Vitamin B12 is extremely important for the functions of your body. Among other things, it ensures a healthy cell division. This means that you need it, for example, to form new blood cells.
But how does your body get vitamin B12?
One thing is clear: your organism does not produce it by itself. A sufficient supply of the substance via the diet is therefore your task.
Said, done – after all, with a healthy diet you get all the important vitamins and minerals, right? Not quite.
Vitamin B12 is a small exception here, as it is almost only found in animal products. Above all, meat (especially liver) is to be mentioned here. If you are fed low in meat, vegetarian or even vegan, there may be bottlenecks in the supply of the vitamin.
Similarly, not all people absorb the vitamin equally well. Diseases of certain organs can severely impair the vitamin B12 supply to your body and require additional intake.
But how exactly can you take vitamin B12 properly?
Probably the easiest method is a balanced diet. Our body is very good at storing vitamin B12 in advance. Those who eat animal foods with a high B12 content from time to time should make ends meet.
However, if you have a restricted diet or a disease, vitamin B12 may be deficient. Since the vitamin is always absorbed by the body in very small doses, it is difficult to correct a deficit by food.
In this article, therefore, we look beyond the proverbial horizon and look at the possibilities for B12 care available to you away from the diet.
If you are more interested in vitamin B12 with a meatless diet or the optimal B12 foods, you will find many informative articles on the subject in the block.
But first for proper oral:
How can you take vitamin B12 outside of your diet?
Although your body usually absorbs the vital vitamin through the gastrointestinal tract (i.e. digestion), there are other ways to get to B12.
Especially some external applications such as creams or even injections are becoming increasingly popular. However, their effect is often problematic or questionable.
Vitamin B12 has a positive benefit in skin creams, for example. After all, it can usually only enter the bloodstream via the intestine. There are also no scientific studies confirming the effectiveness of B12 skin creams.
The exact opposite is the vitamin B12 injection. The syringe is the most effective way to get the vitamin into our body. Since it enters the blood directly, the absorption rate is significantly higher than with other methods.
However, this form of treatment also carries risks. Thus, as with any injection, a dangerous anaphylactic shock can occur. In addition, a link was found between the injecting of vitamin B12 and the appearance of certain skin reactions (acne, rash, swelling). So our advice: The handle to the vitamin B12 syringe should be left to the doctor. The injection is effective, but the risks should not be underestimated. In addition, the high dose in syringes is not very gentle on our organs. If the B12 cannot be dismantled due to a disease, the excess is even considered harmful to health by some doctors.
A far more unproblematic source of vitamin B12 are dietary supplements. Here are some tips for optimal ingestion:
Vitamin B12 as a dietary supplement – this is the best way to take it.
Supplements are great for adding vitamins and other essential substances as they enter the body through digestion (i.e. the natural way). With vitamin B12, this happens through the intestine.
An optimal absorption rate can be achieved by liposomal preparations. They have a protective membrane that ensures that the valuable vitamin B12 actually enters the intestine and is not already decomposed in the stomach.
If you live vegan or vegetarian, the design of the capsules is also interesting for you. Finally, some preparations contain gelatin or other animal products.
Therefore, pay particular attention to the ingredients and texture when choosing the dietary supplements.
There are several different B12 connections and each of them covers other important functions. A preparation that contains all natural B12 forms (hydroxocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and methlycobalamin)thus perfectly covers your needs. So look at the fact that no unnecessary additives are used besides these three important compounds.
How often should I take the supplements?
This depends heavily on why you need the supplements in the first place. In the case of an acute deficiency, therapy with high-dose supplements is useful. These can then also be taken every day. If you just want to make sure that your daily needs are reached, a much lower dose is appropriate.
Since our liver, if healthy, can store more than a thousand times our vitamin B12 daily requirement, weekly intake of higher-dose supplements is also an option.
Although an overdose is generally considered to be excluded (the excess is easily excreted in a healthy organism), it is nevertheless useful to take a B12 preparation several times per day in very few cases.
Before eating? After eating? When should I take vitamin B12?
Basically, you can take supplements with vitamins throughout the day. However, experts often advise to take it in the morning, as many vitamins stimulate digestion. There is another reason for early intake: vitamin B12 also stimulates brain performance. It may therefore not be ideal to take a vitamin B12 supplement just before bedtime. To fall asleep quickly, the brain should eventually be relaxed.
So what about food?
The following applies: an empty stomach can better absorb certain substances due to the enriched stomach acid and vitamin B12 is absorbed only to a small extent by our body anyway. Especially vitamin B12 containing preparations you should eat just before, or with breakfast.
How long should I take vitamin B12?
If you undergo medically prescribed therapy to compensate for a deficiency, your doctor will advise you on the optimal duration.
Since an overdose is not really possible even with intensive intake, you should always listen to your body. After all, you know best whether you are doing well or not.
If you take less vitamin B12 in the long term due to your lifestyle (e.g. vegan, vegetarian), permanent support through preparations is generally recommended. If you do not use animal products, you will eventually have to find other ways to meet your vitamin B12 needs.
Are there any interactions with other drugs?
Vitamin B12 is generally very well tolerated. However, there are some substances that can reduce the effect of the vitamin. In addition to alcohol and nicotine, these are mainly medicines.
- Anti-baby pill
- medicines for cardiac arrhythmias, cholesterol or diabetes
If you take medication, medical advice before supplementing your diet is always a good idea.
A lot of information, but taking vitamin B12 is not witchcraft.
So here again the most important thing summarized:
- The effect of vitamin B12 creams is controversial, injections can have problematic side effects. Dietary supplements are effective and safe.
Pay attention to the ingredients(hydroxocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and methlycobalamin)and design (vegan or not) of the preparations. Liposomal capsules have a better absorption rate.
- Take vitamin B12 in the morning before or with breakfast.
- An overdose does not occur in a healthy body, but you should adjust the dose to your needs.
- Vitamin B12 may be less effective in conjunction with other substances/medications.
- The duration of the intake depends on your goal. Do you want to prevent, compensate for a deficiency or support your meatless diet? Listen to your body – in case of doubt, medical advice will help you.