Common Drug Q&A » Anemia » B12


A: Vitamin B12 is important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body, especially affecting the DNA synthesis and regulation but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Its effects are still not completely known.

Q: How often should vitamin B12 supplements be taken by a strict vegetarian?
I hear it takes a long time to run out of B12, so taking it every day(unless you’re borderline deficient or trying to build up a large reserve) isn’t necessary. So which is best for maintaining optimal levels of B12? Once a week? Once a month? Is sublingual B12 as effective as injections?

A: I have read and heard that 1ml Vitamin B12 injection once a month is a good dose. Vitamin B12 is a Water Soluble Vitamin. There is almost no risk of overdosing.

Q: Are vitamin B12 supplements derived from an animal, synthetic or plant source?
I am a vegetarian that’s considering going vegan. I realize I will need to take B12 but want to make sure that it’s not from an animal source.

A: B12 is from bacteria, in B12 supplements I think it is a synthetic form, that can be from cyanocobalamin, there are oral supplements available for methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin (known in the supplement industry as dibencozide and coenzyme B12), and to a lesser extent, hydroxocobalamin.

Captain Howdy: If you study the vegan diet and B12 you would see it is the most naturalist diet. You don’t have to take any supplements as a vegan, some choose to for whatever reasons. Most supplements made are geared toward non-vegans (hence the animal products it contains). A lot of people non vegan and some vegan take supplements to be on the safe side. To be honest I have met more people who take supplement vitamins and feed their kids those Flintstone vitamin pills that where omnivores, than I have met a vegan take supplements. And some vegans (very few) believe we are omnivores, but the fact is, if any one would pay attention to evidence and evolution would know we are natural herbivores.

Q: How much vitamin b12 in pill form is given to people with b12 deficiency?
I am always tired and think I may have this. I do not have a doctor appointment till dec 17 and was wondering if until then it would be safe to just eat a pill that is normally given to someone with b12 deficiency. Also is it safe to do the same thing for iron deficiency and how much of that is perscribed to patients?

A: b12 comes in all different values. From micrograms to miligrams. It is all over the counter. Look at the bottle.pp

Q: What are the benefits of B12? What kind of foods contain the highest percentage of B12?
I saw on an info-mercial late one night that B12 can make you feel better. That it helps with memory loss, depression, lack of energy, and several other benefits. The Dr. also said that you could not take too much of it. Is there any truth to this? Also what is the best way to get this vitamin into your system?

A: Technically, yes, they’re right. B-12 helps for energy and because of that, it can help support mood. When it’s taken with Folic Acid and B-6, it can help to fight harmful levels of Homocysteine which helps with cardiovascular health.
I haven’t heard of it specifically supporting memory, but I suppose it could because it can help with energy in the whole body including the brain.
As far as “could not take too much of it”, that’s partially true. It’s a water-soluble vitamin, so if your body can’t use it, it will excrete it from your system… but you can take too much of anything at once (like if you chugged a whole bottle of B-12 pills, that could be bad).

As far as the best way to get it in your system, taking a daily dose is the best because your body won’t store it. Some people prefer swallowing a capsule, some prefer sucking on a lozenge… a lot of that depends on each person and whether they can handle a lozenge in their mouth for half an hour or so.
Typically, the lozenge will get the B-12 into your system the fastest, but any form of it that’s taken daily will still get into your system.
I would personally stay away from the shots because you’re literally getting a super-dose once a week or so and your body tries to filter and process out the B-12. Since it’s water-soluble, all of it is usually processed out before the week is up. I know quite a number of people that have gotten sick when they got a vitamin shot because it was too much for their bodies to handle… so they’d be sick for a day or two each time they got a dose.
It’s up to each person to decide which form they would like, but 500-1,000 mcg is a normal dose.

Q: How does giving someone folate when their B12 is low precipitate fulminant neurological deficit?
What is fulminant neurological deficit?

Am I right in saying that if I hit someone with folate when their B12 and folate are both low, I can precipitate fulminant neurological deficit? What’s the mechanism?

What classical symptoms would I get?

How about if someone is low in iron and B12, if I hit them with B12 without first correcting iron, will I precipitate fulminant neurological deficit?


A: exact mechanism is not clear in humans. but has been confirmed in pigs.
basically there is change in ratio of melonyl co a and s adenosyl methionine which casues demylination and neurological deficit.
however giving iron does not cause such reaction in b12 deficient patietns

i am impreseed your question . keep on asking i will try to keep on replying

Q: What are some conditions that can reduce vitamin B12 absorption and lead to defiency?
1.What are the symptoms of this deficiency? What are the long term effects of a B12 deficiency?

A: lack of intrinsic factor.

pernicious anemia

Q: Where does the B12 come from in vegan supplements and nutritional yeast?
I’ve read articles that state that animals are the only natural source of B12 and that vegans need to take supplements, eat nutritional yeast, or eat soymilk,cereal,etc. thats fortified with B12. But, if it only comes from animals, where do they get the B12 to put in supplements? If they got it from animals, it wouldn’t be a vegan supplement!

A: When it comes to the b12 source – if the product is vegan (such as VegLife vitamins), it Is vegan. Technically, neither plants nor animals create b12 – bacteria does; which is how we can have vegan b12 – we synthesize it via said bacteria. So, you are correct, vegan fortified foods & supplements do not come from animals. [1]

As others mentioned, there is no reliable plant source of b12. The keyword is reliable. Seaweed, tempeh, and several other products have been shown from time to time to contain b12, but they have not been reliable sources. Meanwhile, you can not wash your hands or your produce – that will get you some b12 – but again, not always reliable. Like cows, we “create” b12 in our gut – but there is some debate over whether or not we can absorb what we create..And like other animals, we store extra b12 in our liver – but it’s not wise to base your diet on relying on your reserves. So, given the importance of b12, I believe it’s best to make sure and get it from external sources.

Fortunately, the fortified foods are plentiful -
there are fortified cereals, fortified nutritional yeast, fortified soy/rice/hemp/etc milk…
And note – there are a LOT of non-vegan cereals that are fortified with b12 (and iron) as well, so it’s not like it’s a vegan-only thing. (Fortification has been going on for many years in an effort to alleviate deficiencies – even Frosted Flakes are fortified with b12.[2] )
Or we can take supplements – of which there are also a lot of options…

Also note – we feed pigs and chickens b12 directly. We give cows in feedlots/CAFOs cobalt in their feed (which they require to make b12) – and we give it to some that are grazing due to cobalt disappearing from the soil (our topsoil is rapidly depleting and with it goes cobalt and many other trace nutrients).[3] So while some may go on about how ‘unnatural’ it is for us to supplement with b12, remember -
a. the odds are VERY high that the cereal in their cupboard is fortified
b. the reasons for widespread fortification was because despite eating animals/animal products, people were still becoming b12 deficient (and still are [4]).
c. with our current methods of production, we either fortify the animals’ food and then eat them And eat fortified foods, or we just fortify our own food.

Q: How do they put b12 in Soy Milk?
I’m just wondering because it’s not natural for clean vegetables to contain this stuff..Only in meat or dairy products.

So how does commercialized Soy Milk get it’s b12?

A: B12 is actually synthesized in bacteria. It is present in animal products because the animals are able to absorb the B12 from their digestive systems.

So the B12 in vegan soy milk (or in B12 supplements, for that matter) is simply produced from bacteria in a lab.

Q: How long does vitamin B12 last if stored in a cabinet?
Does it last longer in liquid form, or solid form? What about B12 as a spray? Is cyanocobalamin more shelf-stable than methylcobalamin? Would refrigeration help it last longer?

A: It depends on how it was processed, there shold be a use by date on the bottle.

Q: Does anyone know how effective the B12 shot is for weight loss? How about depression medications?
I am thinking about going to this clinic that starts you on water pills,appetite control medication and B12 injections but I am a little skeptical and worried.

A: Been there, it really does work until you stop going and go back to eating. It is only temporary and as soon as you fall back into the same routine the weight will come back on. Try making lifestyle changes one at a time like no more sodas, then no more fast food, then walking after dinner and keep moving that way. It is harder and slower but is permanent.

Q: Can vitamin B12 be orally ingested and still get the benefit?
Energy drinks claim that their B12 content (3000%-5000%) will boost energy.
I am under the impression that B12 can not be taken orally, that the digestive juices and enzymes in the stomach will destroy B12. Which is right?

A: If you have intrinsic factor to facilitate the absorption of vitamin B12 from your digestive tract, then the oral form will be utilized. Only people who don’t produce intrinsic factor must receive B12 injections, and they are diagnosed with a condition called pernicious anemia.

Q: How long does it take to become b12 deficient if youve jsut became a vegan?
I do have a supplemnt but i i forgot to take it the past 2 weeks. am i b12 deficient now

A: Maybe you never will be B12 deficient.

Bacteria in the intestines make B12. The body also stores B12. Some people are more likely to have B12 deficiency than others, especially if they lack a particular glycoprotein called Instrinsic Factor.

Many vegans will never need a B12 supplement, but it’s probably a good idea just in case.

Q: How much tough conference credibility did the b12 lose with missouri struggling to barely tie a weak b10 team?
Winning in overtime should be an embarassment for a division winner from the “mighty” b12.

A: big 12 is overrated.

Q: How to take sublingual b12 lozenges most effectively?
I find it hard not to swallow the saliva that gathers in my mouth and it takes forever for the pill to disolve… :(
I think im doing something wrong cos i dont feel the energy effect and have been taking Jarrows 1000mcg B12 and the vitamin B-complex supplements for about a week now.

A: They are pretty useless. a waste of money.

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