The Side Effects of Vitamin B12 Lipotropic Injections

Vitamin B-12 helps increase energy and accelerate the metabolism.
Image Credit: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages

Some weight-loss clinics advise the use of lipotropic injections of vitamin B-12 to aid in dieting goals because of this nutrient's potential to increase energy and accelerate the metabolism, which can help increase the likelihood of the body shedding weight and fats.


Lipotropic injections are made with a mixture of minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Each nutrient contributes to the body's ability to metabolize fats into energy as opposed to storing them and increasing weight gain. However, there are side effects that should be considered before you pursue these injections.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

Lipotropic Injection Components

B-12 is considered the most important vitamin in the B complex by most doctors and nutritionists. It aids mental agility, emotional stability, the strength of the nervous system and the production of healthy red blood cells.

However, lipotropic injections are not solely made up of vitamin B-12, and the other components are important to consider. You may be allergic to or experience interactions with these ingredients.

Cole Family Practice outlines the components of lipotropic injections:

  • Thiamin: Integral to the health and maintenance of the nervous system and muscles, thiamin also plays a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and transforming them into glucose.
  • Riboflavin: Similar to vitamin B-12, riboflavin is beneficial in the production of healthy red blood cells. It also helps in the transformation of carbohydrates into glucose.
  • Niacin: Recommended by most doctors as the B vitamin responsible for boosting "good" cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol and fatty acids in the blood.
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5): Vital in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats, it's particularly helpful in losing weight.
  • Cobalamin (vitamin B-12): Required for the successful execution of the body's metabolic processes and also aids with the production of healthy red blood cells, supporting the health of nerve cells and the replication of DNA. Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been linked to obesity.
  • Methionine: An amino acid required for multiple purposes in the body, including the maintenance of healthy hair, teeth and nails. It also helps prevent the accumulation of lipids within the liver and vascular system, so it's particularly relevant to lipotropic injections.
  • Carnitine: Another amino acid, which plays a key role in energy production in that it aids in the burning of long-chain fatty acids so that they become acid as opposed to becoming stored fat. For this reason, it is an important factor where weight loss is concerned.




If you have an allergy to any of the listed components often found in lipotropic injections or if you are concerned any of them may negatively interact with medications you are currently taking, consult with your healthcare professional before proceeding.

The Purpose of Lipotropic Shots

Lipotropic injections aid in weight loss by supplementing and fortifying the necessary vitamins and minerals that aid with the liver's ability to process fats properly. When the body is deficient in these vitamins and minerals it cannot process the fats it takes in through diet adequately. So instead of being metabolized into energy, the fat is put into stores that cause excess weight gain.


Lipotropic shots are usually administered when other attempts at weight loss — such as lifestyle changes and exercise — are not plausible or have been proven to be ineffective.

However, lipotropic shots should not be used as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle or a balanced diet. Fitness trainers and nutritionists alike often use lipotropic injections when building a plan for their clients to aid in weight loss. But these injections should not to be used as a singular solution because there is no conclusive evidence that vitamin B-12 shots alone cause weight loss. Lipo B shots are an aid to positive dietary changes, not a singular fix.


Read more: 4 Reasons Your B12 Injections Might Not Be Working

Lipotropic Injection Functions

Beyond increasing metabolic function and allowing for increased energy release, the Core Medical Group advise that lipotropic injections can play specific beneficial roles.

These include:


  • Liver detoxification: The cholines found in lipotropic injections help to keep the liver working efficiently and aid in the detoxification of the body.
  • Faster metabolism: The mitochondria creates most of the energy found in the body, and both B12 and Inositol (which is found in lipotropic injections) are integral to the mitochondria
  • Energy boosting: This is due to the vitamin B12 content.


It isn't just weight loss that lipotropic injections can be good for — the nutrients and minerals that comprise lipotropic shots have many potential benefits for the body.


Side Effects of Lipotropic Injections

As with any medical procedure, there can always be side effects involved. Millennium Physicians advises that if you are considering lipotropic injections, a physician should always be consulted first; individual makeup and metabolism must always be considered before making any medical alterations.

Though side effects are rare, it's important to be aware of them. Millennium Physicians also says potential side effects of lipotropic injections include:


  • Allergic reactions: Itching, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the tongue, throat or mouth.
  • Mild diarrhea: Due to the sudden boost of vitamins and minerals in the body.
  • Mild nausea: Same as above — however, both nausea and diarrhea should pass quickly. If they do not, consult a medical professional.
  • Headaches and light-headedness

Although these side effects are rare, if you begin to experience any of them it's important to consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible, as they could potentially be signs of something more serious.

Read more: What Is the Normal Intramuscular Dose of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B-12 and Weight Loss

Vitamin B-12 is linked with increased metabolism and energy production, so many assume this means it is a beneficial aid in weight loss because the increased energy makes the body more active — which means more calories and excess fat can be burned.

The role vitamin B-12 plays in encouraging carbohydrate and protein metabolism means that more of the nutrients the body receives are converted into energy as opposed to being stored as fat, which also lends itself to the theory of vitamin B-12 increasing weight loss.

However, the Mayo Clinic explains that there is no clinical evidence solidly proving that vitamin B-12 is directly linked with weight loss. It is certainly instrumental in the digestive process and metabolic functions in the body that, in turn, may contribute to weight loss, but in and of itself it is not a miracle worker for shedding pounds.


If the body is deficient in lipotropic nutrients (such as those featured in lipotropic injections) fats and bile can accumulate in the liver, which can lead to serious health conditions such as cirrhosis, complete liver failure and metabolic issues. If you have any concerns about lipotropic nutrient deficiency, contact your healthcare professional for advice




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...