great place to source your vitamin B12 supplement is through Invigor Medical. This trusted, U.S. Pharmacy provides high-quality methylcobalamin to those deficient in vitamin B12 with a prescription for an injectable supplement.
To learn more about Invigor Medical and how it can treat your possible B12 deficiency visit – https://invigormedical.com/
Also read – How Can You Get a Cellular Regeneration or Healing Boost?
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Pernicious Anemia. Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pernicious-anemia
- Penn State Hershey. (2011). Vitamin B 12 (Cobalamin). Retrieved from http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000332
Methylcobalamin Injection – B12 Injections, Usage, Side Effects, Dosage
Methylcobalamin injections , not to be confused with Cyanocobalamin Injections, are a form of vitamin B12 commonly used in natural medicine. Studies have indicated that this form of the vitamin may be effective in resolving and/or preventing vitamin B12 deficiencies, as well as for various other purposes. Methylcobalamin is one of the active metabolites of Vitamin B12 and has a critical role in the methylation process. It cannot be used as a singular source of vitamin B12, but must be combined with other forms of this vitamin as well.
Methylcobalamin is available in several forms, including topical solutions, oral preparations and injectable medications. Each of these forms is used for different purposes. Injections of methylcobalamin avoid the digestive tract and may be more rapidly available for the body to use. According to the Natural Medicines Database, methylcobalamin, also known as Methyl B12, is considered likely safe when used appropriately. However, high doses of this vitamin may cause adverse effects. Below is some basic information specific to methylcobalamin injections, their side effects, possible drug interactions, appropriate dosages and contraindications.
HOW IT WORKS:
- Supports brain cell health & nerve function
- Supports sleep, mood & memory
- Regulates healthy homocysteine levels
Methylcobalamin Injection Uses
Methylcobalamin injections are prepared to be delivered intravenously or intramuscularly. Injectable methylcobalamin doesn’t pass through the digestive system, which means that it is likely to have a quicker effect on the body compared to oral pills.
According to the Natural Medicines Database, injectable methylcobalamin has been used for the following purposes:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Fatigue and tiredness
- The prevention or treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency
Effectiveness of Methylcobalamin Injections
According to the Natural Medicines Database, research has shown that methylcobalamin injections are effective for several different purposes, including the treatment or prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency, pernicious anemia and Imerslund-Grasbeck disease.
Studies have also shown that injectable methylcobalamin is likely effective for the treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia and cyanide poisoning. In addition, methylcobalamin injections may be effective for age-related macular degeneration.
Studies have shown that methylcobalamin injections may not be effective in the treatment of stroke or circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Likewise, current research indicates that injectable methylcobalamin has no significant effect on cognitive performance.
Methylcobalamin Injection Dose
Methylcobalamin injections should always be administered by a trained medical practitioner, to ensure the correct dosage is used and to reduce the risk of side effects.
The Natural Medicines Database reports that methylcobalamin injections are considered likely safe when used appropriately. However, because of the risks associated with higher dosages of vitamin B12, taking the right dose of injectable methylcobalamin is highly recommended.
The proper dosage typically varies based on the vitamin’s intended purpose, your treatment goals and your tolerance level. Depending on the circumstances, you may need more or less methylcobalamin. Talk to your doctor to determine the dosage that is appropriate for you.
Methylcobalamin Injection Side Effects
Methylcobalamin injections may cause the following side effects:
Some people have also had allergic reactions to methylcobalamin injections. If you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction because of methylcobalamin injections, seek medical treatment immediately.
The body requires a certain amount of vitamin B12 in order to function properly. However, too much vitamin B12 can be dangerous. Studies have found that high levels of B12 may be linked to decreased survival rates in elderly patients who are hospitalized.
High levels of vitamin B12 have also been identified as a sign of adult-onset Still’s disease. Furthermore, some studies have suggested a link between too much vitamin B12 and the development of lung or prostate cancer.
Taking Methylcobalamin Injections Safely
Methylcobalamin injections may interact with certain prescription medications and supplements, including chloramphenicol, folic acid, potassium and vitamin C.
People who suffer from certain conditions, including megaloblastic anemia, Leber’s disease, cobalt sensitivity and cobalamin sensitivity, should not take methylcobalamin injections unless otherwise directed by a licensed physician.
Because high dosages of methylcobalamin may cause severe symptoms and adverse effects, you should never take more of this vitamin than you need. When beginning supplementation for the first time, start with a low dose and gradually increase the amount you consume.
Before beginning methylcobalamin injections or any other supplement, talk to your doctor to make sure that the supplement is safe and appropriate for you. If you begin experiencing worrisome symptoms while taking methylcobalamin injections, discontinue your use of the supplement and talk to your doctor.
How to Detect & Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Aging Adults
Everyone knows that vitamins and nutrition are important for health, and many older adults take a multivitamin.
But did you know that even among older persons who do this, many still end up developing a serious deficiency in one particular vitamin?
It’s Vitamin B12.
If there’s one vitamin that I’d like all older adults and family caregivers to know more about, it would be vitamin B12.
(Second on my list would be vitamin D, but it’s much harder to develop low vitamin D levels if you take a daily supplement, as I explain in this post. Whereas vitamin B12 deficiency does develop in many older adults who are getting their recommended daily allowance.)
A deficiency in any vitamin can be catastrophic for health. But vitamin B12 deficiency stands out because a) it’s very common — experts have estimated that up to 20% of older adults may be low in this vitamin — and b) it’s often missed by doctors.
Geriatricians also like to pay attention to vitamin B12 because a deficiency can cause — or usually worsen — cognitive impairment or walking problems.
But if you know the symptoms and risk factors, you can help ensure that you get a vitamin B12 deficiency detected. Treatment is safe and effective, as long as you catch the problem before permanent damage occurs. Here’s what to know.
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Harms Health
In the body, vitamin B12 – also known as cobalamin — is especially vital to making red blood cells, and maintaining proper function of nerve cells. When vitamin B12 levels are low, a person can develop health problems related to red blood cells and nerve cells malfunctioning.
The most common problems related to low vitamin B12 levels include:
- Anemia. This means the red blood cell count is low. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the blood, so anemia can cause fatigue or shortness of breath. The breakdown of faulty red blood cells can also cause jaundice. (Learn more about anemia here: Anemia in the Older Adult: 10 Common Causes & What to Ask.)
- Neuropathy. This means that nerves in the body are not working well. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including tingling, numbness, burning, poor balance, and walking difficulties.
- Cognitive impairment. This means that nerve cells in the brain are not working well. This can cause memory problems, irritability, and even dementia.
You may have heard that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause pernicious anemia. But in fact, the term “pernicious anemia” means a specific vitamin B12 deficiency caused by the loss of a body’s ability to make “intrinsic factor.” The body needs intrinsic factor to absorb vitamin B12; without it, vitamin B12 levels eventually drop. This often causes anemia, but sometimes symptoms of nerve and brain problems occur first.
Why Low Vitamin B12 Levels Are Common in Older Adults
To understand how low vitamin B12 levels happen in aging adults, it’s good to start by learning how the body usually obtains and processes this vitamin.
In nature, vitamin B12 is available to humans only in meat and dairy products. However, in modern times, you can easily get it via a supplement or multivitamin. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. Experts have estimated that a Western diet contains 5-7 micrograms of vitamin B12, and a multivitamin often contains 12-25 micrograms.
Once you ingest vitamin B12, it is processed by acids and enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. The processed vitamin is then absorbed by the small intestine and stored in the body, especially in the liver.
This stash can actually meet the body’s needs for a few years; although vitamin B12 is essential, only a tiny bit is needed every day. So if a healthy person stops taking in vitamin B12, it often takes a few years before the body runs out of it and develops symptoms.
So why does vitamin B12 deficiency particularly affect older adults?
As people get older, their ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases. This is because aging adults often develop problems with the acids and stomach enzymes needed to process the vitamin.
Common risk factors for low vitamin B12 levels in older adults include:
- Low levels of stomach acid. This can be due to weakening of the stomach lining, or to medications that reduce stomach acid.
- Medications such as metformin (used for diabetes), which interferes with vitamin B12 absorption.
- Alcoholism, which irritates the stomach and sometimes is linked to a poor diet.
- Surgeries to remove parts (or all) of the stomach or small intestine.
- Any problem that causes poor absorption in the stomach or small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease.
Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Often Missed in Aging Adults
Vitamin B12 deficiency is often missed because the symptoms – fatigue, anemia, neuropathy, memory problems, or walking difficulties – are quite common in older adults, and can easily be caused by something else.
Also, vitamin B12 deficiency tends to come on very slowly, so people often go through a long period of being mildly deficient. During this time, an older person might have barely noticeable symptoms, or the symptoms might be attributed to another chronic health condition.
Still, a mild deficiency will almost always get worse over time. And even when an older adult has many other causes for fatigue or problems with mobility, it’s good to fix whatever aggravating factors – such as a vitamin deficiency — can be fixed.
Unlike many problems that affect aging adults, vitamin B12 deficiency is quite treatable. Detection is the key; then make sure the treatment plan has raised the vitamin B12 levels and kept them steady.
Who Should Be Checked for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
An older person should probably be checked for Vitamin B12 deficiency if he or she is experiencing any of the health problems that can be caused by low levels of this vitamin.
I especially recommend checking vitamin B12 levels if you’re concerned about memory, brain function, neuropathy, walking, or anemia.
To make sure you aren’t missing a mild vitamin B12 deficiency, you can also proactively check for low vitamin B12 levels if you or your older relative is suffering from any of the common risk factors associated with this condition.
For instance, you can request a vitamin B12 check if you’re vegetarian, or if you’ve suffered from problems related to the stomach, pancreas, or intestine. It’s also reasonable to check the level if you’ve been on medication to reduce stomach acid for a long time.
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Diagnosed and Treated
The first step in checking for deficiency is a blood test to check the serum level of vitamin B12.
Because folate deficiency can cause a similar type of anemia (megaloblastic anemia, which means a low red blood cell count with overly-large cells), doctors often test the blood for both folate and vitamin B12. However, folate deficiency is much less common.
You should know that it’s quite possible to have clinically low vitamin B12 levels without having anemia. If a clinician pooh-poohs a request for a vitamin B12 check because an older person had a recent normal blood count, you can share this research article with him.
Although MedlinePlus says that “Normal values are 160 to 950 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL)”, the clinical reference UptoDate says that a normal serum vitamin B12 level is above 300 pg/mL.
If the vitamin B12 level is borderline, a confirmatory blood test can be ordered. It involves testing for methylmalonic acid, which is higher than normal when people have vitamin B12 deficiency.
In my own practice, especially if an older person has risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency, I consider a vitamin B12 level of 200-400 pg/mL borderline, and I usually order a methylmalonic acid level as a follow-up.
If the blood tests confirm a vitamin B12 deficiency, the doctors will prescribe supplements to get the body’s levels back up. The doctor may also recommend additional tests or investigation to find out just why an older person has developed low vitamin B12.
The typical initial treatment for a significant vitamin B12 deficiency involves intramuscular shots – 1000 micrograms of the vitamin. This bypasses any absorption problems in the stomach or intestine.
High-dose oral vitamin B12 supplements (1000-2000 micrograms per day) have also been shown to raise levels, because high doses can usually compensate for the body’s poor absorption. However, oral treatments probably take longer to work than intramuscular shots. So they’re not ideal for initially correcting a deficiency, although they’re sometimes used to maintain vitamin B12 levels.
I’ve found that most older patients prefer oral supplements over regular vitamin B12 injections, which is understandable; shots aren’t fun. However, this requires the older person to consistently take their supplement every single day. If you (or your older relative) has difficulty taking medications regularly, scheduled vitamin B12 shots are often the better option.
And the good thing about vitamin B12 treatment is that it’s basically impossible to overdose. Unlike some other vitamins, vitamin B12 doesn’t cause toxicity when levels are high.
So if you’re being treated for vitamin B12 deficiency, you don’t need to worry that the doctors will overshoot. You just need to make sure a follow-up test has confirmed better vitamin B12 levels, and then you can work with the doctors to find the right maintenance dose to prevent future vitamin B12 deficiency.
Are There Other Benefits To Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements?
Since we know vitamin B12 is necessary for proper function of red blood cells and brain cells, you might be wondering if it’s good to take higher doses of vitamin B12 as part of a healthy aging approach.
It certainly won’t hurt, since vitamin B12 doesn’t cause problems at higher blood levels the way some vitamins do.
But once an older person has a good level of vitamin B12 in the body, it’s not clear that additional vitamin B12 will reduce the risk of problems like cancer or dementia. To date, much of the research on the benefits of extra vitamin B12 has been inconclusive.
However, research has definitely confirmed that a deficiency in this essential vitamin is harmful to the body and the brain, with worse deficiencies generally causing greater harm.
So to help yourself or a loved one make the most of this vitamin, focus on detecting and treating vitamin B12 deficiency. Remember, this common problem is frequently overlooked.
You can help yourself by asking the doctor to check vitamin B12 if you’ve noticed any related symptoms, or by asking for a proactive check if you have any risk factors.
Older adults often have enough health problems to deal with. Let’s make sure to notice the ones that are easily detectable and treatable.
Have you had any challenges related to vitamin B12 deficiency? I’d love hear from you in the comments below.
Treatment with high dose vitamin B12 been shown to be safe
- Out of fear of overdosing vitamin B12, treatment is often reduced to below the frequency that is needed by the patient, or, even worse, treatment is stopped completely.
- As a result, symptoms can reoccur again and again and even become irreversible.
- It is very clear this fear of overdosing is based on a misunderstanding. For over 60 years high dose vitamin B12 treatment has been used without any signs of the danger of an overdose.
- The Dutch National Health Counsel and the Regional Disciplinary Medical Board of Eindhoven have stated clearly that vitamin B12 is non-toxic.
- Clinical research and the treatment for cyanide poisoning have shown that even extremely high doses of vitamin B12 and the serum values that go with it are harmless.
A decennia long history of safe treatment
In 1926 it was discovered that patients with pernicious anaemia could be saved from a certain death by eating a pound of raw liver a day. More than 20 years later the substance that was responsible for that was isolated from liver extract: vitamin B12 or cobalamin. Since then numerous patients have been treated with high dose vitamin B12 worldwide. Usually per injection and often lifelong, as a deficiency is mostly caused by an irreversible absorption disorder. In all that time harmful effects have never been shown from overdose. No single case has been found in medical literature in the past 60 years.
No maximum dose
The Dutch National Health Council therefore decided not to determine a safe upper intake level for vitamin B12. In their report from 2003 “Voedingsnormen: vitamine B6, foliumzuur en vitamine B12” the council joined expert commissions from the American Institute of Medicine and the Scientific Committee for Human Food from the European Union, who had already reported 3 years earlier that toxicity from high dose vitamin B12 poses no real danger.1
Of course, like with any medical treatment, side effects can occur. Acne, eczema and itching seldom occur and very rarely anaphylactic shock. Changing brands of vitamin B12, forms of B12 (cyanocobalamin vs hydroxocobalamin), or switching from injections to tablets can be a solution in those (rare) cases.
Misunderstandings about blood and reference values
Yet often physicians reduce injections or even stop treatment altogether out of fear of overdosing B12. The result is that many patients are left with recurring or lasting symptoms, which could be relieved by more frequent injections. After an injection the serum B12 value rises quickly, well above the upper reference value (on average 150-700 pmol/L), followed by a slow decrease. Apparently the underlying thought is that it is necessary to keep the value between the (upper and lower) reference values. However the blood level of serum B12 rises regardless of therapeutic effectiveness.2
A high serum B12 value does not mean that symptoms are treated sufficiently. This presumption can have damaging effects for patients with neurological symptoms, which can become irreversible with insufficient treatment.
Treatment based on symptoms instead of blood values
The recommended treatment in the Netherlands consists of a hydroxocobalamin injection of 1mg every two months, after an initial loading dose of 10 injections in 5 to 10 weeks.3
No reference is made to the serum value or a danger of overdosing, unlike for instance in case of a vitamin D or A deficiency. The lack of danger of an overdose is further underlined by the advice to treat patients with neurological involvement with two injections a week for up to two years, if necessary. This also emphasizes that symptoms and not blood values should be used as a guideline. If serum values were decisive, even patients with neurological involvement could suffice with the maintenance dose of one injection every two months after the initial loading dose.
Elevated serum B12 values in serious conditions
Maybe the concern for a possible overdose is caused by the knowledge that some life-threatening diseases can be accompanied by a strong increase in the B12 blood value, in some cases to even 30 times the upper reference value.4
In blood diseases like leukemia, polycythemia vera and hypereosinophylic syndrome, the cause is often an enhanced production of the transport protein haptocorrin, to which most of the circulating B12 in blood is bound.
In liver diseases such as acute hepatitis, live cirrhosis and liver cancer, elevated B12 values are often found because the liver is no longer capable of storing vitamin B12.
Elevated B12 values are always cause for further testing, but of course, to the contrary, it cannot be concluded that elevated levels after B12 injections leads to serious disease.
Scientific literature offers numerous examples from which it can be concluded that treatment with high dose B12 up to very high serum values is no cause for concern.
- In the treatment of children with an inborn error in the production of transcobalamin II, the binding protein that transports B12 to the cells, serum values are kept at levels of 10 000 pg/ml (about 7 400 pmol/L) without any side-effects.5
- Japanese research from 1994 into the effects of B12 therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis shows that a daily tablet with 60 mg methylcobalamin during six months is non-toxic. Half of the patients even started with two weeks of daily 5 mg B12 injections straight into the blood. 6
- In the fifties, when chemotherapy wasn’t available yet, children with neuroblastoma (a tumour of the autonomous nervous-system) received 1 mg B12 injections every other day during 2 to 3 years in a London children’s hospital. From 1957 the dose was adjusted to 1 mg per 7 kilograms of body-weight. In the majority of patients the tumour disappeared wholly or partially and the chance of survival was considerably increased.7
- In 1999 in Japan, kidney dialysis patients with polyneuropathy, received 0.5 mg methylcobalamin 3 times a week intravenously for 6 months. Because of lack of renal clearance, serum values rose to more than a hundredfold from 422 pmol/L on average to 54 000 pmol/L, with 67 000 pmol/L as highest value, without side-effects. 8
- Also in Japan, in 2007, patients with the incurable neurodegenerative disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) received daily injections with 25 mg methylcobalamin for 4 weeks, followed by daily injections of 50 mg intravenously, followed by 50 mg a week. In the long term, treated patients survived for longer because of this, than did untreated patients.9
Megadoses B12 as lifesaving antidote
The safety of vitamin B12 treatment is further illustrated by the decennia long use of hydroxocobalamin as an antidote for cyanide poisoning, often caused by smoke inhalation. In the Netherlands ambulances, fire departments and emergency rooms have the Cyanokit at their disposal. In life threatening situations 5 g hydroxocobalamin is given intravenously within 15 minutes, an amount that corresponds with 5 000 injections of 1 mg B12.10 Hydroxocobalamin reacts in the body with cyanide, and forms cyanocobalamin, which is excreted in urine.
The serum value of B12 can rise to an average of 560 000 000 pmol/L within 50 minutes.11 If necessary this treatment is repeated within several hours, making the total dose 10 grams. The side effects that occur, like reddening of the skin and urine and changes in heart rate and blood pressure are temporary and harmless. In short: 10 000 injections a day are still not enough for an overdose of vitamin B12.
Regional Disciplinary Medical Board: vitamin B12 cannot be overdosed
In 2009, the Regional Disciplinary Medical Board in Eindhoven stated very clearly that an overdose is not possible: “There can be no question of an overdose of hydroxocobalamin, as the excess is excreted in urine by the kidneys and therefore cannot accumulate in the body.12 The Medical Board ruled against a patient who claimed his deteriorating health was due to the continued treatment with B12 injections. The patient received monthly injections for 10 years. The physician was not rebuked because the patient was treated according to guidelines.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause many different symptoms, among which are serious neurological problems. The treatment with high dose B12 injections is not only completely safe but fortunately also very effective. With the right treatment patients can recover completely. Starting straight away with treatment is essential, as is the continuing treatment in order to give the body enough B12 to fully recover. Therefore it is essential that patients are no longer exposed to the real danger of irreversible symptoms because of the imaginary fear of overdosing.
Life Extension, Complete Bioactive B Complex, 60 Vegetarian Capsules
- Contains Active B Vitamins with Enzymes
- Food Supplement
- Non GMO LE Certified
Normal Vitamin B levels can support energy production in the body , the functioning of all organs, cognitive function and necessary metabolic processes. BioActive Complete B-Complex contains biologically active forms of vitamin B6, B12, niacin, biotin, folate 5-MTHF and other ingredients, making an excellent way to obtain B vitamins.
How to choose the B vitamin that’s right for you? Each form of the vitamin affects health, so it is important to get exactly what your body needs.
Benefits of a complete bioactive complex of B vitamins
- Promotes healthy metabolism of glucose, fats and alcohol
- Supports energy processes in the body
- Promotes normal organ function, cognitive health and more
- Helps replenish potential vitamin B deficiencies
What is Pantothenic Acid?
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid supports hemoglobin synthesis, hormones and neurotransmitters, and the oxidation of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
Why add pyridoxine and pyridoxal?
Vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxal-5′-phosphate affects the metabolism of amino acids and fats, the functioning of neurotransmitters and the synthesis of hemoglobin.
100 mg vitamin B1 (thiamine). Thiamine helps convert carbohydrates into usable energy. In addition, it supports the normal functioning of the nervous system and the production of RNA and DNA.
75 mg vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Our product contains vitamin B2 in the form of riboflavin and riboflavin-5′-phosphate, the active form of the nutrient.The body converts riboflavin to riboflavin-5′-phosphate and then uses it to produce energy.
100 mg vitamin B3 (niacin). Niacin is involved in the transport of energy. It promotes healthy metabolism of glucose, fat and alcohol. In addition, it supports healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.
500 mg vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Vitamin B5 is an important cofactor in energy metabolism, hormone synthesis, neurotransmitter signaling, and fatty acid oxidation.
100 mg vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxal 5′-phosphate). Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of amino acids and fats. Along with vitamin B5, it is a cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 is also involved in gluconeogenesis, the process of making glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. Pyridoxine must be converted by the liver to pyridoxal 5′-phosphate before the body can use it, and our supplement already contains it ready-made.
1000 mcg biotin. This B vitamin is a cofactor for enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism. It is also important for maintaining metabolic homeostasis, i.e. balance between many chemical reactions and processes in the body.
400 mcg folic acid (5-MTHF). Folate helps maintain normal red blood cell production and helps the body produce and maintain healthy DNA. The active form of folic acid is up to seven times more bioavailable than folic acid.In addition, the Complete Bioactive B Complex contains 50 mg of para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) to stimulate folate synthesis.
300 mcg Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin). Vitamin B12 affects nerve cell development and heart health by maintaining healthy levels of homocysteine that are already within the normal range. Methylcobalamin B12 is a biologically active form of the vitamin that acts in the brain.
100 mg of inositol. This form of vitamin B is the main component of the phospholipids that make up the cell membranes.Inositol is required for the transduction of calcium and insulin signals, unique chemical reactions during which molecules attach to a receptor on the cell membrane.
A complete bioactive B-complex vitamin that fully meets the body’s daily need for vitamin B, allowing you to get the maximum health benefits from it. It is a great addition to any balanced diet.
Excessive intake of vitamins B6 and B12 increases the risk of hip fracture
According to a new American study, older women who take dietary supplements with high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 have a higher risk of hip fracture.
Older women who take dietary supplements with high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 have a higher risk of hip fracture, according to a new US study.
While some previous studies have linked both of these vitamins to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, the results have been mixed, and some work has also linked B6 and B12 to fractures in the elderly, the authors note in JAMA Network Open Journal .
According to current US dietary guidelines, women over 50 should get 1.5 mg of B6 per day, and girls and women aged 14 and over should get 2.4 micrograms (one thousandth of a milligram) of vitamin B12.
In the new study, researchers followed 76,000 American nurses for an average of 21 years, conducting dietary surveys every four years. Nearly all women consumed more vitamins B6 and B12 from foods and supplements than recommended.About 2,300 of them suffered hip fractures during the study, with half under the age of 76.
Compared to women who had the lowest intake of both vitamins, women who consumed the most (at least 35 mg B6 and 20 mcg B12) had a 47% higher risk of hip fracture. Half of the women in the study took at least 3.6 mg of B6 and 12.1 mcg of B12 daily.
“Many people take vitamin supplements without clear directions, and high-dose supplements of these vitamins are readily available in pharmacies and on the Internet,” says study lead author Dr. Haakon Meyer of the University of Oslo, Norway, stressing that high doses of vitamins can have unexpected side effects.
Vitamin B6 helps the body maintain a healthy metabolism and immune system. It is found in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, peas, potatoes, and other vegetables. B12 helps the body produce red blood cells and is found in shellfish, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
However, it is possible that the study group of women (mostly white middle-class women) does not reflect the overall picture. Experts advise, therefore, to consult a doctor before taking vitamin supplements and only take them if there is a deficiency of these vitamins.
90,000 Vitamins for the eyes – what to take and will it improve vision?
Human health largely depends on whether the body has enough certain vitamins and minerals. This also applies to vision. There are vitamins and minerals that have a positive effect on the condition of the eyes. With an unbalanced diet, the body may lack certain nutrients, and in this case, vision problems arise.
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However, it should be understood that vitamins for vision are not able to “cure” myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.These disorders are associated with the irregular shape of the eyeball and the features of the refractive media of the eye, and it will not be possible to correct this by taking any vitamins or biologically active additives (dietary supplements). However, it is worth taking vitamins if you are tormented by questions:
- how to normalize the eyes;
- how to slow down age-related changes in the retina;
- How to provide nutrition to the retina in the presence of its degeneration, which can occur with a high degree of myopia.
Most vitamins are not synthesized in the body. This means that nutrients must come from the outside, with food. But, firstly, a person may not eat certain foods, simply because he does not like them.
Secondly, there are seasonal products that periodically disappear from store shelves or become much more expensive, while eyes need vitamins all year round. That is why it is recommended to use various vitamin complexes and dietary supplements that compensate for the lack of substances that the body needs.But in order to avoid possible problems, before starting the course, you must definitely get specialist advice from !
What vitamins are good for eyes
Vitamin A, or retinol, strengthens the cornea of the eye and has a positive effect on visual acuity. If the body lacks it, problems appear with the synthesis of the visual pigment rhodopsin, so-called night blindness occurs – the inability to clearly see objects at dusk or in the dark. Color perception may also be impaired.Vitamin A is found in blueberries, carrots and grapefruit, beef and pork liver, and fish oil. Its daily allowance for an adult is 1.5 mg.
Vitamins do not cure vision defects, but can normalize eye function
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is responsible for the smooth transmission of nerve impulses between the visual system and the brain, and also helps to normalize intraocular pressure. It is found in wholemeal wheat bread, soybeans, peas, spinach, and also in pork and beef kidneys and liver.An adult man needs from 1.2 to 2.1 mg of thiamine per day, and a woman – from 1.1 to 1.5 mg.
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is an excellent vitamin for vision; it improves blood circulation in the vessels of the eye. It also has a positive effect on color perception and night vision. An important source of this substance is sunflower seeds, it is also found in green vegetables and eggs. An adult needs from 1.5 to 3 mg of riboflavin per day.
Vitamin B6, or cyanocobalamin, ensures normal blood circulation in the eyes and stable functioning of nerve fibers.Sources of cyanocobalamin are eggs, liver and fish. The daily human need for it is approximately 4 mg.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is responsible for the blood supply to the eyes and provides additional protection against ultraviolet radiation. It is an antioxidant, and thanks to it, the eyes suffer less from oxidative stress. Vitamin C is found in blueberries, rose hips, carrots, many other berries, vegetables and fruits, and beef. An adult man needs up to 90 mg of this vitamin per day, and a woman – up to 75 mg.
Vitamin E, or tocopherol, like vitamin C, protects the eyes from oxidative stress. It increases the elasticity of the capillaries and improves their permeability. Tocopherol is found in carrots, sea buckthorn, spinach, broccoli, eggs, liver, vegetable and butter. The daily requirement of the body is: for an adult man – 10 mg, for a woman – 8 mg.
Among the substances beneficial to the eyes, it should also be noted:
- beta-carotene – it has an antioxidant effect and is comparable in effectiveness to vitamin A, while, unlike ascorbic acid, when taken in large doses, it does not have a toxic effect on the body.Beta-carotene is found in carrots, pumpkin, melon, apricots, blueberries, tomatoes and many other fruits, vegetables and berries, especially yellow and orange;
- lutein – fights against age-related changes in the retina and helps prevent lens clouding; sources of lutein – spinach, parsley, peas, pumpkin;
- zinc is an antioxidant substance, and it also improves the absorption of vitamin A; found in wheat bran, legumes, potatoes, nuts, red meat;
- selenium – also has antioxidant properties and can slow down age-related retinal degradation; its sources are sunflower seeds, pink salmon, tuna, chicken eggs, cottage cheese, beans;
- anthocyanins – substances useful for vision, contained primarily in blueberries and black currants, perform many useful functions: they act as antioxidants, strengthen the walls of retinal blood vessels, and improve vision at night;
- flavonoids – these substances strengthen blood vessels and have a positive effect on collagen fibers in the cornea, and they are contained in dark chocolate, in which the proportion of cocoa is at least 75%;
- polyunsaturated fats and fatty acids from tuna, salmon and other fish, as well as cod liver, have good antioxidant properties.
The body needs a variety of vitamins for vision and other beneficial substances that are found in many foods. It is not always possible to balance your menu in such a way as to get everything your eyes need. In addition, other organs also need certain nutrients to function normally. Therefore, it makes sense to pay attention to specially selected vitamin complexes.
In order for the body to receive enough beneficial vitamins, it is necessary to provide a varied diet.
Hypervitaminosis is an excess of one or another vitamin in the body.In some cases, consuming a certain substance in excess will not affect your health in any way. But there are vitamins for eye vision, an overdose of which can be dangerous. An example of this is retinol or vitamin A. If there is much more of it in the body than is required, consequences such as:
- Vitamin B12 malabsorption;
- formation of kidney stones;
- increased irritability;
- dry skin.
Therefore, vitamin A can be replaced with beta-carotene, which, even if consumed excessively, does not cause negative effects. The main side effect of an excess of beta-carotene in the body is discoloration of the skin, especially on the palms and soles. The skin turns yellow, but this effect is temporary and wears off quickly.
How to choose vitamins for vision
Vitamins and dietary supplements are not considered medicines, so you can buy them at the pharmacy without showing a doctor’s prescription.But it is still worth to contact an ophthalmologist and get advice from him. This is necessary in order to:
- choose the most effective option;
- to avoid the risk of hypervitaminosis.
Your lifestyle and the state of the body as a whole matter. For example, not all vitamins can be consumed during pregnancy. And for children, special complexes are most often developed, taking into account the age norms of the need for vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins that improve vision are necessary primarily for people over 40 years old. They can slow down age-related changes in the structures of the eye. It is also worth using them for people with certain diseases – hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus. These diseases entail an increased risk of impaired blood supply to the eyes. But vitamins will be useful to everyone who wants to normalize the functioning of the organs of vision.
Most vitamin complexes, dietary supplements and other similar non-medicinal products that have a positive effect on the eyes can be divided into three main groups:
- based on carotenoids – primarily contain beta-carotene and / or lutein;
- based on anthocyanins;
- universal – they contain both carotenoids and anthocyanins.
However, for the normal functioning of the eyes, other substances, vitamins and microelements are also needed. They can also be part of one or another complex.
When choosing the right product, pay attention not only to its cost. The first thing to look closely at is the composition. It is necessary to look not only at what vitamins and other substances are contained in a certain complex, but also at their percentage.
Often, manufacturers include in their products a large number of auxiliary components that do not affect vision in any way.
You should also find out if there have been any vitamin studies that have caught your attention. Usually, information about studies and their confirmed efficacy and safety is in the instructions.
In addition, the instructions must indicate contraindications and possible side effects.
From the instructions you will learn about how and with what frequency it is recommended to take vitamins.
Vitamins are offered in various forms.It can be:
- solutions – they are produced for those who, for whatever reason, cannot swallow tablets and capsules, and are most often intended for children.
It is quite convenient to use tablets for vision and capsules: most manufacturers have a dosage of 1 pc. in a day.
If you need vitamins for a child, be sure to read the instructions to clarify from what age you can take this or that complex or dietary supplement.
It is important to remember that vitamins for vision alone do not cure any disease or correct myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. They can help normalize eye function and slow age-related changes. This means that it makes no sense to consume them in large quantities, especially since in this case there is a risk of hypervitaminosis.
Fresh foods are preferable to vitamin complexes
Do not forget that fresh products are tastier for eyesight than a variety of extracts.Therefore, if you have a choice between fresh blueberries and a vitamin complex based on blueberry extract, you should prefer the berry. And it is better to make your diet balanced, add more healthy foods to the daily menu, and use vitamins when the body really needs to replenish the lack of any substances.
If you have any questions, be sure to consult with a specialist. An ophthalmologist will help you choose vitamins that will be useful for you.
90,000 what is needed for, how to take, dosage, benefits and harms to the body
The use of B12 for hair and facial skin is widespread, since metabolic disorders are the main cause of hair loss and poor hair growth and various skin rashes. But still, the main reason for which vitamin B12 is used is to combat anemia or anemia. It was thanks to this disease that B12 was discovered. Previously, anemia was considered an incurable disease, but at the beginning of the 20th century, during experiments, it was revealed that the consumption of a large amount of liver significantly accelerated the recovery of animals after artificially induced anemia.This hypothesis has been confirmed in people suffering from anemia. Subsequently, scientists were able to obtain the necessary extract from the liver, and in 1934 vitamin B12 itself was discovered. Since 1950, it has ceased to be obtained from the liver of animals, since they have learned to synthesize it with the help of bacteria.
The exact dosage of vitamin B12 is difficult to establish due to the many characteristics of the body. Scientists set only the minimum required dosage values for B12:
Scientists do not set a maximum threshold, although it is noted that 6 μg / day will be enough to meet all the body’s needs.However, to assimilate vitamin B12 from food, 2 stages are required:
Some people have a deficiency of the Castle factor, which promotes the absorption of the vitamin, so a person needs to take many times higher dosages to restore B12 levels. But an increase in dosages will also be required in cases where the deficiency is caused not by this deviation, but by some other factor. For example, doctors often prescribe B12 for vegans and vegetarians, since plant foods contain virtually no vitamin B12.The main sources of B12 are the following foods:
Often, a deficiency is observed in athletes, as exhausting workouts consume all vitamins, micro- and macroelements faster. Alcohol abuse and regular smoking also negatively affect B12 levels, significantly impairing its absorption.
Forms of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 comes in various forms, slightly differing in structure and method of administration.For example, hydroxycobalamin is administered only intramuscularly or intravenously – it is not absorbed by other means. Cyanocobalamin can be injected not only into muscles and veins, but also into the spinal canal and under the skin. The listed methods of taking the vitamin provide the best absorption, however, they are quite painful and unpleasant. Oral administration — taken by swallowing — is the least effective way to treat the deficiency, but in the absence of serious illness, this is what doctors prescribe. Methylcobalamin form is best absorbed in this way – it is this form that is used in dietary supplements with B12.
The most popular supplements are from the following manufacturers:
This American company produces quality dietary supplements at budget prices. They release vitamin B12 in the form of lozenges, which must be chewed or dissolved on the tongue; it is not required to take the drug with water. Each jar contains 60, 100, 120, 250 lozenges, each of which contains 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 mcg of the substance.Before taking Methyl B12 and choosing a dosage, you should consult your doctor.
Solgar is another top rated nutritional supplement company. They release B12 in pill form, which can also be chewed or dissolved under the tongue. One tablet is enough per day, it should be taken half an hour before meals or right during meals. The most common packages of 30 and 60 tablets, which contain 1000 or 5000 mcg.
Vitamin B12 is also produced by such popular companies as Olimp, Natrol and Doctor’s Best. There is also no doubt about the quality of their products. Many companies also produce complex supplements containing different B vitamins – they will also be useful for B12 deficiency.
You can order sports nutrition in the KULTURIST # 1 online store anywhere in Russia. More detailed information about delivery can be found on the page “Delivery and payment”.
B12 side effects
B12 is a natural vitamin that everyone eats, so it doesn’t cause harm. Even a multiple excess of the dosage is not dangerous for humans, since B12 is a water-soluble substance – all excess will simply be excreted from the body. The process of assimilation of a vitamin is arranged in such a way that the absorption of each additional unit of a substance worsens: the less vitamin in the body, the more of it will be assimilated.At the moment when the vitamin will be enough in full, its absorption will practically stop. It is for this reason that dosages are used in dietary supplements that are dozens of times higher than the daily norm – B12 will not cause side effects.
However, there is a statistical study from Theodore M. Brasky which claims that daily excess of the vitamin dosage over the years increases the likelihood of lung cancer in men. It is noteworthy that this effect was not observed in women.No other similar studies have been conducted to confirm or refute this claim.
Important! Before taking vitamin B12, it is still best to consult a doctor, and without obvious signs of a deficiency, it is better not to take the supplement.
How to take B12?
If vitamins are taken by injection, then only a trained person should take them. Intravenous and intrathecal injections are especially dangerous – they are practically not used even in medical institutions.The safest and most convenient form for taking vitamins is the use of dietary supplements in the form of tablets or lozenges. The best time to consume is before meals or right with meals. B12 is not available in capsules, so it is best to chew or dissolve the pill in your mouth before swallowing.
The duration of the course is set by the doctor. For non-critical deficits, the course is about 4 weeks. If the patient has serious problems with the B12 level, then regular monitoring by the attending physician is necessary to check the vitamin level in the body – the doctor must monitor how the body reacts to higher dosages and, if necessary, adjust the treatment.
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Why is it so important to take vitamin and mineral complexes?
According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the number of people among the adult population of Russia who are deficient in vitamins and minerals is quite high.The reasons for the insufficient supply of vitamins and minerals include unbalanced nutrition and quality of products, the nutritional value of which decreases with the use of modern production technologies. During pregnancy, breastfeeding, as well as during intense exercise and infectious diseases, the need for vitamins increases. Among the consequences of a deficiency of vitamins and minerals, one can single out the development of diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and impaired immunity [1,2].The use of vitamin-mineral complexes is a solution in case of insufficient intake of vitamins with food.
Taking complexes or vitamins separately?
It is advisable to take vitamin-mineral complexes, since there are so-called inter-vitamin functional connections of micronutrients in the body. In many cases, vitamins enhance their effects. For example, vitamins of group B enhance each other’s action, and a lack of vitamins C, B2, B6, E and folic acid causes functional deficiency of vitamin D.To eliminate polyhypovitaminosis and restore the full-fledged vitamin status, it is necessary to take a set of vitamins, and higher doses provide a faster effect. 
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 VM Kodentsova, DV Risnik Vitamin and mineral complexes for adults with a high content of vitamins // Medical Alphabet / 2018, Vol. 2, No. 31, p. 15-20
 Limanova O.A. Micronutrient supply and women’s health: intellectual analysis of clinical and epidemiological data // Questions of gynecology, obstetrics and perinatology / 2014. T.13, No. 2 p. 5-15
90,000 Vitamin B12, or cobalamin | Tervisliku toitumise informatsioon
Vitamin B 12 is unique because it is the only vitamin that contains the mineral cobalt.Vitamin B 12 is also called cobalamin. In products, primarily of plant origin, there are inactive compounds similar to vitamin B 12 .
12 is needed:
- for the normal metabolism of amino acids,
- for the prevention of various types of anemia (for example, it participates together with folates in the synthesis of red blood cells),
- for the normal development of nervous tissue.
Signs of vitamin B deficiency 12 may appear only after 5-6 years.With insufficient absorption of nutrients, this deficiency can occur in vegetarians. Some amounts of vitamin B 12 are also produced by the microflora of the body, but its assimilation by the body is questionable. Also known is the bacterium spirulina obtained from algae, which contains various forms of vitamin B 12 , which, unfortunately, are inactive in the body. Vegetarians , who do not consume food of animal origin at all, therefore need vitamin B 12 in the form of a dietary supplement.Certain plant-based milk replacers (such as soy, oat and rice drinks) can be fortified with vitamin B 12 and are an important component of vegan diets. Clinical symptoms of vitamin B deficiency 12 usually form after a lack of vitamin B in food for many years or due to its decreased absorption. Getting enough vitamin B 12 is extremely important for normal blood formation and neurological processes.Lack of vitamin leads to degeneration of the spinal cord and brain, as well as peripheral nerves, resulting in macrocytic, megablastic anemia and / or neurological symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies can only occur in adults who have been vegan for many years and have not used food supplements with B 12 or fortified foods with B 12 . It can also be observed in children whose families adhere to this dietary pattern.If the deficiency of this vitamin in the body is not identified in a timely manner, the consequences can be permanent deterioration in mental health and paralysis.
Chronic excessive intake of vitamin B 12 is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
The best sources of vitamin B 12 are liver, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, cheese, pork, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt.
Recommended daily intake of vitamin B 12:
The recommended daily intake of 3 μg contains on average:
- 2 g braised beef liver,
- 40 g heat-treated salmon,
- 100 g heat-treated beef,
- 110 g turkey,
- 130 g boiled eggs,
- 140 g cheese,
- 550 g cottage cheese,
- 750 g milk.
Vitamin B12 – benefits and harms, norms and content in products
When we hear about vitamin B12, we always think: “Oh, we are talking about cyanocobalamin!”. But this is not the case. This compound is just one of the representatives of a number of substances, which are united under the general name “vitamin B12”.
Doctors don’t talk about this (or maybe they don’t know), but the cyanocobalamin molecule contains a bluish CN-group, and the molecule itself belongs to cyanides (these are poisons!).But at the same time, more natural, natural and safer forms of vitamin B12 are known. At the same time, there are a large number of pseudovitamins B12, which clutter up the body and do not perform the necessary physiological functions.
At the same time, cobalamins are involved in the most important processes: in the synthesis of amino acids, new blood cells, myelin (nerve sheaths) and more. Therefore, let’s talk about everything in more detail and in order.
Contents of the article
History of the discovery of vitamin B12
Thomas Addison 1795-1860
In the 1850s, the English doctor Thomas Addison gave a description of the fatal (or pernicious) form of anemia, which was assumed to arise against the background of the pathology of the gastric mucosa and the absence of acid in the stomach cavity (in modern terms, atrophic and anacid gastritis).
As described by Addison, the patients had signs of macrocytic anemia, glossitis, and symptoms of peripheral nervous system damage such as paresthesias and abnormal gait. This disease was not treated and it was invariably fatal.Patients became emaciated and even those who were hospitalized had no hope of recovery. This state of affairs continued for about 75 subsequent years.
First Nobel Prize.
George Richards Minot , an American pathophysiologist and hematologist, M.D. from Harvard, believed that such patients could be treated with a specially selected diet. In 1923, he began working with William Parry Murphy , basing his research on the writings of George Whipple and Johns Hopkins.Whipple bled the dogs to make them anemic, and then determined what food they consumed would help red blood cell regeneration. Meat of cattle and poultry, some vegetables, but best of all – liver were effective.
In 1926, at a meeting in Atlantic City, Minot and Murphy reported a sensational discovery: they were able to cure half a hundred patients from a fatal form of anemia by adding large amounts of raw liver to their food. Moreover, “clinical improvement was evident, usually within 2 weeks.”
There was much skepticism about the results of this work at the time, but Minot, Murphy, and Whipple received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research in 1934.
“A few years ago, pernicious anemia was a disease from which all patients were sure to die. All were confident that such patients would die within 1 year. But now this condition is no more dangerous than measles or other minor illnesses. A person suffering from pernicious anemia will have the same life expectancy as if he did not have it at all, but with proper treatment.
William P. Meur Phi .
On December 12, 1934, Murphy delivered his Nobel Lecture and in the closing paragraph stated: “Rather than expanding further on the details and results of treatment for pernicious anemia, I will now, with your permission, present a movie that will illustrate more and more clearly than I could summarize here. ” This video is shown below.
Of course, the video quality leaves much to be desired, but do not forget that it was 1934! For those years, such a recording was modern and indicative.The video demonstrates the noticeable recovery of patients after liver treatment.
Some of the typical symptoms of pernicious anemia are fatigue, weight loss and staggering gait. Of course, it is easy to diagnose a patient with a B12 deficiency these days before the patient has these obvious signs.
However, the active ingredient in the liver, which led to the recovery of patients, was not found. Only three years later William Castle , also from Harvard, discovered that an unknown substance in the stomach was associated with the development of the disease, since after resection (removal) of the stomach, patients often died from pernicious anemia, while the liver did not work as a medicine.He postulated that a certain “intrinsic factor” present in the gastric mucosa is necessary for the normal absorption of an “external factor” (that is, vitamin B12). In patients with fatal anemia, the “intrinsic factor” was absent. Later it was found that the “intrinsic factor” is a protein-glycoprotein, which is synthesized in special gastric cells of the mucous layer.
Second and third Nobel Prizes.
In 1948, the “external factor” was isolated in its pure form from the liver tissue.The discovery was published (several weeks apart) by Karl Folkers in collaboration with employees at pharmaceutical company Merck, and Edward Lester-Smith in collaboration with employees at pharmaceutical company Glaxo. The new substance was named “Vitamin B12” .
In 1955, thanks to the work of an English organic chemist, Alexander Robertus Todd , the general chemical structure of the vitamin became known to scientists. Just two years later, for this discovery, the scientist received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.And in 1956, the English chemist and biochemist Dorothy Hodgkin , based on crystallographic data, determined the complete chemical and spatial structure of the molecule of this vitamin. For this and other discoveries, as well as for the general contribution to the development of science, in 1964 D. Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Indeed, the cyanocobalamin molecule is a real giant, and to find out its exact structure you need to be a great scientist!
Spatial-chemical structure of vitamin B12
Cobalt (Co +) and the associated CN- group are present in the structure of the molecule.Based on the names of chemical elements, scientists received: cyano-cobal-amine . Its structure resembles chlorophyll and heme (an element of hemoglobin).
In 1971, organic chemist Robert Woodward (himself a 1965 Nobel laureate) announced the successful synthesis of vitamin B12 after ten years of effort. The disease, which was previously fatal, could now be easily cured with injections of pure vitamin B12 and without any side effects.All patients have fully recovered and the world has forgotten about such a disease as pernicious fatal anemia.
Nobel laureates for discoveries related to vitamin B12
Scientists who received the Nobel Prize for discoveries related to vitamin B12
Varieties of vitamin B12
With the development of science and technology, modern scientists have established that vitamin B12 is not only cyanocobalamin. This is a whole group of substances:
- Cyanocobalamin (B12) is the most chemically stable of all B12 vitamins.Contains CN-group (cyano group) and by and large refers to cyanides , which in the overwhelming case are poisons. This form of the vitamin is obtained only when artificially extracted from the tissues of living organisms. It is impossible to find cyanocobalamin under natural conditions.
- Hydroxocobalamin (B12a) is a modified form in which the nitrile group –CN is replaced by the hydroxyl group –OH. In this form, the vitamin is present in the body of animals. When exposed to an acidic environment, hydroxocobalamin can be reversibly transformed into aquacobalamin.
- Aquacobalamin (B12b) – in this form the vitamin is synthesized by microorganisms. Once in the alkaline environment of the human body, it is transformed into an active form – hydroxocobalamin.
- Nitrocobalamin (B12c) is a natural form of the vitamin, in which the hydrocyanic group –CN is replaced by the nitrous acid group (–ONO).
- Methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and chlorocobalamin with substitution of CN-group for methyl group, nucleotide adenosine and chlorine atom, respectively.
- Cobamamide is a coenzyme form of vitamin B12.
Here I would like to emphasize once again that cyanocobalamin, well-known and so beloved by many doctors, is not a natural substance, cyanide.
Based on the studied English-speaking sources, we can say that the most natural and natural vitamin B12 is hydroxocobalamin , which a person can get only with food (or when taking special dietary supplements). Alternatively, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin can be taken at the same time, which only together provide the body with natural vitamin B12.
There are a number of compounds that are chemically similar to vitamin B12, but do not have vitamin activity for the human body (because they contain atoms of “foreign” substances). Moreover, these compounds can give false results in a biochemical blood test. The analysis will show a sufficient amount of vitamin in the blood, although in reality there are “dummies” circulating there.
Similar pseudovitamins are synthesized by bacteria and some algae, such as Spirulina or Porphyra tenera, from which nori (land algae) is made.They are also found in sewage sludge and in the intestines of some animals. Among the most famous:
- cyanocobalamin – beta, cyanocobalamin – gama, cyanocobalamin – omega;
- factor-B 12 , C-factor, G-factor, H-factor, factor III and other cyanide compounds.
Physicochemical properties of vitamin B12
Since the molecule contains cobalt, in its pure form vitamin B12 is a powder of dark red or scarlet color.Anhydrous vitamin is hygroscopic (absorbs about 12% moisture).
Like other B-group vitamins, we will dissolve in water. Solutions are pH neutral. When the temperature reaches> 300 ° C, it starts to melt.
Stable at normal temperatures and pressures. May decompose when exposed to direct sunlight.
Vitamin B12 is chemically an internal salt. Incompatible with strong oxidants and strong acids. Cobalamin complexes are very strong: the cobalt atom cannot be removed from them without the disintegration of the entire molecule.
What foods contain vitamin B12
|Approximate content of vitamin B12 in food (μg per 100 g)||Food groups|
|60-85 μg||Liver beef|
|17 mcg||Chicken liver|
|9-12 mcg||Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, mackerel|
|1 μg||Crab 0.5||Chicken egg|
|0.4-0.9 μg||Milk, sour cream, kefir, yogurt|
|0.34 μg||Chicken breast 905 81|
The values given in the table are approximate, as the cobalamin content in meat fluctuates depending on the conditions in which the animal is kept and fed.In this case, heat treatment leads to a decrease in the concentration of cyanocobalamin in food.
The intestinal microflora is capable of producing this vitamin, but the body cannot absorb it. The fact is that beneficial bacteria live in the large intestine, and the absorption of cobalamin occurs higher – in the small intestine.
Bioavailability of Vitamin B12
Although there is insufficient data on the absorption of cobalamin, experts suggest that adults with a healthy digestive tract absorb only 50% of vitamin B12.Inadequate absorption occurs when there is not enough acid in the stomach or when a protein called “intrinsic factor” is not produced in the stomach.
Daily requirement for vitamin B12
The recommended daily requirement for cobalamin is fixed at the federal level by special guidelines developed on the basis of the Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. This once again proves the importance of this connection.
|Age group||Consumption rate, μg / day|
|Children 0-3 months.||0.3|
|Children 4-6 months.||0.4|
|Children 7-12 months||0.5|
|Children 1-3 years old||0.7|
|Children 3-7 years old||1.5|
|Children 7-11 years old||2|
|Children 11-18 years old||3|
|Adults from 18 years old (regardless of gender)||3|
|Pregnant (from 20 weeks) and lactating women||Additionally 0.5|
Vitamin B12 – what the body needs it for
- It is a coenzyme for a huge number of biochemical reactions in the human body.Essential for the functioning of the Krebs cycle, a key metabolic pathway for all nutrients. That is, cobalamin is involved in the assimilation and breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- It is involved in the synthesis of myelin (a special sheath of nerves), amino acids and proteins. Thanks to the myelin sheath, the nerve impulse is transmitted along the fiber and the nerve normally performs its function.
- Participates in DNA synthesis, therefore it is extremely important for rapidly dividing cells. In particular, for blood cells, mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract and all cells of the fetus.
- Participates in the synthesis of choline (vitamin B4), converts folic acid (vitamin B9) into an active form.
- Positively influences the growth and development of muscle tissue.
The use of vitamin B12 in medicine
Based on the physiological role in the body, cyanocobalamin preparations are prescribed for various diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, for anemia, for diseases of the stomach and intestines, which prevent its absorption.
Vitamin B12 indications for use.
- Anemia. In this case, until an accurate diagnosis is established, doctors usually prescribe iron supplements, folic acid and cyanocobalamin, thereby “closing” the most common deficiencies that provoke anemic conditions.
- Myelosis is a benign tumor of the cells of the hematopoietic system.
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain tissue) and / or myelitis (inflammation of the peripheral nerve).
- Other inflammatory processes in the nervous tissue (sciatica, neuritis, neuralgia, causalgia, phantom pain).
- Traumatic and wound injuries of the nerves.
- ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the myelin sheath of nerves is affected.
- Prevention and treatment of nerve damage caused by high blood glucose levels in diabetes.
- Cerebral palsy or infantile cerebral palsy.
- Down’s disease.
- Dermatological diseases (neurodermatitis, psoriasis, dermatitis herpetiformis, photodermatosis).
- Bone injuries and conditions after surgical intervention on the bone apparatus with delayed fusion of bone tissue.
- Liver diseases – hepatitis, cirrhosis.
- Radiation sickness (develops due to exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation, ie radiation).
- For prophylactic purposes when taking biguanides (buformin, metformin , phenforminil) or paraaminosalicylic acid, high doses of vitamin C, in case of gastrointestinal diseases that interfere with the normal absorption of vitamin B12 (removal of part of the stomach or intestines, sprue, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease) …
- It has been clinically established that high doses of vitamins B1, B6 and B12 reduce the level of negative influence of polluted air on the human body.
Vitamin B12 during pregnancy
Cobalamin plays an important role in the ovulation process, therefore it is essential for conception. It is often included in the complex treatment of infertility, while taking the vitamin usually gives a good result. Deficiency conditions can provoke repeated miscarriages in women.
Like folate, cobalamin is involved in fetal cell division. The key points of vitamin application are the nervous tissue (neural tube) and the hematopoietic system.
It is important to note that cobalamin deficiency can lead to increased blood concentrations of the amino acid homocysteine. It is believed that high levels of homocysteine negatively affect the body of a pregnant woman and have a toxic effect on the fetus. In this case, intrauterine growth retardation, early childbirth (premature babies), congenital disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system can be observed.
Due to its protective effect on liver cells, vitamin B12 can be recommended as a hepatoprotector, which increases the resistance of hepatocytes to increased stress and intoxication.
To reduce the risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnant women, it is important to pay close attention to nutrition. For example, cobalamins are better absorbed from liver and meat.
At the same time, do not forget that taking Fosfalugel, Almagel, Gaviscon and other medicines for heartburn (a common problem in pregnant women) lowers the acidity of gastric juice and prevents further absorption of vitamin B12.
A positive feature of cobalamins is their long-term circulation in the body. After a single dose, the dosage of the vitamin in the blood is reduced by 2 times only after 6 days. This is the longest half-life of all B vitamins. Therefore, a pregnant woman can provide herself and the fetus with vitamin B12, consuming a small amount of it every day. At the same time, the use of cobalamin in a small dose reduces the risk of developing allergic reactions.
Congenital vitamin B12 deficiency is rare and may be associated with maternal malnutrition or alcohol abuse.Children who have experienced a lack of cobalamin during intrauterine development have a high risk of neural tube defects and, as a result, disorders of the nervous system of varying severity.
Harm and side effects of vitamin B12
Usually, taking vitamin B12 preparations occurs without any negative effects. And when you receive excess doses, this water-soluble vitamin is excreted in the urine. However, rarely can be observed:
- headaches and / or dizziness;
- hyperexcitability and sleep problems;
- pain in the region of the heart;
- heart palpitations;
- allergic skin reactions like urticaria;
High doses of the vitamin can lead to the development of hypercoagulability (increased blood clotting) and impaired purine metabolism (most often gout).
Vitamin B12 preparations:
- Cyanocobalamin in ampoules.
- Combined preparations of B vitamins – Milgamma, Kombilipen, Larigamma, Neurobion, Neuromultivit, Compligam B.
- Complex vitamin preparations and vitamin-mineral complexes – Complivit, Berokka, Supradin, Selmevit, Vitrum and others.
- Preparations with vitamin B12 and non-vitamin components, for example, Neurodiclovit or Cocarnit.
Vitamins B1, B6, B12 in ampoules
Lack of vitamin B12 in the body
Similar conditions can be observed in the case of poor and inappropriate nutrition or in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, which reduce the absorption of cobalamin. Also, a relative lack of vitamin can occur with its increased need, which can be observed in infectious and inflammatory diseases (especially chronic) and in hemolysis.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Anemia, which develops against the background of vitamin B12 hypovitaminosis, is accompanied by rapid psychoemotional fatigue, fatigue, palpitations, dizziness and headache, rapid breathing, pallor of the skin.
- Increased risk of bruising and bleeding (including bleeding gums).
- Sore tongue, gastrointestinal disturbances, diarrhea, weight loss.
- Due to damage to nerve cells, tingling and numbness of the fingers and toes, difficulty walking, frequent mood changes, depression, memory disorders, disorientation, in severe cases – dementia are observed.
- Dermatological diseases.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis.
Interaction of vitamin B12 with other substances
- A solution of vitamin B12 in one syringe is not compatible with solutions of vitamin B1 and B6, since the cobalt ion promotes the destruction of other vitamins. Therefore, you cannot buy these vitamins separately and mix them for one injection.
In preparations such as Milgamma or Kombilipen, special stabilizers have been added, which allow combining all these vitamins without harm and loss of their vitamin activity.
- Increases the risk of developing an allergy to vitamin B1.
- Pharmaceutical incompatible with ascorbic acid, thiamine bromide, riboflavin.
- Aminoglycasides (antibiotics gentamicin, streptomycin, neomycin, amikacin, tobramycin), salicylates (aspirin), drugs for epilepsy, colchicine and potassium preparations (panangin, asparkam) reduce the absorption of vitamin B12.
- Chloramphenicol reduces the effect of cobalamin on the hematopoietic system.
- Do not combine cobalamins with drugs that increase blood clotting.
Vitamin B12 is a whole group of cobalt-containing compounds that perform a complex of important biochemical functions. These substances are of the greatest importance for normal hematopoiesis, for the full functioning of the nerve fiber of the brain and peripheral nerves. Compliance with the intake of vitamin B12 is essential for the normal course of pregnancy.
The discovery of this compound helped to save people from a disease that was fatal at that time. At the same time, the researchers received as many as three (!) Nobel Prizes for the study of cobalamin.Five scientists have received awards. Thanks to their work, vitamins of group B (including cobalamin) are included in the standards of treatment of diseases of the nervous and hematopoietic systems, some diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
It is important to emphasize once again that cyanocobalamin contains a cyanogen CN-group, and the molecule itself belongs to cyanides (these are poisons!). Yes, it is believed that there is not much cyanide in the molecule and it does not have a pronounced negative effect on the body. As well as cyanides, which a person consumes together, for example, with vegetables or fruits.But, you see, all this adds up to the toxic load on the body.
Pay attention to your diet and, if necessary, use vitamin supplements hydroxycobalamin (or complex methylcobalamin plus adenosylcobalamin ) to reduce the risk of developing a deficiency, since it is always easier (and cheaper) to prevent the disease than to subsequently treat it.