The Power Of B
The B vitamins are a group of essential compounds the body needs for growth, development, and general health. At the core of this group lies B12, also known as cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is involved in energy production, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) development, nervous system health, and blood cell development. The recommended daily intake is about 2.4 micrograms. B12 deficiencies are common, but taking too much of the vitamin can also cause concern as toxicity can occur. The goal for all vitamins is to achieve the recommended daily amount from foods and, if necessary, supplements.
As the saying goes, too much of anything is a bad thing. The same goes for vitamins. Vitamin toxicity or hypervitaminosis occurs when there’s too much of a particular vitamin in the body. Since the body cannot process the vitamin fast enough, the excess amounts become toxic. This can lead to symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Most vitamin toxicity cases happen with fat-soluble vitamins that take longer to move through the body. While B12 is water soluble, excess amounts can still be toxic.
Signs of too much B12
Vitamin toxicity has a wide range of symptoms and can often go unnoticed. The kidneys often flush out excess B12, giving urine a bright yellow color. However, some people experience frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and muscle weakness. B12 toxicity should resolve naturally. However, if the symptoms become more severe, seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Can compounding help?
With vitamins, the goal is balance. Some people, such as vegans, may not have a diet that provides adequate amounts of B12. However, some supplements may provide too much B12 or a form that will not offer the best results. Some pharmacists recommend compounding, the process of creating customized drugs. A pharmacist can make a supplement containing an adequate supply of vitamin B12 and other vitamins. Compounding helps to avoid complications and unwanted interactions, such as vitamin toxicity. The user can also request different forms to make taking the supplement more convenient.
The right dose for you
Vitamin B12 is essential for health, energy, and performance. However, there are times when someone can get too much B12 from a combination of diet and supplements. The resulting vitamin toxicity can lead to unpleasant side effects. With compounding, anyone can have a supplement with the exact dose needed to limit toxicity. Doctors still recommend vitamins come from a healthy, balanced diet. However, when supplementation is necessary, take the correct amount of high-quality B12 for the best result.