Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that humans need to ingest on a regular basis because it is a water soluble vitamin that cannot be stored in your body. Without adequate B12 intake, serious health problems can arise that often cannot be reversed. Because B12 in its organic form comes from animal sources like fish, meat, eggs and dairy, vegans, vegetarians and people with nutrient deficient diets need B12 supplementation to meet minimal health requirements.
Why B12 is so Important
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin because it contains the mineral cobalt, supports many vital metabolic functions, including:
- Synthesis of DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule compound that carries genetic information governing human development, metabolic function, growth and reproduction. Inadequate B12 levels undermine the structural stability of DNA chromosomes.
- Neogenesis of red blood cells. Your red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout your body. Inadequate B12 levels impact the quality and quantity of red blood cells, reducing your physical and cognitive performance.
- Energy (ATP) production. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is known as the energy molecule. ATP is produced in the mitochondria, tiny organelles within every cell. B12 is a necessary component of the Krebs Cycle, the series of chemical reactions that generate ATP. People deficient in B12 often experience fatigue and lack physical and mental stamina.
- Nerve cell health. B12 is essential for protecting the nervous system by contributing to axon growth in nerve cells. B12 has been shown to promote recovery of nerve tissue after traumatic brain injury (TBI) , and to stabilize and reduce the rate of nerve cell death.
- Overall neurological function. Healthy function of your brain and central nervous system is highly dependent on Vitamin B12. Low B12 levels are associated with brain lesions, spinal cord degeneration, cognitive disorders, motor sensory dysfunction and damage to the optic nerves.
Who Needs B12 Injections?
Oral and sublingual B12 supplements are readily available, but the general consensus is that intramuscular injections of B12 are the most effective and efficient means of delivery. While all humans need Vitamin B12 to remain healthy, certain groups are more likely to need B12 injections at regular intervals.
People who can benefit from B12 injections include:
- Older adults. As your body ages, it becomes less efficient at breaking down micronutrients and delivering them where they are most needed. Many older adults do not eat sufficient animal products to meet B12 requirements, often due to dental issues and reduced appetite. B12 has been shown to protect the brain against dementia, a condition that is increasingly prevalent in older adults.
- Anyone with gastrointestinal issues. People with GI disorders like Crohn’s syndrome and celiac disease are often unable to break down and absorb dietary B12 and oral B12 supplements, leaving them deficient. People who undergo gastric bypass surgery are also often B12 deficient.
- People with elevated blood levels of homocysteine. This often occurs in smokers, people with metabolic disease, heavy alcohol drinkers, as a side effect of certain prescription drugs, rheumatoid arthritis and impaired thyroid function.
- Vegans, vegetarians and people with diets high in processed foods. Since B12 is found solely in animal products, people with restricted diets often get very little B12, even if they eat synthetically fortified foods.
- Sufferers of pernicious anemia. Poor circulation and a low red blood cell count are indicators of anemia, a serious condition where oxygen delivery to the body’s cells, especially peripheral cells in the feet and hands, is limited.
How Much B12 do You Need?
The amount of B12 you need will depend on your health status. People who are generally healthy and who regularly eat animal products may not need to supplement at all. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts get monthly shots to optimize their physical and mental performance.
Certain populations need to inject B12 in larger doses to maintain baseline health:
- Individuals with pernicious anemia are initially injected with 100 mcg daily for one week, followed by 100 mcg every other day for 3-4 weeks. After symptoms abate, the recommended dose is 100 mcg monthly, for life.
- Those who suffer from Imerslund-Grasbeck disease, a genetic disorder, are unable to absorb dietary B12. Treatment is 10 mg daily for 10 days, followed by 10 mg monthly for life.
- People recovering from nerve damage from disease or trauma are treated with injections of 1000 mcg.
- People with dietary B12 deficiencies are often given daily injections of 30 mcg for 5-10 days, with monthly maintenance doses of 100 to 200 mcg.
Vitamin B12 Shots in NYC
Intramuscular B12 injections are affordable, safe, quick and convenient. Injections are normally made in the upper arm, and do not require you to remove your clothing. Regular B12 shots can help you live a more vibrant and healthy life, and protect you from disease and dysfunction. The clinical professionals at Advanced Cryo NYC are available to deliver your B12 injection by appointment. Contact Advanced Cryo today, and enjoy the many health benefits of Vitamin B12 shots.
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