After a study was released that reported nearly 40 percent of Americans might be deficient in B12, advocates of vitamin injections seemed to come out of the woodwork!
They claim that they can benefit serious conditions, including cancer, macular degeneration, Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia and depression.
They also say the injections are helpful for preventing illness too. Well-known TV physician, Dr. Oz, went as far as describing them as "cutting edge."
The B12 vitamin is an essential micronutrient that affects the development and maintenance of red blood cells, nerve cells, and normal myelination, or the covering, of nerve cells.
It also aids in the production of DNA and RNA, and the production of neurotransmitters.
So, while B12 injections may be popular, are they something you should really consider?
First of all, if you look at closer at the numbers reported by the Framingham Offspring Study that's often cited, you'll see that it actually found 39 percent of people had B12 levels that were in the "low normal" range -- and that's well above the accepted level of deficiency.
In reality, the actual numbers of those who suffer from a shortage of B12 are closer to just 1.5 to 15 percent.
Most of us get enough through foods like poultry, fish, milk, eggs and fortified products. Of course, that's not to say that no one should be concerned about low B12 levels.
Those who have celiac disease, vegans, vegetarians and people who drink a lot of alcohol, are truly susceptible due to absorption problems and/or diet choices.
- tingling and numbness in toes and fingers
- a sore tongue
- walking difficulties
- memory loss
- frequent mood change
Please note -- all of the above symptoms are also symptoms of other medical conditions.
While there is an established medical role for injectable vitamins like these, it's certainly not an energy-boosting cure-all!
The best way to get your B12 is through a variety of healthy foods, including organic, free-range eggs, shellfish, dairy products, wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish like mackerel and tuna.
Vitamin infusions are really a marketing creation if anything.
They may give you the illusion that you're doing something good for your health, but selling unproven treatments like these without good scientific evidence is really only benefiting those who are making money off people who just want to feel better.
If you do fall for the craze, B12 isn't a vitamin that builds up toxicity like some others when taken in excess, which means you're unlikely to experience many negative side effects, other than the damaging effect on your wallet, of course.
Sorry to disappoint, but the only true "cure" for low energy, shedding pounds and achieving better overall health is the solution that you've probably already heard time and time again: a healthy, nutritious diet and regular exercise!