For most people, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle will provide their bodies with all the Vitamin B12 it needs. However, for others, they may need to supplement their diet with a B12 injection. But what does this mean, and what are the potential benefits?
What is a B12 injection?
If a blood test reveals that you have low levels of Vitamin B12 in your blood, then your doctor may recommend or prescribe a B12 injection to boost your levels. There are four types of B12, but only one will be given in your injection:
Some people may be prone to a deficiency in Vitamin B12, such as vegans, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those taking medications that impact B12 absorption into the body, or someone with a condition that increases the need for B12 in the body.
What are the health benefits of a B12 injection?
1. May alleviate anxiety
An increase in Vitamin B12 levels can contribute to improved mental health in a number of ways. One of the main ways it does this is through the synthesising of melatonin, dopamine, and serotonin, which are hugely important when it comes to influencing your moods. Higher Vitamin B12 levels can help to fight low feelings and mood swings.
2. Can contribute to skin health
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in cell reproduction, so is therefore essential to the health of your skin, nails and hair. A boost in B12 levels can help improve cell turnover, reduce dryness, redness and inflammation in your skin, and increase collagen maintenance. It also may help with acne breakouts.
3. Can improve sleep
We’ve already touched on Vitamin B12’s positive impact on melatonin. As well as impacting your mood, melatonin is also responsible for the body’s sleeping patterns. Feeling tired during the day and struggling to sleep at night is one of the side effects of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is also essential for the production of red blood cells, which carry nutrients and oxygen around the body, and can impact tiredness and fatigue – another common side effect of low B12.
4. Can boost energy
When we eat our food, the body turns it into energy, which is aided by Vitamin B12. So, it stands to reason that more B12 may help the body to create more energy! This can help you feel more refreshed each day and do more daily exercise.
5. Can prevent hair loss
Who doesn’t want luscious long locks? We’ve already touched on the role Vitamin B12 plays in blood circulation and cell rejuvenation, which has further benefits to the growth of healthy hair. Having red blood cells rich in oxygen flowing through your body will help to strengthen and condition your hair from the inside.
6. May aid with weight loss
Vitamin B12 is thought to boost your metabolism. In addition to its energy and mood-boosting benefits that will aid any workout routine, Vitamin B12 may also help speed up weight loss.
7. May help with anaemia
As Vitamin B12 supports the erythropoiesis process within the body – where red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, triggered by the erythropoietin hormone – an increase in B12 may help with those who suffer from anaemia.
8. May help with immunity
We already know from the other benefits mentioned that Vitamin B12 is key for red blood cell formation, but it also helps with metabolic function and DNA production. As such, B12 may help with your immunity by ensuring your body is functioning as it should be.
9. Can help with brain function
In addition to all its assistance with our red blood cells, Vitamin B12 also plays a key role in our mental and cognitive function. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Vitamin B12 could slow down memory loss, as it compared the effects of lower and higher Vitamin B12 concentrations.
10. May support heart health
Vitamin B12 lowers the levels of a compound in the blood called homocysteine, which has been linked to a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks due to its impact on blood vessels. Increasing your levels of Vitamin B12 may help with lowering the risk of heart disease.
How to increase your Vitamin B12 levels
If you are looking to increase your Vitamin B12 levels naturally or following a B12 injection, there are a number of ways this can be done. Certain foods can be an excellent source of B12, which have been listed below.
You can also speak to a doctor or pharmacist about taking a Vitamin B12 supplement, which you may consider if dietary sources haven’t proved useful. In instances of poor absorption, or certain medical conditions, a B12 injection may be recommended.
Foods high in Vitamin B12
- Fortified Non-Dairy Milk
- Fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified nutritional yeast
If you’re already skilled in aesthetics and looking to add another string to your bow, a B12 injection course from RJL Education could be just the new feature to your repertoire.