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Does Vitamin B-12 Make You Lose Your Appetite?

by
author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Does Vitamin B-12 Make You Lose Your Appetite?
Young woman standing on scale Photo Credit Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your body relies on a number of vitamins to work at its best, including vitamin B-12. When you do not get enough vitamin B-12 in your diet, you can experience adverse effects, ranging from pernicious anemia to fatigue, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. The vitamin has been studied for its ability to aid in appetite suppression and boost your metabolism. However, vitamin B-12 has not been proven as an appetite-suppression or weight-loss tool, according to MayoClinic.com.

Vitamin B-12 Significance

Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B-12 is a member of the B-vitamin family, which plays a part in your metabolism, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Because of this, vitamin B-12 has been studied for its potential role in weight loss, and it has been used at some weight-loss clinics. Vitamin B-12 is found in certain types of fish, fortified breakfast cereals, and beef liver, among other things. The recommended daily intake for vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms for men and women; pregnant or lactating women need slightly more.

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Vitamin B-12 and Research

According to the online version of "Scientific American," researchers at Syracuse University studied the creation of a chewing gum that combines human peptide YY, or hPYY, hormone with vitamin B-12 to suppress appetite. Your intestines release hPYY hormones when you eat and exercise to signal your brain that you are full, thus decreasing your appetite. Vitamin B-12 is added to the gum to protect hPYY in your stomach until it reaches the bloodstream to help reduce appetite. This is still in the clinical trial stages to ensure that the hPYY hormone can be safely used for weight loss.

Vitamin B-12 Injections

Weight-loss clinics inject patients with vitamin B-12 as a way to promote weight loss. The claimed benefits are not related to appetite loss, however. Instead, vitamin B-12 injections are offered as a means to boost energy and speed your metabolism, according to MayoClinic.com. The theory is that when your metabolism increases, you burn more calories, which may lead to losing more weight.

Conclusions

You need vitamin B-12 in your diet to maintain good health, but vitamin B-12 should not be viewed as a quick fix, according to MayoClinic.com. Vitamin B-12 deficiencies are associated with fatigue, weakness, constipation and appetite loss, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. However, avoiding vitamin B-12 as a way to reduce your appetite is an unhealthy choice that could lead to conditions such as depression, dementia, confusion and loss of balance. Instead of using vitamin B-12 as a quick fix, eat a balanced, nutritious diet and exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy weight and minimize hunger pangs.

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