Since moving to L.A. two years ago, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the benefits of B12 shots: More energy! Better mood! Better sleep! Enhanced memory! And the list goes on. But according to my doctor, here’s why the shots are so essential.
According to Dr. Jon Dunn, a licensed naturopathic doctor who administered my shot, “All vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Vitamin B12 is the exception. This vitamin is unique in that it will not be absorbed unless it is bound to a molecule secreted in the stomach from the same cells that produce hydrochloric acid.” He further explained that hydrochloric acid often diminishes with age, making adults over the age of 26 at risk for B12 deficiency regardless of diet, lifestyle, and daily intake of our favorite vitamins packs, VITL Vitamins ($60).
This week I walked into my favorite health store in Palm Springs and decided to get my first B12 shot. When I arrived, Dr. Dunn recapped the benefits, inquired about my medical history, and presented three different options, which all sounded equally confusing to me save for the price tag. I opted for the methylcobalamin (the most expensive option). In the doctor’s words, “This is the most common, easiest by the body to absorb, and the most widely effective option.” Sold!
After a painless shot in the arm and about one minute, Dr. Dunn explained I should begin to feel the effects within an hour. While I did feel awake, aware, and happy, I didn’t exactly feel transformed. In fact, I’m not sure if I only noticed a difference in myself because I was searching for one. That said, the rest of the week, despite some unexpected news, I felt pretty good. My sleep has been restful, and my mornings haven't required nearly as much coffee as usual.
My personal verdict? While I’d certainly get a B12 shot again, it wasn’t entirely life-changing. But maybe it isn’t supposed to be. Maybe it’s just balancing things out on the inside out so you can power through your week as nature intended. I imagine it’s different for everyone.