Vitamin B 12 is a vitamin that is necessary in the human organism for various metabolic processes. The vitamin, which is absorbed from food, is particularly important for blood formation as well as for the breakdown of various fatty substances. A deficiency of vitamin B 12 can have various causes, but is usually manifested by an anaemia discovered by chance in the blood count.
People who suffer, for example, from chronic fatigue and exhaustion as well as a drop in performance should always have a vitamin B 12 determination in their blood. The so-called intrinsic factor is a substance in the small intestine that enables vitamin B 12 to be absorbed from food. There are various diseases in which this factor is missing or insufficiently developed.
The most common of these are heavy alcohol consumption and chronic gastritis. First and foremost, the cause must be treated and only then vitamin B 12 must be supplied. If the intrinsic factor in the stomach and small intestine is missing, even a vitamin B 12 preparation supplied in tablet form cannot be sufficiently absorbed. In this case the medication would be injected at regular intervals.
Vitamin B12 preparations
If a vitamin B 12 deficiency has been diagnosed, an appropriate preparation should be chosen for regular intake. There is a wide range of preparations available. From the manufacturer “Doppelherz” there are over-the-counter vitamin B 12 capsules, which should be taken at regular intervals.
It should be noted, however, that under certain circumstances oral (oral) intake may be ineffective because the transporters of the gastrointestinal tract do not function and this is the reason for the vitamin B 12 deficiency. Tetesept has a preparation that acts as a vitamin B 12 depot: The vitamin is thus “stored” and is thus sufficient for a longer period of time. Here too, it should be noted that a sufficient intake through a tablet is not 100% guaranteed.
Also numerous further manufacturers offer Vitamin B 12 in capsule form. In the case of slight vitamin B 12 deficiencies, an attempt at oral absorption can certainly be started. In the case of severe deficiencies, prompt compensation is necessary, so injection treatment should be used instead.
It is also important to check the vitamin B 12 level during and after taking medication. This allows an assessment to be made as to whether the deficiency has improved or whether the treatment strategy needs to be changed. The preparation “B12 Ankermann” from the company Wörwag GmbH & co KG is a drug that is used to cover the vitamin B12 requirement and in cases of vitamin deficiency.
It is one of numerous products on the market. It can be administered in the form of tablets or drops. Alternatively, it can be injected under the skin (for example, in the event of a utilization disorder after a stomach or intestinal operation).
Its active ingredient is cyanocobalamin (artificially produced vitamin B12). It is a very well researched and tested active ingredient that is suitable for covering the daily requirements of healthy people. An exception is made for smokers.
During the utilization of cyanocobalamin by the body, the nerve toxin cyanide is produced in very small quantities. This amount is so small that it is normally not medically significant. However, cyanide levels are usually already elevated by smoking, so it is better to switch to another vitamin B12 preparation.
These are usually more expensive than, for example, “B12 Ankermann”, but their effect is often better. For example, only 20-50% of the cyanocobalamin is absorbed when the drug is injected under the skin. With other forms such as hydroxycobalamin, however, about 70%.
Therefore, in the case of a medically proven vitamin B12 deficiency, a therapy with naturally occurring variants of the vitamin (including methylcobalamin) is recommended, since the body can use these immediately. “B12 Ankermann” must be obtained from the pharmacy. Many other vitamin B12 preparations are approved in Germany as dietary supplements and can therefore be purchased for free (for example in a drugstore).
A preparation containing vitamin B12 that is heavily advertised in advertising is Vitasprint. It is not only recommended for use in the event of a deficiency, but also for strengthening the immune system. According to the manufacturer, it should be taken when many infections follow one another.
According to the manufacturer, the drug should be effective in cases of tiredness, listlessness and weakness, especially during the winter months. Furthermore, the company gives a recommendation for stress-afflicted people, for concentration disorders and as dietary supplements for vegetarians.It is composed of vitamin B 12 and the amino acids phosphonoserine and glutamine. Vitasprint is available as capsules and as a liquid in which a powder can be dissolved.
The capsules are to be taken without being chewed. The first step in taking the liquid is to pierce the powder container located above the drinking bottle. The powder then empties into the liquid and can be drunk.
Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the human organism and must therefore be supplied through food. It is particularly contained in animal products such as meat or dairy products. It cannot be absorbed through vegetable food.
Particularly with vegan nutrition, there is therefore a risk of suffering a vitamin B12 deficiency with the corresponding symptoms (anaemia, coordination disorders and states of confusion). Therefore Veganer should pay attention to a sufficient supply. The German society for nutrition recommends daily 3μg (3 micro= millionth gram).
Three of four vegan living humans have an acute lack. The need can be covered for example by food auxiliary means. There are even Vitamin preparations, which are arranged particularly for the needs of Veganern.
Common vitamin B12 preparations do not contain any additives that contradict a vegan diet. Besides meanwhile for example many soy or rice drinks contain vitamin B12 additives. Not suitable is a supply over algae, sauerkraut or brewer’s yeast, even if this is occasionally recommended.
Although these products contain forms of vitamin B12, the human body cannot utilize them. A strictly vegan diet is safe as long as the intake of important micronutrients such as vitamin B12 is sufficient and, if necessary, supplemented. In many cases, the cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency is not only due to an unbalanced diet, but also to a reduced intake from food.
The reason here is a deficiency of the so-called intrinsic factor, which is formed in the stomach. If the formation of this transporter is reduced, vitamin B 12 cannot be absorbed from food: No matter how healthy one eats, the vitamin does not reach the circulation. Vitamin B 12 supplied by tablets or drops cannot be absorbed either and is excreted again.
To compensate for the deficiency in this case, vitamin B 12 injections are necessary. Because of the injection, a vitamin B 12 injection also involves risks and side effects that an orally administered treatment does not have. These include local irritation in the injection area, such as redness, swelling, local pain and inflammation caused by pathogens that have been introduced, some of which spread over large areas.
However, the advantage of the injection is that it is a safe application. That is, no matter what the cause of a vitamin B 12 deficiency is: It can be assumed that it is compensated with the injection. How often a vitamin B 12 injection must be given depends on the severity of the vitamin B12 deficiency.
As a rule, the syringe is injected once a month. A vitamin B 12 depot is then built up in the muscle, which can then be released bit by bit. The injection sites are usually the deltoid muscle. Patients on blood-thinning medication (Marcumar) should rather not be given an injection or only after a risk-benefit analysis, as heavy bleeding in the muscle can occur after an injection.