THERAPEUTICS | B12 INJECTION

Vitamin B12 helps your body use fat and carbohydrates for energy and make new protein. It is also important for normal blood, cells, and nerves. Most people get enough vitamin B12 in their diet, but a deficiency may occur in certain health conditions (such as poor nutrition, stomach/intestinal problems, infection, cancer). Serious vitamin B12 deficiency may result in anemia, stomach problems, and nerve damage.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin B12 is 6 micrograms per day.

Deficiency is common, especially in people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. In fact, it’s thought that up to 90% of people following these diets have a deficiency as B12 is only found naturally in animal foods. However, vegans and vegetarians are not the only ones who are deficient. Even some meat eaters don’t absorb it very well.

Unlike other vitamins, the absorption of vitamin B12 depends on a protein produced in your stomach, called intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor binds to vitamin B12, so that you can absorb it into the blood. People who don’t produce enough intrinsic factor can become deficient.

Deficiency is particularly common in elderly people, because the ability to absorb vitamin B12 can decrease with age. Other people at risk of deficiency include those who have had intestinal surgery, including weight loss surgery. Those with diseases that affect the gut, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, are also at risk.

Deficient B12 risks:

Low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to a decline in brain function. Two recent reviews found that there may be a link between low blood levels and the development of dementia.

It’s been suggested that there may be a link between low vitamin B12 levels and depression.

Interestingly, low blood levels of vitamin B12 have been linked with reduced bone mass

In people aged 50 and over, adequate consumption of vitamin B12 is thought to be important for maintaining good vision and protecting against macular degeneration.