Are There Drawbacks to Vitamin B12 Shots?
Next Health Staff | | 0 comments
Wellness clinics like Next|Health provide a variety of booster shots and IV drips containing all types of vitamins and minerals, many of which are necessary for holistic bodily health. One of the most important vitamins is vitamin B12: a vitamin our bodies can’t produce naturally.
Because of this, lots of people have mild to moderate vitamin B12 deficiencies due to unbalanced diets or other factors. Vitamin B12 shots can be quick and easy ways to correct a vitamin B12 deficiency, but like all injections, these shots do have the potential for certain drawbacks.
Let’s break down the potential drawbacks associated with vitamin B12 shots in detail so you can determine whether this treatment will help you optimize your body at a future Next|Health visit.
Vitamin B12 and Its Importance to Your Body
Vitamin B12 is a key vitamin for a variety of important bodily processes and functions. For example, vitamin B12 is necessary for the production of DNA and red blood cells.
However, vitamin B12 is also one of the major vitamins our bodies can't produce naturally. We have to get all of our daily recommended vitamin B12 from foods or supplements. Furthermore, vitamin B12 can't be stored over the long term by our bodies, so it has to be consumed regularly to maintain adequate levels.
Adults typically need 2.4 mcg per day (which goes up to 2.6 and 2.8 mcg per day if pregnant or breastfeeding, respectively). Kids need a bit less, but all humans require at least some vitamin B12 each day.
More specifically, vitamin B12 plays an important role in DNA synthesis, which itself is vital for cellular reproduction. It's also necessary for cellular metabolism and the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids. It's one of the major building blocks for overall wellness and body functionality.
Fortunately, you can find vitamin B12 in a variety of food sources, including:
- Red meat
- Dairy products and cheese
Ensuring that you include many of these foods in your weekly diet can go a long way toward preventing a deficiency.
Vegetarians and vegans especially need to be careful and consider supplements, as most common vitamin B12 food sources do not fit with these diets.
However, there are some vegan- and vegetarian-friendly foods with vitamin B12, such as:
- Nutritional yeast
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified milk substitutes
- Plant-based meats
- Nori seaweed
Even with these food sources, carnivores and herbivores alike experience vitamin B12 deficiency. Some people have bodies that can’t absorb as much vitamin B12 as usual, or they may have one or more chronic conditions that could affect vitamin B12 levels in their blood.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Since vitamin B12 is still necessary for bodily health, deficiency in this key vitamin can lead to a number of negative symptoms, including:
- Impaired senses and balance
- Restless leg syndrome
- Vision issues
- Weakness or fatigue in various muscles
However, since vitamin B12 is necessary for so many vital things, symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Many deficiency symptoms can further appear minor or moderate, leading people to live with a deficiency for some time before getting treated.
So it can be tough for a doctor to determine that vitamin B12 deficiency is the problem, unless you’ve taken a baseline test beforehand and already know that your B12 levels are lower than they should be.
Why Take Vitamin B12 Shots?
Vitamin B12 shots are supplementary shots that provide concentrated amounts of vitamin B12 in serums. Depending on the serum you take, you might also get a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
Note that vitamin B12 shots provide your body with synthetic vitamin B12. This isn’t a bad thing – the vitamin B12 used in shots is called cyanocobalamin, which is almost identical to the natural version of B12 found in food sources. This synthetic vitamin B12 is the same type found in fortified cereals, so you may have ingested man-made vitamin B12 in your life already.
In addition to vitamin B12 shots, you can take vitamin B12 supplements in capsules, tablets, or even liquids.
But why take vitamin B12 as an injection as opposed to other methods? In short, it’s because of convenience.
At a next-generation wellness clinic like Next|Health, a vitamin B12 injection can give you all the vitamin B12 your body needs for the short term future over just a few minutes. For example, one of our IV drips can be completed in just a few minutes, providing your body with vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients or vitamins over a very short appointment. It allows you to be proactive with your nutrients to optimize your body for preventative care.
A dedicated vitamin B12 injection shot only takes a couple of seconds and is handled by a professional wellness specialist. You can also get additional vitamins with the same shot depending on what you order or what your wellness specialist recommends.
For people with busy lifestyles, taking a vitamin B12 shot is the best way to make sure they get all of their daily recommended amount of this vitamin without having to worry about adding fortified cereals or other supplements to their diets. It’s also oftentimes convenient for people who enjoy IV drips or other vitamin shots to simply add vitamin B12 to their scheduled regimen of boosters.
Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots
Due to their convenience and ease of absorption, vitamin B12 shots can provide numerous benefits.
- Increased energy
- Better mood
- Assistance with weight loss
- Assisting with red blood cell formation
- Supported heart health
- Prevention of cognitive decline
But it’s also important to note that many of these benefits will only be seen after vitamin B12 deficiency has been reversed (if that applies to your situation).
This can take several shots to correct over several weeks in total, as it takes time for your body to both absorb the vitamin B12 and use it to repair any damaged tissues or boost cell DNA synthesis back to normal levels.
Therefore, if you suspect vitamin B12 shots could be a great therapy for your deficiency symptoms, you should speak to your doctor or a wellness specialist at Next|Health. They’ll be able to test your body for vitamin B12 levels and determine whether low levels are truly the cause of any issues you are experiencing.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Even though vitamin B12 shots can be very helpful, there’s also a chance that they’ll have a few drawbacks. Fortunately, vitamin B12 is a necessary vitamin for overall health, preventative care, and optimizing your body for peak performance, so you shouldn’t experience any major allergic reactions to such shots.
But you might experience drawbacks including but not limited to:
- Minor swelling or itching at the injection site
- Mild diarrhea
- Headaches and dizziness
- Low potassium levels
- Skin rashes
As with any new injection or supplement, it’s important to speak to a wellness professional or your doctor before beginning any new regimen and to check your body for potential signs of allergic reactions. Allergies to vitamin B12 are extremely rare—rarer than common allergies like bee stings, peanut butter, or shellfish. Doing your due diligence is simply another aspect of proactive health and wellness, just like getting a vitamin B12 booster.
Is it Still Worthwhile to Take Vitamin B12 Shots?
In most cases, yes.
As seen above, most potential drawbacks from vitamin B12 shots are ultimately minor, such as slight swelling or itchiness at the injection site. These drawbacks are common to all injections, however, not just vitamin B12; they are more reactions to a needle than vitamin B12 itself.
Additionally, if you prepare ahead of time and speak to a doctor before getting a vitamin B12 shot, you’ll be able to isolate the risk of any serious drawbacks, like allergic reactions.
Anyone cleared for vitamin B12 shots shouldn’t have much to worry about, making injections one of the best ways to ensure your body has all the vitamin B12 it needs for cellular reproduction and other critical tasks.
But if you are worried, remember that other vitamin B12 supplements exist. Pills or liquids can be added to your daily diet to ensure holistic wellness even without a host.
Ultimately, vitamin B12 shots provide a convenient and effective way to ensure that you avoid vitamin B12 deficiency over the long term. When combined with other vitamins and minerals in IV drips or generalized booster shots, vitamin B12 shots can be pragmatic, efficient, and healthy, especially in individuals who are at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Want to try a vitamin B12 shot for yourself? Be sure to contact Next|Health today to speak to one of our wellness specialists. Consider taking a baseline test as well to determine whether you have low vitamin B12 levels and whether a booster shot can help optimize everything in your body with proactive, preventative care.