B12 is necessary for energy production in the cells, neurological heath (brain and nerves), supports sleep, mood immunity, metabolism and adrenal health. It's available in foods, animal sources tend to have higher amounts of B12 per ounce, however approximately 30% gets destroyed during cooking and depending on your digestion you may not be absorbing whatever is left. In order to absorb B12 you need adequate levels of stomach acid and good intestinal health.
Certain lifestyle factors and medications can also deplete B12. People who take medications to manage symptoms of their poor digestive health, such as a proton pump inhibitor for heartburn (which is one of top 3 most prescribed medications) likely have low B12 because this drug decreases stomach acid levels and depletes B12. Also, if you consume a lot of alcohol and/or coffee you deplete your levels much quicker. A common symptom of B12 deficiency is numbness/tingling of hands, legs or feet.
When would you consider getting a B12 shot? If you are a vegan/vegetarian, consume alcohol and/or coffee on a regular basis, have symptoms of digestive discomfort such as heartburn, gas, bloating --you could likely benefit from a shot. Typically a smaller dose is given unless you have labs indicating a deficiency in which it is determined you need a higher dose. If you don't have access to a doctor who gives nutrient injections, there are supplement options which are better than others. Make sure you look for the form that is methylated; next to B12 it should say "methylcobalamin" in parenthesis.
Interested in getting a shot? Contact me for scheduling information