Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Jun 2023 | Health | 0 comments

Can B12 Shots Help with Weight Loss?

Health | 0 comments

June 2023

Although some people claim vitamin B12 shots can help with weight loss, experts do not recommend them. They can cause side effects and, in some cases, allergic reactions. According to a 2019 study, vitamin B12 levels are lower in people with obesity than in those at a moderate weight. However, it did not prove that the vitamin can help a person lose weight.

The Role of Vitamin B12

B12 is a water-soluble vitamin present in some foods. It is available as an oral dietary supplement in tablet form, or doctors can also prescribe it as a shot. B12 supplements may be necessary for some people as the body can not make it. B12 is important for development and functioning of the central nervous system, formation of red blood cells, synthesis of DNA, the genetic material in the cells, and functioning of two enzymes responsible for an array of chemical reactions.

B12 Shots and Obesity

Research from 2019, notes an inverse relationship between obesity and low vitamin B12 levels. This means that people with obesity tend to have lower levels than those with a moderate weight. However, the research authors emphasize that this does not indicate the shots can help a person lose weight, as there is no proof that a causal relationship exists.

Risks and Side Effects of B12 Shots

In rare situations, B12 shots can cause allergic reactions, including itching, rash, and anaphylaxis, a life threatening condition that can cause a fast heartbeat and difficulty breathing. Other side effects that can occur include shortness of breath, fast weight gain, and swelling, congestive heart failure, the inability of the heart to adequately pump blood, pulmonary edema, the buildup of fluid in the lungs, and more.

B12 and Diet

B12 shots are not necessary for weight loss. For most people, a balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients for wellness, including vitamin B12. Some food sources of the vitamin include milk and milk products, fish, red meat, eggs, and poultry. However, a person with B12 deficiency may not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin from their diet. When this occurs, they may need supplements or B12 shots.


Experts do not recommend B12 shots for weight loss. Some studies indicate people with obesity have low vitamin B12 levels. However, researchers do not know if the effects of obesity can cause a reduction in B12 levels or if reduced B12 levels may be a contributing factor to obesity. More studies are necessary to determine what factors may underlie the link. B12 shots can cause side effects, some of which are serious. Most individuals who follow a balanced diet get enough B12, but doctors may prescribe the shots for those who cannot absorb it.

– Mary West

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