Vitamin B12

Vitamins

18/Description

About

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin. This means that the body requires vitamin B12 to work properly. Vitamin B12 can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a laboratory. It is often taken in combination with other B vitamins.

Vitamin B12 is taken by mouth to treat and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, a condition in which vitamin B12 levels in the blood are too low.

Vitamin B12 is also taken by mouth for memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, to slow aging, and to boost mood, energy, concentration, mental function, and the immune system. It is also used for heart disease, clogged arteries and decreasing the risk of re-clogging arteries after surgery, high triglyceride levels, lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease), male infertility, diabetes, diabetic nerve damage, nerve damage in the hands or feet, sleep disorders, depression, mental disorders, schizophrenia, weak bones (osteoporosis), swollen tendons, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, asthma, allergies, a skin disease called vitiligo, and skin infections.

Some people use vitamin B12 by mouth for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition in which the body products too much thyroid hormone, Lyme disease and gum disease. It is also used by mouth for respiratory tract infections, maintaining fertility, ringing in the ears, bleeding, liver and kidney disease, canker sores, preventing fractures, preventing stroke, preventing blood clots, and for protection against the poisons and allergens in tobacco smoke. It is also taken by mouth to prevent cancer, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.

Vitamin B12 is applied to the skin either alone or in combination with avocado oil for psoriasis and eczema. Also, a vitamin B12 nasal gel is applied for pernicious anemia and preventing and treating vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is injected into the body for pernicious anemia, to prevent and treat vitamin B12 deficiency, and to prevent and treat a nervous system disorder called myelopathy, which can occur in people who are vitamin B12 deficient. It is also used for tremors, to treat Imerslund-Grasbeck disease, cyanide poisoning, nerve damage caused by shingles, diabetic nerve damage, tiredness or fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis C, a condition in which the body products too much thyroid hormone, bleeding, cancer, psoriasis, and liver and kidney disease. It is also injected in the body to prevent arteries from re-clogging after surgery.

How it works

Vitamin B12 is required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.

Effectiveness

Effective
Inherited Vitamin B12 deficiency (Imerslund-Grasbeck disease)

Injecting vitamin B12 as a shot for 10 days followed by monthly injections for the remainder of life is effective for treating people with an inherited disease that results in poor absorption of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 can treat and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. It can be taken by mouth, as a shot, or through the nose. The shot works best in people with severe vitamin B12 deficiency or associated nerve damage.

Concerns

Likely safe

Vitamin B12 is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, taken through the nose, administered as a shot, or injected into the vein (by IV). Vitamin B12 is considered safe, even in large doses.Mild itching has been reported in one person who used a specific avocado oil plus vitamin B12 cream for psoriasis.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin B12 isLIKELY SAFEforpregnantor breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in the amounts recommended. The recommended amount for pregnant women is 2.6 mcg per day. Breast-feeding women should take no more than 2.8 mcg per day. Don't take larger amounts. The safety of larger amounts is unknown.Are there any interactions with medications?

Post-surgical stent placement: Avoid using a combination of vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 after receiving a coronary stent. This combination may increase the risk of blood vessel narrowing.

Allergy or sensitivity to cobalt or cobalamin: Do not use vitamin B12 if you have this condition.

Leber's disease, a hereditary eye disease: Do not take vitamin B12 if you have this disease. It can seriously harm the optic nerve, which might lead to blindness.

Abnormal red blood cells (megaloblastic anemia): Megaloblastic anemia is sometimes corrected by treatment with vitamin B12. However, this can have very serious side effects. Don't attempt vitamin B12 therapy without close supervision by your healthcare provider.

High numbers of red blood cells (polycythemia vera): The treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency can unmask the symptoms of polycythemia vera.

Interactions

No information available.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional. The content on this page has been provided with thanks by RxList.com