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The Vitamin B12 Craze - Super Nutrient or Super Hype?
Date:6/5/2008

Fleming Pharmaceuticals Lays the Debate to Rest

ST. LOUIS, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrities, from high-profile athletes to pop stars, have been known to inject it. Food products, including expensive energy drinks and even candy bars, are laced with massive amounts of it. It's vitamin B12 and it is the nutrient fad of the moment.

Fleming Pharmaceuticals found doses of vitamin B12 in some popular products on the market ranged from 40% all the way up to a whopping 5,000% of the U.S. government's recommended daily intake. But do these massive doses really provide an energy boost?

"There is no clinical evidence that large amounts of B12 provide an immediate surge of energy," said Glenn L. Gordon, MD, a noted gastroenterologist and adjunct assistant professor at St. Louis University. Dr. Gordon asserts that the connection these manufacturers make to energy and vitality is more rooted in the common knowledge that vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with fatigue, weakness and mental confusion.

75 Million Americans are B12 Deficient

Though most common in the elderly, vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur in vegetarians, gastric bypass patents, those suffering from Crohn's disease and Celiac disease and people who take acid blockers, like Pepcid or Zantac, on a long-term and regular basis.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is much more serious than a simple bout of low energy. Left untreated, the condition can lead to significant anemia and serious neurological problems such as dementia-like symptoms, mood swings, depression, numbness, balance problems, shooting sensations in the extremities and urinary incontinence.

Only a blood test by a physician can determine whether a patient is vitamin B12 deficient. Treatment options for vitamin B12 deficiency were once limited to oral supplements for those with normal digestive tracts and painful intramuscular injections for patients whose digestive systems cannot absorb B12 th
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SOURCE Fleming Pharmaceuticals
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