vitamin b12 chemical formula

Vitamin Spotlight: Vitamin B12

Vitamins are the unseen heroes that support your health and overall wellness. We’re shining a spotlight on Vitamin B12 and how this B-complex vitamin can boost your mood, improve your energy levels, and so much more.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin-B12-Chemical-FormulaCyanocobalamin, more commonly known as Vitamin B12, is a water soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining many different aspects of your health. Because this vitamin is water-soluble, that means your body does not store this vitamin and it must be replenished on a regular basis.

This vitamin is associated with an array of health targets, including:

  • Help your body create healthy red blood cells
  • Help metabolize food properly to promote normal energy levels
  • Help maintain your central nervous system
  • Help create the chemicals needed to support normal neurological function
  • Improve feelings of wellbeing
  • Decrease anxiety and depression
  • Regulate your mood
  • Support immune health

When your body does not get enough Vitamin B12 over an extended period of time, you can develop a deficiency. It is not yet clear how long it takes for an individual to develop a B12 deficiency, and it is possible that the exact amount of time varies from person to person. Some research suggests that it may take several years for a deficiency to develop.

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency: More Common Than You Might Think

mobile IV therapyVitamin B12 is present in many types of food that are a common part of many peoples’ diets. As a result, most people can get an adequate intake of this vitamin from their diet alone. However, it’s estimated that a Vitamin B12 deficiency impacts up to 15% of the population.

Absorption is the primary reason that people develop a Vitamin B12 deficiency, whether due to a medical condition or medications that inhibit your body’s natural absorption mechanism. Vegetarians, vegans, and elderly people are at the highest risk of developing a deficiency in this vitamin. In addition, people who have had gastrointestinal surgery may have a reduced ability to absorb this vitamin naturally from food.

A vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by several possible symptoms. You may experience one or several of the symptoms listed below:

  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Neurological changes (eg.numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Poor memory
  • Soreness of the mouth or tongue

How Much Vitamin B12 do I Need?

Hangover curesThe amount of Vitamin B12 that you need for optimal health varies throughout your life depending on your age. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends the following amount of Vitamin B12 (in micrograms):

  • Birth to 6 months – 0.4 mcg
  • Infants 7–12 months – 0.5 mcg
  • Children 1–3 years – 0.9 mcg
  • Children 4–8 years – 1.2 mcg
  • Children 9–13 years – 1.8 mcg
  • Teens 14–18 years – 2.4 mcg
  • Adults – 2.4 mcg
  • Pregnant teens and women – 2.6 mcg
  • Breastfeeding teens and women – 2.8 mcg

The only way to know for certain if you have a vitamin deficiency of any type is by having a Micronutrient Lab Test. Drip Hydration makes this simple blood test both convenient and effortless. Our certified nurse comes to you wherever you are to take a blood sample, a process which takes only a few minutes. We then take the sample back to the lab for testing and analysis.

You will receive a copy of your test results, a thorough explanation of your results, and answers to any questions you may have. We will then recommend ways to supplement your Vitamin B12 deficiency, tailored to your lifestyle habits and preferences.

When you know whether you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency and what you can do to correct it, you can take informed steps to ensure that you and your family can feel their best year-round.

Vitamin B12 Oral Supplements, IV Infusions, or Shots?

There are three ways to supplement your Vitamin B12 intake: with an oral supplement, an IV infusion, or a B12 shot. Individuals with a Vitamin B12 deficiency can benefit from all of these avenues; however, certain people may have difficulties absorbing vitamins orally due to medication or a preexisting health condition. In these cases, shots or infusions may be a more effective option, as B12 shots and infusions are delivered directly into the bloodstream for a 100% absorption rate.

Whether you choose an oral supplement, an IV infusion, or a B12 shot, the goal of getting a Vitamin B12 supplement is the same: to ensure that you are getting enough of this vitamin to stay in top health. Not sure whether an oral supplement, IV infusion, or shot is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Oral Supplements

micronutrient testingGrabbing a Vitamin B12 oral supplement is as easy as placing an online order or stopping by your local drugstore, a convenient option for most people since an oral supplement is as easy as taking a vitamin daily.

Oral Vitamin B12 supplements are absorbed by your digestive system, which impacts how much your body can actually use. Oral supplement absorption rates vary from person to person due to factors such as circulatory systems, gastric emptying time, and individual metabolic function. This means that your body may only use a portion of an oral supplement and excrete the remaining amount.

One big advantage of oral supplements is that they are very safe and you are not at risk of developing an infection as you may with an IV infusion or shot. As a result, oral supplements may be ideal for certain individuals, especially those who have an immune system disorder.

  • Pros: Readily available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy; an inexpensive option; very safe and generally well-tolerated.
  • Cons: Not absorbed as well as other options and may take some trial and error to determine the right dose for you to correct a deficiency.

IV Infusions

micronutrient testingIV infusions typically contain several ingredients that are blended together in a sterile saline solution. These ingredients vary depending on the exact IV treatment that you choose, since each formula is blended to address specific health goals. In addition to our nine specially-crafted formulas, Drip Hydration offers custom blends that help address specific health targets.

Unlike oral supplements, where the relative bioavailability (the amount of a supplement that your body can use) is very low, IV infusions bypass the digestive system and avoid absorption problems. Your body can use the maximum amount it needs and expel the rest through your urine, meaning 100% absorption for maximum effect and minimal waste. In addition, since IV infusions are delivered directly into your bloodstream, the ingredients are immediately available for your cells to use to help you feel better as quickly as possible.

IV infusions generally take 30 – 45 minutes to administer, but have additional benefits such as hydration and the infusion of other vitamins for a more comprehensive treatment. IV therapy can also detoxify your body by flushing out the free radicals and heavy metals that can contribute to cellular damage.

  • Pros: 100% absorption of vitamins in the formula; additional benefits such as hydration and other vitamins; detoxifies your body to reduce cellular damage; delivered directly to you for your convenience.
  • Cons: Unlike a pill which takes only a few seconds to ingest, IV infusions take 30 – 45 minutes to administer; very small chance of infection at the injection site.

B12 Shots

b12 shotsMore effective than an oral supplement and faster than a full IV infusion, a Vitamin B12 shot combines the convenience of an oral supplement with the absorption of an intravenous treatment. You can enjoy the full benefits of B12 as a quick, on-the-go boost at home, at your office, at a hotel, or anywhere else you might be.

A Vitamin B12 shot is a process that takes only a few minutes. Like an IV infusion, this treatment delivers a concentrated dose of this vitamin directly into your bloodstream for maximum effect and minimal waste. Unlike an IV infusion, however, a B12 shot does not have the additional benefits of hydration, extra vitamins, or detoxification.

  • Pros: Appointment takes only a few minutes for a fast and convenient way to boost your levels of Vitamin B12; 100% absorption of vitamins in the formula for maximum effect and minimal waste.
  • Cons: Does not have the additional benefits of IV infusions; very small chance of infection at the injection site.

Other Ways to Get More Vitamin B12 in Your Routine

b12 shotsSupplements are not the only way to incorporate B12 into your routine. Vitamin B12 is abundant in many types of animal products and in fortified cereals and grains. Most people are able to get enough Vitamin B12 through their diets.

Natural sources of Vitamin B12 include:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Meats
  • Shellfish
  • Fortified cereals and grains

Your body absorbs animal-based sources better than plant-based, which makes IV infusions or B12 shots ideal for individuals who have absorption issues, or are are vegetarian or vegan.

In-Home Vitamin B12 IVs And Shots

Boost low energy levels and mood fast with Vitamin B12 treatments. This vitamin is included in many of our IV formulas and can be included as an add-on shot with any treatment. Save time and let one of our nurses bring your appointment to you.

Schedule an appointment by clicking the button below!