Celebrity culture may be responsible for the popularity of vitamin shots and infusions. Ever since The Simple Life featured Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton getting vitamin injections on television more than a decade ago, popularity has risen. Today, more celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen and Khloe Kardashian praise the benefits of vitamin injections over oral supplements.
Vitamin B12 injections use cyanocobalamin, a man-made form of vitamin B12, to treat low levels of the vitamin in the body. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, constipation, feeling faint, heart palpitations, mouth ulcers, vision changes, headaches, depression, irritability and more. Those who smoke, abuse alcohol, have an endocrine-related autoimmune disorder such as diabetes, follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and those who suffer from gastrointestinal disease or who have had gastric bypass or surgical removal of other parts of the stomach may be at an increased risk for deficiency.
Vitamin B12 shots are also used by people who need an energy boost, are feeling run down or like they may be getting sick and for those who want to lose weight—although research that supports the latter is limited.
Injections can be given in a doctor’s office, at a clinic or at home.
In 2017, research suggested that 40 percent of the population suffers from a B12 deficiency. That means they don’t have the recommended amount of B12 in their system. While oral supplements have long been taken to help people get recommended doses of all sorts of nutrients, many argue they aren’t as effective as injections. Why not? Well many factors affect how well a vitamin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Factors such as preexisting condition, digestive issues and even the time of day the supplement is taken may affect how much of the nutrient your body actually gets. In many cases, health conditions such as poor nutrition, infections and cancer are the reason B12 deficiencies exist. Because absorption is low, more vitamins have to be taken to get the correct amount, and no one wants to down handfuls of pills with their morning OJ.
With injections, vitamins are given in lower doses than would be needed for oral supplements. The vitamins are better absorbed and therefore many report the effects of the injection are h3er.
Vitamin B shots specifically have been linked to combating fatigue and promoting weight loss. B12 injections can also ease sore muscles and contribute to a h3er immune system. The energy boost is typically felt immediately, and many clients get the shots therapeutically once or twice per month.
Remember, always check with a physician before embarking on a new healthcare treatment or routine.
People who routinely get B12 shots have reported weight loss, energy boosts and better immune systems after receiving the injection. Not only is B12 necessary for proper functioning of blood, cells and nerves within the body, the vitamin also helps the body use fat and carbohydrates for energy and making new protein—which could be part of the reason the shots anecdotally appear to assist with weight loss when coupled with a healthy diet and proper exercise routine.
In addition, B12 shots reduce the risks of several health conditions associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency. Ailments such as heart disease, neurocognitive disorders, coordination problems, vision loss, infertility and neural tube defects in babies of pregnant women with a B12 deficiency are all possible.
Registered Nurse and Skincare Expert Nurse Jamie, the nurse who injected Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie with vitamin B12 on the hit reality show The Simple Life, says using B12 shots to combat chronic issues such as fatigue or a severe deficiency is not the answer. While there is anecdotal evidence that shows vitamin B12 injections could help those suffering from a deficiency that causes fatigue and weight gain, there could also be an underlying health condition to blame. Because of this, Nurse Jamie always interviews patients about their diet and symptoms before giving the injection. If answers raise any red flags, she sends them to their physician’s office first. Vitamin B12 injections may treat the symptoms of illness, but they won’t correct an underlying disease that requires medical attention. In fact, by treating only the symptoms of a more severe problem, sufferers could go on without diagnosis for a long time.
There are some side effects of vitamin B12 shots, as well. Injections could cause injection-site pain, redness or itchiness, as well as a swelling sensation throughout the body. More serious side effects include muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, unusual weakness or tiredness or swelling of the ankles and feet. Get emergency intervention if you experience itching and swelling of the face, tongue, lips or throat, difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, sudden vision changes or slurred speech.
There aren’t a lot of limits placed on B12 consumption because the chance of toxicity is low, however, B12 could interact with other drugs such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives and aspirin so always let a physician know what medications you are taking before receiving vitamin B12 injections. There are also certain medical conditions that could cause negative reactions to B12 injections.
The most important symptom vitamin B12 injections solve is a deficiency of the vitamin. Because B12 is necessary for proper functioning throughout the body, a deficiency caused by poor diet, cancer, an infection, digestive condition or other health problem could be catastrophic. For these reasons it is important to have your blood checked for vitamin B12 deficiency if you expect you could be suffering. Those who take vitamin B12 more casually will often experience a boost to their immune system, mild weight loss aided by a faster metabolism and an energy boost that may last for days or weeks and occurs immediately after the injection is given.
For those who do not like getting the injections, or for those who have experienced a reaction to the injections, taking B12 orally is a good alternative. Keep in mind that oral supplements do not absorb as well into the system as intravenous drugs do.
It is not uncommon for costs of the vitamin B12 shot to run about $75-$100 per injection. In some cases, insurance may cover all or part of the injection costs.
Leonard, Jayne. “Vitamin B12 Shots: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects.” Medical News Today. Accessed April 20, 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318216.php.
Fogarty, Lisa. “Do You Need A Weekly Vitamin Shot?” Harper’s BAZAAR. October 04, 2017. Accessed April 20, 2018. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/health/a9566731/vitamin-shots/.
Saul, Andrew. DoctorYourself.com – Injection Alternatives for Vitamin B-12. Accessed April 20, 2018. http://www.doctoryourself.com/nasal.html.
“Vitamin B-12 Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD. Accessed April 20, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6550/vitamin-b-12-injection/details.