According to recent study findings from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, oral supplements of vitamin B12 appear to correct vitamin B12 deficiencies as well as injections of the vitamin.
However, to be as effective as injections, this research suggests that oral doses must contain more than 200 times the recommended daily allowance.
To investigate, researchers tested various daily doses of oral vitamin B12 supplements in 120 people aged 70 and older. Researchers found that daily oral doses of 647 to 1032 micrograms of vitamin B12 appeared to correct the deficiency. The current RDA for vitamin B12 is 3 micrograms per day.
A vitamin B12 deficiency typically takes years to develop and is most commonly seen in older people.
The most common causes of a vitamin B12 deficiency include a diet low in the vitamin (such as a vegan diet), Crohn's disease and malabsorption, resulting from the inability to extract vitamin B12 from food. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are typically treated by monthly shots of the vitamin. Despite the massive doses needed, oral medicine has the advantage of being easy to administer and painless. No side effects have been reported as a result of such large doses.
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