This content is taken from the IAPAM’s Medically Supervised Weight Loss training program. The program is designed to help physicians incorporate a medical weight loss program into their medical practice.
What It Is and How it Works?
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is important to good health. It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, and also is needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in food. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach releases B12 from protein during digestion. Once released, B12 combines with a substance called intrinsic factor (IF) before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
All of these B vitamins help the body in converting carbohydrates into glucose or sugar, which is burned in order to produce energy for proper body function. These are often referred to as B complex vitamins, and are essential for the breakdown of fats and proteins. They help maintain muscle tone, protect the mucus lining in the digestive tract and mouth, and promote upkeep of nervous system and the organs like the liver, skin, hair, and eyes. Cobalamine is an excellent anti-stress vitamin since it is believed to enhance the health functioning of the immune system and improve the body’s ability to fight stressful conditions.
B12 injections have been found to frequently improve energy levels and general well-being. They also support thyroid function to regulate energy levels. B12 also reduces water retention owing to its diuretic attributes.
Vitamin B12 has a very low potential for toxicity. The Institute of Medicine states “no adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals.” The Institute recommends that adults older than 50 years of age get most of their vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified food because of the high incidence of impaired absorption of B12 from unfortified foods in this population. Source: http://doctrim.yourmd.com
What It Is and How it Works?
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that exists in three major chemical forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. It performs a wide variety of functions in your body and is essential for your good health. For example, vitamin B6 is needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It also is essential for red blood cell metabolism. The nervous and immune systems need vitamin B6 to function efficiently, and it also is needed for the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid) to niacin (a vitamin).
Hemoglobin within red blood cells carries oxygen to tissues. Your body needs vitamin B6 to make hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 also helps increase the amount of oxygen carried by hemoglobin. A vitamin B6 deficiency can result in a form of anemia that is similar to iron deficiency anemia.
An immune response is a broad term that describes a variety of biochemical changes that occur in an effort to fight off infections. Calories, protein, vitamins and minerals are important to your immune defenses because they promote the growth of white blood cells that directly fight infections. Vitamin B6, through its involvement in protein metabolism and cellular growth, is important to the immune system. It helps maintain the health of lymphoid organs (thymus, spleen and lymph nodes) that make your white blood cells. Animal studies show that a vitamin B6 deficiency can decrease your antibody production and suppress your immune response.
Vitamin B6 also helps maintain your blood glucose (sugar) within a normal range. When caloric intake is low, your body needs vitamin B6 to help convert stored carbohydrate or other nutrients to glucose to maintain normal blood sugar levels. While a shortage of vitamin B6 will limit these functions, supplements of this vitamin do not enhance them in well-nourished individuals.
Vitamin B6 can help with weight loss through a stimulating effect of the thyroid. This can be especially helpful for hormone balance in women when water retention is an issue. Lastly, patients seem to find the pyridoxine alleviates cravings consistently.
Concerns and Other Issues Associated with B6
Too much vitamin B6 can result in nerve damage to the arms and legs. This neuropathy is usually related to high intake of vitamin B6 from supplements and is reversible when supplementation is stopped. According to the Institute of Medicine, “Several reports show sensory neuropathy at doses lower than 500 mg per day”. As previously mentioned, the Food and Nutrition Board of the IOM has established an Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL) for vitamin B6 of 100 mg per day for all adults. “As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.” Source: http://doctrim.yourmd.com
Other Injections Used for Weight Loss: Vitamin B6 and B12 should not be confused with MIC weight loss injections. They are completely different, and are also only available by prescription only.
For more detailed information on B6 and B12 along with more information on providing medically supervised weight loss to your patients, please visit the IAPAM’s Weight Loss Training program. Or contact the IAPAM at 1-800-219-5108 x708.