Monday, 14 April 2014 11:45

Vitamin B12 Supplements: Help or Hype?

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Vitamin B12 shots and supplements are all the rage, which might not be a bad thing. A large study conducted at Tufts University in Boston found that “nearly 40 percent of Americans had levels of B12 that were low enough to cause neurological symptoms.

” These findings are somewhat troubling considering the essential role B12 plays in maintaining a sense of overall health and well-being. B12 helps the body transform food into energy. It is necessary for cell metabolism, red blood cell production, and a properly functioning central nervous system. B12 is also good for the heart, brain, skin, hair and nails. If your clients have low levels of B12, supplements could help them. They may find that their skin, hair and nails look better, and that they feel better overall.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin deficiency can vary but include emotional symptoms such as unexplained low energy, mood swings, depression and physical symptoms such as dry skin, acne, hair loss, and brittle nails. If your client shows signs of any of these physical symptoms in your clients, you should educate them about the importance of B12 and encourage them to talk to their doctor if they feel they may be deficient.

Taking the Right Supplements
If your clients determine they are low in B12, they might want to take a supplement. There are two types of B12 supplements. Most of the pills that are available are made with cyanocobalamin, which is difficult for the body to absorb. Your clients may want to look for supplements that contain methylcobalamin instead. It is more readily used by the body. And if they are willing to get a shot of B12, that may be their best bet.


  1. “Getting Enough B12” Current Tufts News & Events. Tufts University. 10 Sep. 2011. Web. 30 Jan 2014
  2. Held, Lisa Elaine. “The B12 Craze: Should you be supplementing?” well+GOOD:Your Healthiest Relationship. 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2014

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