Do B12 Vitamin Drops Work?
Being skeptical of supplements is natural. After all, some formulas promise entirely too much, practically claiming ordinary vitamins and minerals to be miracle pills. Realistically, there are a ton of benefits to supplements that merely aim to fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet, boosting both your energy and your overall wellness. But, how can you make sure you see the full effects of your supplement consistently? In this article, we will explore some of the various benefits you may expect when regularly taking B12 liquid drops or a liquid multivitamin that contains vitamin B12.
How to Make Vitamins Work for You
If you want to make sure you experience all the potential benefits that any supplement has to offer, then you need to utilize it safely and consistently. You can easily make a habit out of taking your supplement by incorporating it into your routine at the same time each day. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it is quite flexible and does not need to be taken with anything other than a glass of water to facilitate maximum absorption. However, as we will discuss in the next section, this nutrient is known for providing a rather powerful energy boost, so you may want to avoid taking it too close to bedtime. In fact, consuming vitamin B12 in the morning or late afternoon may help give you the boost you need to start or finish the day strong.
Using vitamins safely often entails both checking with your physician to learn about possible contraindications as well as ensuring that you always consume your supplement in safe amounts. Contraindications are reasons that you should not take a particular vitamin or mineral. These reasons typically refer to pre-existing health conditions or even allergies. Contraindications for vitamin B12 may include having a low amount of potassium in the blood, Leber's hereditary optic atrophy, and atrophic gastritis (1). If any of these conditions apply to you, then you should use caution when taking supplements containing vitamin B12.
Consuming healthy amounts of your supplements is also key to making sure they function properly in your body. Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body, but it is possible to use them in excess, possibly leading to adverse side effects. However, not taking enough is also a problem, as it can lead to deficiency or failure to provide you with all the benefits you are seeking. Always follow the instructions on the label of your supplement or those given by your physician. They will typically place you directly in the sweet spot of taking the perfect amount of your supplement. This amount is sometimes referred to as the RDA, or recommended dietary allowance, for a particular nutrient. The RDA to target for vitamin B12 according to various demographics is as follows (2):
- 0 to 6 months: 0.4 mcg
- 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg
- 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg
- 4 to 8 years: 1.2 mcg
- 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg
- 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant individuals: 2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding individuals: 2.8 mcg
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Now, let’s take a look at a few of the benefits your vitamin B12 supplement can provide when utilized properly.
Vitamin B12 is famously known for its ability to boost your energy levels. In fact, some people have even come to rely on it as a healthy alternative to their usual afternoon coffee, avoiding unnecessary sugars and caffeine. The energy generated by vitamin B12 is linked to an increase in your metabolism. This potent nutrient helps your cells break food down into glucose which is then used as fuel throughout the body. More fuel, naturally, means more energy, both physically and mentally.
Similar to its energy-boosting abilities, vitamin B12 can also positively impact the brain by increasing neurological function and lifting your mood. It plays a part in the maintenance of healthy brain cells as well as the production of mood-regulating hormones like serotonin. Increased production of these neurotransmitters can even help alleviate symptoms of depression, so vitamin B12 may sometimes be recommended alongside an antidepressant (3).
On top of its many other talents, vitamin B12 can also lower the risk of serious health conditions linked to the protein homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine in the blood may lead to dementia, stroke, or heart disease. Alongside a few other B complex vitamins, B12 breaks down homocysteine, regulating its levels in the body. Additionally, it may help decrease the risk of neural birth defects during pregnancy, as it plays an essential role in the healthy development of the brain and nervous system (4).
- “Who Should Not Take Vitamin B12?” WebMD, 2022, https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1010/cyanocobalamin-vitamin-b-12-oral/details/list-contraindications.
- “Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Consumers.” National Institutes of Health, 7 July 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer.
- Berkheiser, Kaitlyn. “9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12, Based on Science.” healthline, 14 June 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-benefits.
- “Roles of Vitamin B in Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association, 2021, https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/vitamin-b-pregnancy.