Commonly referred to as the “energy vitamin”, B12 is a vitamin that plays a crucial role in various essential functions in the human body. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is not produced by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplements.
Some key roles of vitamin B12:
Red Blood Cell Formation: One of the primary functions of vitamin B12 is to support the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. A deficiency in B12 can lead to anemia, which results in fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.
Cardiovascular Health: Adequate levels of B12 are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. It helps in the conversion of homocysteine (an amino acid) into methionine, a process that, when impaired, can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Neurological Function: Vitamin B12 is crucial for maintaining the health of the nervous system. It plays a role in the formation of the protective myelin sheath around nerve fibers, which facilitates proper nerve signaling. Deficiency can lead to neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, memory & concentration problems, and mood disturbances. B12 boosts can also help with regulating our sleep and mood. Elevated homocysteine levels may be associated with both Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Bone Health: Some research suggests that B12 may play a role in bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis, although the mechanisms are not fully understood.
Energy Metabolism: Vitamin B12 is a cofactor for enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It helps convert food into energy, which is essential for overall physical and mental vitality. B12 can also help regulate your appetite cycles, speed up metabolism, and help with weight management when used with a healthy diet and lifestyle program.
DNA Synthesis: B12 is involved in the synthesis of DNA, the genetic material in our cells. It helps in the formation of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA. This makes it important for cell division and growth.
Methylation Reactions: B12 is required for a group of biochemical reactions known as methylation. Methylation plays a role in the regulation of gene expression, detoxification processes, and the metabolism of certain neurotransmitters and hormones.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Vitamin B12 may have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections. B12's potential anti-inflammatory effects can indirectly support a healthier immune response. B12 also plays a role in the activation of immune cells. It helps in the production of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that regulate immune responses. Cytokines can stimulate immune cells to respond to infections and other threats.
Hair Health: Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, plays a role in maintaining healthy hair, but it is not a direct stimulant for hair growth. Rather, its role in hair health is more related to the overall health of your body. B12 helps transport nutrients to hair follicles, promoting their overall health. Nutrients such as biotin and other B vitamins are essential for strong, healthy hair. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, a condition characterized by a reduced number of red blood cells. Anemia can lead to hair loss as a result of reduced blood flow and nutrient supply to the hair follicles. Correcting a B12 deficiency through supplementation or dietary changes can sometimes reverse this type of hair loss.
Risks for B12 Deficiency:
difficulty absorbing nutrients from food due to stomach and small intestine disorders such as Crohn's or celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
lack of intrinsic factor (a transport & delivery binding protein secreted by the stomach) due to pernicious anemia; also decreased in its production in older adults
surgery of the digestive tract (e.g., weight loss surgery) can cause complete or partial loss of the cells that secrete the acid and intrinsic factor necessary for B12 absorption
prolonged use of metformin, proton pump inhibitors, acid reducers because hydrochloric acid is important for B12 absorption
dietary deficiency (e.g., vegans, vegetarians) because natural food sources of B12 are mainly in animal foods
older adults because atrophic gastritis (an autoimmune condition in approximately 8-9% of older adults) is more common in this population
undiagnosed Helicobacter pylori infection which causes inflammation to the stomach
leaky gut or dysbiosis of the gut impairs B12 absorption
Dietary sources of B12:
fish and clams, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products
fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts
Despite a healthy diet, many of us are still not getting enough B12, and are feeling the effects. Unfortunately, even when a person’s diet is rich in B12 or they are taking oral B12 supplements, they may still be lacking. As we age, our stomachs tend to produce less acid, and stomach acid is essential for effective B12 absorption. As well, more Canadians are taking acid reducers (e.g., TUMS, Rolaids, Ranitidine, omeprazole, pantoprazole, etc.) which can block B12 absorption. Taking metformin can also decrease B12 absorption. And if you have been taking oral contraceptives for a long time, you may also have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency:
neurological issues such as brain fog, mild cognitive impairment, depression
B12 deficiency in pregnancy and breastfeeding can potentially contribute to neural tube defects, developmental delays, failure to thrive, and anemia of the newborn
The value of B12 injections
By being given intramuscularly, B12 injections bypasses the digestive system and available through your bloodstream for immediate use by the rest of your system. Within a couple days after receiving B12 injections, patients often report an increase in their energy and stamina levels. Shots can be taken monthly, unless significantly deficient which warrants more frequent administration. All B vitamins are water-soluble, so the body does not store them, and luckily, if you take too much it simply exits through healthy kidneys into your urine.
B12 injections are quick and easy to receive, typically injected into the thick muscle of the upper arm. Most people do not like injections at all but find that this is quick and relatively painless. An ice pack can be applied prior to injection to also help dull the sensation and ease discomfort. There is no downtime after this procedure, and you may return to work or daily activities immediately.
Consider a B12 injection to end your reliance on stimulants like coffee and energy drinks.
Whether you are looking to enhance your athletic performance, supplement your diet or manage your B12 deficiency, a B12 boost may be just what is needed.
How quickly will i feel the effects of a vitamin shot?
Effects depend on the individual's physical and health status. Typically the effects become fully noticeable after 12-24 hours.
how long do the beneficial effects of a vitamin shot last?
The duration of effects will depend on the individual but typically effects last 2-4 weeks.
Can i get more than one vitamin shot at the same time?
Yes, our vitamin shots only contain natural ingredients and water-soluble vitamins. The effects of the different vitamins can be synergistic and excess will be excreted naturally through healthy kidneys.
Are vitamin shots approved by health canada?
Treatments by Natural Beauty Medi-Spa & Laser Clinic are individually prescribed by our prescribing providers and prepared therapies are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any specific disease, but instead, support your body's own ability to perform at its optimum to balance and heal itself. Any designations or references to specific injection therapies have not been collectively evaluated by Health Canada. They are intended to educate and used for marketing of available options. As required by Health Canada, all the specific fluids, nutrients, and drugs used for injection therapies have been evaluated and appropriately licensed by Health Canada via Drug (DIN) or Natural Health Product (NPN) approval processes. Each therapy combines a personalized custom combination of these nutrients and drugs (when indicated) that are supplied by Canadian compounding pharmacies that are approved by federal and provincial regulators.
Please don't forget to follow Natural Beauty Medical Aesthetics on Facebook & Instagram for the latest news and images
We have a 48 hour cancellation policy for all services. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please give us a call at (204) 822-8077. Please note that there is a $50 fee for all missed appointments with less than 48 hours notice.
References: National Institutes of Health. (2022). Vitamin B12: Fact sheet for health professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements. www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/