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Does Vitamin B12 Work?

Does Vitamin B12 Work for Other Uses?

Vitamin B12 (in combination with folic acid and sometimes vitamin B6) may be useful for treating high levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia), particularly in people with a vitamin B12 deficiency.
There is little evidence to suggest that vitamin B12 really works for most other uses. In fact, studies suggest that it does not work for the following uses:
Vitamin B12 injections were once commonly used to treat complaints of fatigue, and some healthcare providers may still be using the vitamin for this use. There is no strong evidence that vitamin B12 really works for this use, and it has been suggested that any benefit may be due to a large placebo effect.
It should be noted that there is little evidence that vitamin B12 can be absorbed through the skin. There is no real evidence that vitamin B12 patches are effective for any use.

Final Thoughts on the Effectiveness of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is effective for treating a deficiency and related problems. It also might help lower homocysteine levels. There is not much evidence to suggest that it really works for any other use. However, because it has a low risk of toxicity, even with high doses, it might be worth a try. Since it can be difficult to objectively access the effectiveness of vitamin B12 for fatigue or similar problems, you might feel better even if vitamin B12 has absolutely no effect, other than the placebo effect.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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