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Research Doesn’t Confirm Vitamin B-12 Injections Directly Promote Weight Loss

Vitamin B-12 shots have been quite popular as weight loss aids for years. They are widely used in commercial weight loss clinics and are promoted to help with energy, weight loss, and metabolic functions.

While there’s little argument among research scientists on what Vitamin B-12 does in the body, the question to be answered is does it directly impact lipolysis (fat burning) and thereby truly promote weight loss?

In today’s post we’re going to address that very question and examine exactly the role if any it can play in a weight loss program.

More after the jump…

As I alluded to earlier, commercial weight loss clinics often encourage B-12 vitamin injections as part of their programs to help promote weight loss by “boosting metabolism.”

There’s usually a persuasive pitch on the benefits of B-12 and why injections are preferred over pill form.

The reasoning behind injections is that B-12 absorption in pill form is diminished through the intestinal tract and digestion process. Because the injections are intramuscular, assimilation rates into the cells is increased.

Ok, so you can get better assimilation of B-12 if it’s injected over taking it in pill form. No arguments there, but do you really need it?

In most cases the answer is no. For starters, excess B-12 in the body doesn’t necessarily improve metabolic function. Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that excess levels would simply get excreted in urine.

So unless you are deficient in B-12 to begin with, getting shots could equate to nothing more than literally flushing your money down the toilet.

What the research says about Vitamin B-12 injections…

With all the claims about Vitamin B-12 injections aiding in weight loss, I couldn’t find a single peer reviewed research study to back it up!

Does this mean it doesn’t work? No, not necessarily but it’s certainly gives cause to be suspect of the claims.

If the research doesn’t confirm it, I can’t justify spending upwards of $10 an injection for it, especially when B-12 can be found in lots of foods.

Vitamin B-12 can mostly be found in animal products, including meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy. Vegans may have a harder time consuming enough B-12 naturally and would be possible candidates for supplementation in general.

What Vitamin B-12 does in the body…

Vitamin B-12 helps red blood cells develop properly; it’s involved in DNA synthesis, neurological function, and metabolic processes. It is involved in fatty acid synthesis and energy production, which is why you see claims for weight loss.

However, Vitamin B-12 does not increase metabolic rate or speed up the rate of thermogenesis based on anything I could find in research.

Just because a vitamin plays a role in metabolic processes doesn’t mean it will directly lead to accelerated fat loss. Unless deficiencies are present, excess Vitamin B-12 in the body probably won’t have much of an effect.

Bottom line on Vitamin B-12 injections…

While I can’t find a direct correlation behind B-12 injections and fat loss, there’s little concern with excess levels as the body will simply excrete it.

There are those who swear by the benefits and feel that it gives them more energy and helps with weight loss. Whether this is a placebo effect or a real deficiency being addressed it’s hard to say.

I have no problem with someone getting B-12 injections so long as they have realistic expectations. If it makes the individual feel better and gives them more energy to exercise, which does help with weight loss, then I’m open minded.

If you’re eating animal proteins and have an overall clean diet of whole, natural foods, you’ll likely have all the Vitamin B-12 you’ll need to support metabolic functions. From there it all comes down to exercise and lifestyle factors for helping you to lose weight.

While this is not a final verdict on Vitamin B-12 injections and weight loss, I wanted to simply reveal what the research says, which is not much.

My hunch is that commercial weight loss centers incorporate the Vitamin B-12 injections as a way to help their clients on severe caloric restriction diets have more energy and feel better while on their programs.

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The use of other drugs like phentermine are used to “speed up the process” with weight loss, which typically results in short-term quick fixes anyways.

Metabolic tricks and fast results help these weight loss centers bring in new clients, but long-term lasting weight loss will only be accomplished with lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.

Tis my two cents for what it’s worth. If you elect to take Vitamin B-12 injections I don’t see any adverse risks, it’s simply a question of the benefits.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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