Vitamin B12 is an dietary molecular complex and is involved in the healthy functioning of the central nervous system, blood formation, and cellular metabolism. For individuals who have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food, it has been supplemented through oral sources and injections for many years. More recently, vitamin B12 has been combined with three amino acids called lipotropics for weight loss purposes.
Vitamin B12 plays a biochemical role in the replication of DNA and RNA. It also is integral to the reaction that produces hemoglobin. If the body has inadequate supplies of vitamin B12, DNA and RNA replication can be compromised which leads to higher cancer rates. Lack of B12 also produces a build up of an amino acid called homocysteine which has been correlated with higher rates of heart attack and stroke. Also, the lack of B12 for the formation of hemoglobin can compromise the blood from carrying enough oxygen to the tissues and organs around the body. Generally, vitamin B12 shots are prescribed for the 10-15 percent of individuals over the age of 60 who are unable to absorb enough vitamin B12 from food, and suffer from sluggishness and a general lack of energy. It is the proper function of cellular metabolism in the presence of adequate B12 that is now being used to enhance weight loss.
The term lipotropic literally means "fat loving." The three lipotropics being used with vitamin B12 in weight loss injections are choline, methionine, and inositol. Choline is an amino acid normally found in eggs, beef, cauliflower, beans, and some nuts. It assists in metabolizing fats, and helps to prevent fatty deposits in both the arteries and the liver itself.
Methionine works in chemical reaction that get rid of the byproducts of protein metabolism. It also acts to prevent fatty deposits in the arteries and liver. As such, methionine has a protective effect on the liver and kidneys. Natural sources of methionine include fish, meats, sesame seeds and brazil nuts.
Inositol is an amino acid that combines with choline to produce lecithin, which is protective of the arteries, heart, and liver. Inositol also plays a role in healthy nervous system functioning and the action of serotonin, showing promising results in lowering the severity of mood disorders such as depression. Natural sources of inositol are found in nuts, vegetables, raisins and bananas.
Treatment Methods and Safety
The combination of vitamin B12, choline, methionine, and inositol are available in injection form. Although all four are available through food or oral supplementation, injection directly into the blood stream provides these natural substance immediately to the body if any were in short supply. They all have a direct effect on metabolism and how the body handles fat. There is anecdotal evidence that B12 and lipotropic injections assist in weight loss, although each individual will react differently. According to Mayo Clinic.com, there's no solid evidence that vitamin B-12 in any form, including injections, improves weight loss, but there is also no evidence that taking injections is harmful. Consult a health provider for assessment of your health goals and individual needs to determine if such methods might be right for you.
- Naturodoc: lipotropics
- Texas medical weight loss clinic: vitamin b12 liptropic injections
- Dr. Rod Santos: B12-lipotropic injections pdf
- University of Maryland Medical Center: vitamin b12
- Mayo Clinic: Are vitamin B-12 injections helpful for weight loss?
- Double-Blind, Controlled Trial of Inositol Treatment of Depression