Vitamin B12


Vitamin b12 is a B vitamin that is typically taken in conjunction with other B vitamins. This vitamin is used by the body in order for the nervous system and blood cells to function properly.



The main use for a vitamin b12 supplements is to treat vitamin b12 deficiencies. One of these deficiencies is Imerslund-Grasbeck disease, which is an inherited. This disease can cause the affected person to have a low absorption of vitamin b12. Due to it being inherited, it persists for the rest of their life. In order to manage this disease, vitamin b12 injections may be administered for 10 days straight and then another shot would be given once a month for the remainder of that person’s life.

Another disease, known as pernicious anemia, is a serious form of anemia that is most commonly found in elderly people. In this condition, there is a low red blood cell count. This low RBC count is caused by a poor absorption of vitamin b12. To treat this condition, either a shot can be administered or a supplement can be taken by nose or mouth.

There are other medical conditions that may be effectively treated by taking vitamin b12 supplements. These conditions include hyperhomocysteinemia and cyanide poisoning. For cyanide poisoning a shot of vitamin b12, in its natural form of hydroxocobalamin, in a high dose of 10g can be administered. For hyperhomocysteinemia can be treated with oral vitamin b12 supplements with folic acid and b6.



For general use, oral or topical forms of vitamin b12 are used. Only for medical conditions, such as those listed above, are injections of the supplement are utilized. For oral use, the normal recommended daily dose of vitamin b12 is 1mcg to 25mcg. This number increases with age, with adults having a recommendation of 2.4mcg daily.

Older people have a harder time absorbing the vitamin b12 found naturally in foods. They should eat foods that contain a lot of vitamin b12 as well as take a supplement. In order to maintain a normal range of vitamin b12, they may need to take 25mcg to 100mcg daily.

For conditions such as atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, and psoriasis, a topical version of the vitamin may be more effective.

Foods that contain high values of vitamin b12 are meat, fish, as well as dairy products.


Side Effects:

Vitamin b12 is fairly safe for most individuals; however, people with certain conditions should be cautious with taking a supplement. Such conditions are: pregnancy, polycythemia Vera, megaloblastic anemia, Leber’s disease, etc.

If you are taking chloramphenicol, DO NOT take a vitamin b12 supplement. They may have an interaction with one another; however, most people do not take chloramphenicol for a long period of time so this interaction is not a problem for most.


For more information on vitamin b12, click on the link below:

Research done by Jessica L. Silvestri

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