Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in most multivitamins.  Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in cells.  Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

Vitamin B12 is also used for:  Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, boosting mood, energy, concentration and the immune system and slowing aging, heart disease, lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease), male infertility, diabetes, sleep disorders, depression, mental disorders, weak bones (osteoporosis), swollen tendons, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, a skin disease called vitiligo, preventing cervical and other cancers and skin infections.

Some people use vitamin B12 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Lyme disease and gum disease.  It is also used for ringing in the ears, bleeding, liver and kidney disease, and for protection against the poisons and allergens in tobacco smoke.

Vitamin B12 is applied to the skin either alone or in combination with avocado oil for psoriasis and eczema.

Vitamin B12 is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in various vitamin B complex products.

Vitamin B12 is found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made synthetically in a laboratory.

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods.  Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified.  You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods including:  beef liver, clams, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, that contain vitamin B12.   Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products fortified with vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is also available in sublingual forms (which are dissolved under the tongue).  There is no evidence that sublingual forms are better absorbed than pills that are swallowed.

A prescription form of vitamin B12 can be administered as a shot.  This is usually used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is also available as a prescription medication in a nasal gel.

Texas Transdermals’ Multivitamin patch contains the proper supplemental dose of Vitamin B12.

Sources:  National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. National Library of Medicine