Vitamin B12 is a catchall term referring to various subtypes of B12 nutrients. B12 plays many roles to play in keeping the body healthy such as aiding in proper brain function, DNA synthesis and development of nerves and blood cells. While it is important to have adequate Vitamin B levels, too much of the vitamin can be dangerous, especially for people with certain pre-existing health conditions or those taking certain medications.
Who Needs Vitamin B12 Supplements?
Some people are Vitamin B12 deficient. These people may have trouble metabolizing the naturally occurring form and may require vitamin B12 shots or dietary supplements. Vitamin B12 has also illustrated such medicinal benefits as:
- Treating and preventing pernicious anemia
- Helping some forms of chronic fatigue
- Helping cognitive function in those with such conditions as amnesia or Alzheimer’s.
- Working to help facilitate fertility
- Strengthening the immune system in those with immunocompromising conditions such as AIDS
- Helping control certain skin conditions such as psoriasis
- Aiding symptoms of depression
What Sources of B12 Exist?
Vitamin B12 in its natural form is found in such foods as dairy products, meats and fish. Its laboratory simulated form can be taken orally, topically (rubbed onto the skin) for certain skin health conditions, or it can be given as an injection, typically for people with serious deficiencies that have trouble absorbing the nutrient through ingestion.
When Can Vitamin B Supplements be Dangerous?
Vitamin B12 supplementation can be quite hazardous for people who fall into certain health categories. It is important for people to know about these conflicts so they do not exacerbate their condition by unknowingly taking vitamin B12. Some of these conflicting conditions include:
- Gout – in some people with a history of gout who taking vitamin B12 for megaloblastic anemia, it has caused gout attacks.
- Leber’s disease – vitamin B12 may adversely effect the optic nerve which could lead to blindness in people with this hereditary eye disease.
- Post-stent patients – a combination of B12, B6 and folate can result in narrowing of the arteries which can be very dangerous for people who have had stent surgery or have certain other cardiovascular issues.
Does Vitamin B12 Interact With Any Other Medications?
Vitamin B12 could potentially interact with such medications and supplements
as: bone loss medications, cancer treatments, colchicine (gout medication), some stomach medications such as H2 blockers and PPIs, blood pressure medications, antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, some other NSAIDS (particularly aspirin), birth control pills, some heart medications, chloramphenicol, metformin, nicotine, nitrous oxide, aminosalicylic acid and stimulants. It may also react with certain other dietary supplements including vitamin C.
Should People Be Reticent About Vitamin B12?
As long as a healthy person doesn’t exceed the recommended amount
of Vitamin B12 (and only takes the correct type indicated by their doctor), they should be fine and may even see some health benefits such as increased energy. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting vitamin a B12 (or any type of supplement) to ensure it will be beneficial and not counterproductive for your particular health situation.
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