Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin. That means that we need appropriate levels to function as humans. B12 delivers energy and is found in meat, fish, and dairy products, which explains why vegans and vegetarians often need to supplement with oral dosages or shots of B12. In recent years, B12 shots have become popular among even those that don’t have a deficiency. Those that swear by the shots claim they give them more energy and help them combat feeling sluggish or lethargic. I’ve been curious about B12 shots for a while. Molly hates needles, so this experiment was all me.
Sandy’s Health and Wellness is a health and wellness store in West Chester. The store is basically a health product haven. I walk in and instantly felt more relaxed. Lining the shelves are himalayan salt lamps, vitamins, essential oils, crystals, teas, mindfulness books, healthy cookbooks, and so on and so forth. Sandy’s is now actually owned by Christina Begley Hall who took over the shop about 3 years ago after Sandy passed away. They kept the name as legacy. Christina is fascinated with the human condition and supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
She takes me to the back of the shop where we start to chat, and I meet Dr. Cole, an M.D. who runs the Cole Center for Healing. He’s partnering with Sandy’s to offer B12 shots on site every Saturday from 10AM-11AM. He explains he’s also offering shots of magnesium, b-complex, calcium, trace minerals, and vitamin C. I’m also a big fan of magnesium, mostly before bed to aid with sleep, but for this experiment, I wanted to focus solely on the effects of the B12 shot.
Dr. Cole explains that nutrients like B12 aren’t necessarily “fixers,” but more so “supporters” of good health. He goes on. B12 declines as we age, and most likely the better you feel after receiving a B12 shot, the more deficient you are. Most individuals who come to him for B12 shots are struggling with symptoms like brain fog, feelings of exhaustion, and energy loss. That may have been why I didn’t feel much after my B12 shot. I’m generally an energetic person and eat a ton of grass fed meat, so I may not be deficient, hence not noticing a big difference post shot. Others, especially vegans and vegetarians, who are deficient in B12 report that the shots have a huge impact on their wellbeing. The shot took two seconds and was in my hip.
After talking with Dr. Cole, it sounds like best practice is to visit your physician, get blood drawn, and know your own personal levels of all of the aforementioned nutrients. This can be done with most nutrients, but the problem with B12 is there is a lot of controversy in the medical world on how to accurately measure the nutrient. Sometimes symptoms are a better indicator than a blood test. A B12 deficiency usually presents as fatigue, brain fog, low energy, decreased concentration, or symptoms that don’t seem to make sense (you’re sleeping 9 hours a night and still tired). If you are deficient, B12 shots could drastically help.
So, if you’re experiencing symptoms associated with B12 deficiencies, try out shots for a few weeks(once a week) and see how you feel. It’s not going to hurt to try--you can’t really have too much B12. If they don’t help, you won’t be out a ton (the shots are just $18 each) and you’ll get to experience and peruse Sandy ’s, which is amazing. If you’re into health and you leave there without finding something you never knew you needed, I’d be shocked.
Have you tried B12 shots before? Comment below and tell us what you thought.