What Vitamin B12 Dosage Should You Be Taking?
Note that this article is for educational purposes and you should consult a doctor in order to get the correct dosage for your needs. This article is general in nature and not specific to any individual.
Our body needs various kinds of vitamins for our growth and development. There are vitamins that help us fight harmful microorganisms that cause us to get sick.
Other vitamins help us to build our system so that we will remain strong and healthy. One of these vitamins is vitamin B12. It is one of the eight B vitamins popularly known as vitamin B complex. Vitamin B12 is important because it helps in our DNA and RNA production, as well as in metabolizing proteins and fats from the food we eat. One of its main functions is to help our nervous system to work efficiently and to maintain the vitality of our nerve cells.
If we will only eat a healthy, balanced diet everyday, we would never need vitamin B12 supplements. But since our daily diet is suffused with processed meat and pasta, we need a supplemental vitamin B12 dosage daily to keep us healthy. Like all other B vitamins, B12 is water soluble. Eating foods like fishes, meats, fruits and vegetables will provide us our daily requirement. We can also take it in the form of vitamin B12 supplements. Your body cannot produce vitamin B12 so you need to ingest it from an outside source.
Types of Vitamin B12
Before we can discuss about the correct vitamin B12 dosage, we have to first learn about the types of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is available in many forms. They are the following:
• Vitamin B12 in pills and capsules – these are swallowed and are the most commonly ingested form of vitamin B12 and they are the cheapest.
• Sublingual Vitamin B12 – this is administered sublingually or under your tongue. They say that this is a faster way to recover from vitamin B12 deficiency.
• Liquid vitamin B12 – this is also taken orally.
• Vitamin B12 patch – this is attached to the skin.
• Injectable Vitamin B12 – this is directly injected into the patient. This is prescribed by the doctor and not just self injected.
• Nasal Vitamin B12 – this is administered by nasal spraying and is also prescribed by the doctor.
Given these forms of vitamin B12 supplements, you can see that the dosage is dependent upon the form that you are taking. Your reasons for taking the supplement and your medical condition will also bear on the correct amount of vitamin B12 that you can take. There is however a general daily recommended vitamin B12 dosage for health maintenance. On the average, the dosages for oral and nasal forms of vitamin B12 are much higher than the injectable form because only a small portion of them is delivered into the bloodstream.
Recommended Daily Dosages For Health Maintenance
The recommended daily allowance or RDA of vitamin B12 according to the US Food And Drug Administration is 2.4 micrograms daily for those who are 14 years and older. For nursing and lactating women, this increased to 2.6 mcg to 2.8 mcg. If you are practicing good healthy eating habits, you will most probably get this amount from the food you eat. For people with medical conditions that make it difficult to absorb vitamin B12, supplements are necessary to get this daily recommended dosage. For older people who have difficulty in absorbing vitamin B12, 1000 mcg daily to maintain their vitamin B12 levels is acceptable because excess amounts will only be processed by your kidneys and passed on through your urine. For larger amounts, it is wise to consult a doctor or a pharmacist before taking the supplements.
Vitamin B12 Dosage For Children
The required daily allowance for children has not been established yet. Adequate intake (AI) is being used instead. The AI level for infants from 0 to 6 months old is 0.4 mcg. For those who are 7 to 12 months old, the AI level is 0.5 mcg. Children from 1 to 3 years old have an AI level of 0.9 mcg while children who are 4 to 8 years old have 1.2 mcg. Lastly, children aged 9 to 13 years old have an AI level of 1.8 mcg.
B12 Dosage For Vitamin B12 Deficiencies
Generally, much higher doses are required in correcting vitamin B12 deficiencies. Although injections were considered as the best way to treat this condition, it is now known that oral forms of administration can also be effective in correcting the deficiency. Some health practitioners start with injections to build up the reserve of vitamin B12, then they follow it with oral administrations to complete the treatment. If you are diagnosed as vitamin B12 deficient, consult with your health provider for the right dosage of vitamin B12. The dosage will vary upon each person’s medical history, and ability to absorb the vitamin.