Erik Johnson, L.Ac. MSTCM, BD, DNM
It is estimated that up to 40% of the U.S. population does not get enough B12 in their diet.
Vitamins are substances that are essential in small amounts for the health, growth, reproduction, and maintenance of our body. In nature, these vitamins are never isolated – they are part of complex plant or animal-based foods which the body absorbs and utilizes when introduced into our diets. While we would ideally like to get all of our vitamins from the daily foods that we consume, there are numerous factors that prevent individuals from getting these important compounds from food alone. In this blog post, we will briefly cover the importance of one of these vitamins – B12. We will also explore the common reasons for B12 deficiencies and the various supplemental forms for you, including our newest form of B12 that is available now at The Healing Center.
Common Symptoms of a B12 Deficiency
- Impaired mental functionality – poor memory, brain fog, confusion, anxiety, depression, irritability, etc…
- Muscular weaknesses – overall muscle weakness, tender calves, numbness and/or tingling in your extremities, etc…
- Low energy – general fatigue (especially in the afternoon), shortness of breath, pale complexion, lightheadedness, dizziness, anemia , blurry vision, sensitivity to light, etc…
The Benefits of B12
B12 is known as a necessary component for numerous functions in the body, including (but not limited to):
- Formation of DNA and red blood vessels
- Maintaining a healthy metabolism and digestion
- Synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones
- Energy production
- Gene and enzyme regulation
- Athletic prep or recovery
Common Reasons Behind a B12 deficiency
- A vegan or vegetarian diet with no animal products
- Auto-immune disorders
- An Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in your gastrointestinal tract
- Frequent use of antacids, PPIs, or other acid blockers
- A compromised gastrointestinal system
- A MTHFR mutation in your genes
- Patients over the age of 50 with a decrease in stomach acid
A Brief Description of the Main Types of B12
- Methylcobalamin – The “Kingpin” of B12. It supports methylation in the body and it is commonly used for patients with gastrointestinal issues and/or autoimmune B12 absorption issues. It is great for patients looking to improve brain functionality, memory, mood, sleep, and fatigue.
- Adenosylcobalamin – The “Fuel B12”. It is a mitochondrial (energy) form of B12 that is usually great for people who have general tiredness/fatigue or they are easily fatigued with small amounts of exercise.
- Hydroxocobalamin – It is very useful to lower high levels of nitric oxide (common with auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue).
- Cyanocobalamin – a synthetic form of B12 that requires other nutrients from the body to make it bioavailable. It is the form most often found in most store bought supplements, and is commonly considered the least effective .
Introducing Preservative-free Methyl B12 (Methylcobalamin) Injections at The Healing Center
We are excited about this new form of B12 available at The Healing Center. Administered by our own Acupuncturist, Erik Johnson, this quick and painless injection is great for patients who have auto-immune disorders, B12 absorption issues, and/or want a simple and easy way of getting their B12 supplementation. The following are some frequently asked questions about this new service that we provide.
Why is a vitamin B12 injection better than a pill?
Patients who have a compromised gastrointestinal system (with a low production of intrinsic factor) are not able to absorb enough vitamin B12 from food or a pill form. Even healthy individuals can absorb as little as 10 mcg of vitamin B12 from a 500 mcg oral supplement. Our Methyl B12 injections bypass your digestive system altogether, putting the power of vitamin B12 to work right away.
I don’t like needles or injections. Will these B12 injections hurt?
This injection is only subcutaneous (just under the skin) so that it absorbs more slowly into the body and allows the effects to last longer. We use a “baby needle”, smaller than many acupuncture needles used in our own clinic. Most patients experience a minor pinch, but there is not a lasting ache that is usually felt with a vaccine shot (which is injected deeper into the muscle). Our B12 injections are easily administered in designated acupuncture points on either the leg or the arm.
Why a preservative-free version? What symptoms can arise from taking a Methyl B12 injection?
Our preservative-free Methyl B12 is stored in a designated refrigerator, which allows us to provide you with the safest and most pure form of this vitamin. Common side effects from taking other forms of B12 are typically attributed to the added preservative – these include hot flashes, dizziness, and nausea. With our preservative-free B12, rare symptoms include slight skin irritations and a special form of acne.
How many injections will I need, and when will I start to notice the effects?
Every individual is different and we will find a dosage that fits your body best. For anemic patients or patients with autoimmune conditions , it is common to start off with an injection per week for six weeks, before beginning a monthly maintenance dosage. Other patients starting off on B12 will do an injection per week for four weeks, before beginning their monthly maintenance. There are also instances where patients come in on a circumstantial basis for a needed immune boost or for athletic prep/recovery.
Patients who are low in B12 often notice a difference in as little as 12 hours. Other patients may take a few days or weeks before noticing a significant difference.
How much do the Methyl B12 injections cost?
Each Methyl B12 injection is $20, but we offer packages of six (6) injections for $100 total. You will not find a better price in town for the same service!
The information in this blog has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to cure, diagnose, treat, or prevent any diseases or conditions. You should always consult with a licensed healthcare professional before beginning any diet, exercise, or supplement program.