What is vitamin B12?
According to Medical News Today,
Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many bodily functions. Without vitamin B12, a person may start to feel tired and weak due to megaloblastic anemia.
Sources of B12
Vitamin B12 can be obtained from diet, injection or supplementation. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products as well as fortified breakfast cereals. A varied, whole foods diet is the best way to obtain vitamins and nutrients. Supplements of B12 and B Complex, which contain multiple B vitamins, are available on shelves at your local health foods store or pharmacy. Injections of B12 can be administered by qualified practitioners such as your local acupuncturist, Nurse practitioner, RN or LPN or IV Specialist.
Benefits of B12
- More energy, mental alertness and stamina for everyday tasks
- Improves sleep
- Increases metabolism, thereby aiding in weight loss
- Improves mood stabilization
- Reduces allergies, stress and depression
- Lessens frequency and severity of migraines and headaches
- Helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood, thereby reducing the probability of heart diseases and strokes
Who is at risk for B12 deficiency?
Vitamin and nutrient absorption can be a challenge for some populations. individuals with the following conditions may have trouble obtaining B12 through diet alone:
- older adults
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- stomach and small intestine disorders
- celiac disease
- ulcerative colitis
- atrophic gastritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery
- pernicious anemia
- heavy alcohol use
- strict vegans and vegetarians
These populations have difficulty in obtaining B12 through diet either because they do not consume animal products or because of weak digestion. According to the National Institutes of Health,
Bioavailability also varies by type of food source. For example, the bioavailability of vitamin B12 appears to be about three times higher in dairy products than in meat, fish, and poultry, and the bioavailability of vitamin B12 from dietary supplements is about 50% higher than that from food sources.Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, National Institutes of Health
Benefits of injection therapy
I offer B12 injections for its fast results. Injections are able to bypass the digestive tract, enter the bloodstream and effect change almost immediately. Most people feel energized the day of treatment. Because B12 is stored in the liver, you can receive an injection once a week for 6 weeks and then taper to a monthly injection after that.
Interactions with Medications
Vitamin B12 has the potential to interact with certain medications. In addition, several types of medications might adversely affect vitamin B12 levels. A few examples are provided below. Individuals taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin B12 status with their healthcare providers.
Gastric acid inhibitors
Gastric acid inhibitors include proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), and histamine 2-receptor antagonists, such as cimetidine (Tagamet®) and ranitidine (Zantac®). These drugs are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. They can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption from food by slowing the release of gastric acid into the stomach and thereby lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Metformin, an antihyperglycemic agent used as first-line treatment for prediabetes and diabetes, might reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 and significantly reduce serum vitamin B12 concentrations.
Meet the acupuncturist
I’m Stephanie Salinas, a licensed acupuncturist in Denver, Colorado (ACU.0002701). My specialties include treatment of migraine, weight loss, facial cosmetic concerns, emotional imbalances and pain conditions. I live and practice in Denver by way of Champaign, Illinois, and Chicago. I love reading, discovering new parks and weight lifting. If you have any questions about acupuncture or anything else, please don’t hesitate in reaching out!
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