Penn Herb Wellness Guide

Vitamin B12Find Products

Also indexed as:B12 Vitamin, Adenosylcobalamin, Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, Hydroxycyanocobalamin, Methylcobalamin
Vitamin B12: Main Image

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin needed for normal nerve cell activity, DNA replication, and production of the mood-affecting substance SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine). Vitamin B12 acts with folic acid and vitamin B6 to control homocysteine levels. An excess of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and potentially other diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement,little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
600 to 1,000 mcg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin B12 may help prevent and treat anemia. Deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid are the most common nutritional causes of anemia.
Depression and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
See a doctor for evaluation3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin B12 can help counteract deficiencies related to depression.
High Homocysteine

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily, 10 to 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily, and 50 to 300 mcg of vitamin B12 daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12 all play a role in converting homocysteine to other substances within the body and have consistently lowered homocysteine levels in trials.
Type 1 Diabetes
1,500 micrograms per day3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin B12 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In women with cardiovascular disease or related risk factors and low dietary intake of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, supplementing with a combination of these nutrients may protect against age-related cognitive decline.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline

(Folic Acid)
100 mcg per day of vitamin B12 and 400 mcg per day of folic acid2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, supplementing with vitamin B12 and folic acid for 2 years slowed the rate of cognitive decline, compared with placebo, in elderly volunteers.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Improved brain function among seniors has been observed after correcting vitamin B12 deficiency with injections, but oral vitamin B12 has not been studied for ARCD. People with ARCD should be tested for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Bell’s Palsy
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 injections have been shown to be beneficial for people with Bell’s palsy.
Celiac Disease

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
3 mg vitamin B6, 0.8 mg folic acid, and 0.5 mg vitamin B122 stars[2 stars]
Daily supplementation with a combination of vitamin B6 (3 mg), folic acid (0.8 mg), and vitamin B12 (0.5 mg) have been shown to help relieve depression in people with celiac disease.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause fatigue, but B12 injections have been reported benefits even without deficiency. A doctor should evaluate deficiency and whether B12 injections may help.
Hepatitis and Hepatitis C
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, the addition of vitamin B12 injections to antiviral medications increased the proportion of patients in whom the hepatitis C virus was cleared from the body.
Indigestion and Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Delayed Gastric Emptying, and Helicobacter Pylori Infection
1,000 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 may be beneficial for people with delayed emptying of the stomach in association with Helicobacter pylori infection and low blood levels of vitamin B12.
Low Back Pain

(Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6)
Take under medical supervision: 50 to 100 mg each of vitamins B1 and B6, and 250 to 500 mcg of vitamin B12, all taken three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
A combination of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 may prevent a common type of back pain linked to vertebral syndromes and may reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications.
Macular Degeneration

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
2.5 mg folic acid, 50 mg vitamin B6, and 1 mg vitamin B12 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study of female health professionals who had cardiovascular disease or risk factors, daily supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 significantly decreased age-related macular degeneration.
Male Infertility
1,500 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 is needed to maintain fertility. Vitamin B12 injections have been shown to increase sperm counts. Men
Migraine Headache
1 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, vitamin B12 reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by at least 50% in 10 of 19 people with recurrent migraines.
Neuropathy

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking a supplemental form of folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 may improve neuropathy symptoms and quality of life.
Neuropathy
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner 2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin B12 is needed for normal nerve cell function, and supplementing with it may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Neuropathy

(Vitamin B1)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking vitamin B1 combined with vitamin B12 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Osteoporosis and High Homocysteine
1,500 mcg with 5 mg of folic acid daily2 stars[2 stars]
Homocystinuria, a condition associated with high homocysteine levels, frequently causes osteoporosis. By lowering homocysteine levels, vitamin B12 may help prevent osteoporosis.
Schizophrenia and High Homocysteine

(Vitamin B6, Folic Acid)
Take folic acid (2 mg), vitamin B6 (25 mg), and vitamin B12 (400 mcg) daily2 stars[2 stars]
People with schizophrenia who have high homocysteine levels may improve symptoms by supplementing with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
Sickle Cell Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
People with sickle cell anemia may be deficient in vitamin B12. Intramuscular vitamin B12 injections improved symptoms for patients in one study.
Thalassemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If deficient: 300 to1,000 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some studies have found people with thalassemia to be frequently deficient in vitamin B12, supplementing with the vitamin may help.
Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy

(Vitamin B1)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking vitamin B1 combined with vitamin B12 may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.