Are vitamin B-12 injections helpful for weight loss?

Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

There's no solid evidence that vitamin B-12 injections aid weight loss.

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble B complex vitamin found naturally in a variety of foods, including meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections are commonly prescribed to help prevent or treat pernicious anemia and B-12 deficiency.

Some weight-loss clinics offer vitamin B-12 injections as part of their weight-loss programs. Proponents of vitamin B-12 injections say the shots give you more energy and boost your metabolism, helping you shed unwanted pounds. But unless you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, vitamin B-12 injections aren't likely to give you an energy boost.

Getting large amounts of vitamin B-12 through vitamin B-12 injections isn't likely to harm your health. But vitamin B-12 can interfere with the effectiveness of some medications, so if you receive vitamin B-12 injections, be sure to let your doctor know.

If you're hoping to lose weight, resist the lure of quick and easy solutions. What counts is a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy healthier foods and include physical activity in your daily routine.

Jul. 27, 2012