Vitamin B12 injections are necessary if your low B12 levels are caused by a medical issue that effects your body’s ability to absorb the vitamin. If you do not have any of the conditions below then it is likely that your low vitamin B12 is due to your diet, in which case it is not a medical issue and can be corrected with oral supplements you can buy over the counter or online.
Some people feel great benefit with injections and feel they wear off. But taking daily oral B12 means you get a steady level of B12 at all times, and your levels will be much more consistent and you should not get a return of your symptoms when your next injection is due.
A vitamin B12 oral supplementation intake of 150 micrograms daily or more is usually more than sufficient for most people to correct dietary low vitamin B12. Most doses are sold as 1000mcg so there is plenty of B12 in each tablet to boost your levels.
Unless you have one of the conditions listed above, your vitamin B12 deficiency is likely to be a dietary issue rather than a medical one. Prescriptions are usually reserved for medical problems and if the medication is not available over the counter. B12 is widely available is pharmacies, supermarkets, health food stores and online. This is similar for Vitamin D. Vitamin B12 tablets are available to purchase online, or at most supermarkets/high street health stores and can cost as under £7 for a whole year!
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Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin) is one of the B vitamins and is a nutrient that plays a large role in keeping your blood and nerve cells healthy, as well as contributing to the production of DNA, the genetic material in every cell in your body.
The amount of vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in micrograms (mcg).
Recommended amount (mcg):
Adults (18 years +)
During pregnancy (Any age)
When breastfeeding (Any age)
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods, and manufacturers add it to some fortified foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified, which is why a number of vegetarians/vegans find themselves to be deficient in vitamin B12.
· Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products are good sources of vitamin B12
· Clams and beef liver are some of the richest sources of vitamin B12
· Some breakfast cereals and non-dairy milks (soy, oat, etc.) are fortified with vitamin B12
If the body does not have enough vitamin B12 then you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, headaches, low mood, stomach issues, difficulty concentrating, inflammation of mouth and tongue, pins and needles, muscle weakness, or impaired coordination.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the body only absorbs as much as it needs to use and the rest is excreted in your urine. Because of this, oral vitamin B12 is considered to be safe even at high doses. That being said, you should still take vitamin B12 as directed by the information on the leaflet/packet provided with the supplement to ensure you avoid the potential for any unwanted side effects.
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