The Pros and Cons of B12 vs. Lipo B12 Shots
Some people use vitamin B12 and Lipo-B12 injections to support their weight loss efforts, but what’s the difference between B12 vs. Lipo-B12 injections? The obvious difference between the two compounded medications is that one contains only vitamin B12, and the other contains lipotropes and vitamin B12.
All medications have benefits and drawbacks, and each medication has the potential to cause side effects. When choosing between these medications, consider whether you only need to replenish vitamin B12 or whether you are looking for the benefits associated with lipotropes as well.
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B12 vs. Lipo-B12: What’s the difference?
Vitamin B12 injections restore healthy vitamin B12 levels in people deficient in this important vitamin. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, affecting approximately 6% of people under the age of 60 and 20% of people over the age of 60.1 While vitamin B12 can be consumed in the diet, many people have difficulty absorbing it and therefore look to alternative ways to restore their vitamin B12 levels.
Lipo B12 injections contain lipotropes along with vitamin B12. The combination of lipotropes in any given compound may be proprietary, but some commonly used lipotropes are found in most Lipo B12 injections, including the following:
- Branched-chain amino acids
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
Invigor Medical’s Lipo B12 injection contains methionine, choline, inositol, and vitamin B12. These nutrients were chosen because they have the most research supporting their benefits.
What are the pros of vitamin B12 injections?
Vitamin B12 injections are typically prescribed for people with symptoms associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency. Restoring vitamin B12 levels has many benefits. It helps your metabolism work more efficiently, which increases energy and supports weight loss. Epidemiologic studies have shown a link between vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies and increased metabolic risk. This has led researchers to focus on better understanding the effect of low vitamin B12 on obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.2
Vitamin B12 is important for:
- Cellular reproduction
- Blood cell formation
- Proper brain and nerve function
- DNA formation
- Protein synthesis
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Controlling homocysteine levels
- Stabilizing mood
What are the cons of vitamin B12 injections?
According to the National Institute of Health, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) did not establish an upper limit for vitamin B12 because of its low risk of side effects. However, some people cannot take vitamin B12 injections safely, including those with Leber’s disease or similar eye concerns, kidney disease, liver disease, iron or folic acid deficiency, an active infection, or those taking medications that may interact with vitamin B12.
Potential side effects associated with vitamin B12 can include the following:
- Burning skin
- Cold symptoms
- Facial swelling
- High blood pressure immediately after injection
- Increase and blood volume and red blood cells
- Joint and muscle pain
- Low potassium
- Mild diarrhea
- Pink or red skin discoloration
- Polycythemia vera
- Pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure (in early treatment)
- Skin rash
- Swelling at the injection site
- Swelling in the body
- Vein thrombosis
A very rare but serious allergic reaction causing swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, and difficulty swallowing or breathing (anaphylaxis) is also possible.
What are the pros of Lipo B12 injections?
With Lipo B12 injections, you get the benefits of vitamin B12 along with the benefits associated with lipotropes.
The pros of Lipo-B12 injections include the potential for:
- More efficient fat metabolism
- Better liver health
- More stable blood sugar
- Weight loss
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced inflammation
Inositol is a sugar alcohol that helps your body use glucose more efficiently. It also contributes to cell structure, metabolism, efficient energy consumption, storage, and fat burning.
After you eat, your blood sugar spikes. When your blood sugar spikes high and remains elevated, you are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. To lower your blood sugar, your pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that ushers glucose into body cells, where it can be used for energy.
If your body cells do not respond well to insulin, this is called insulin resistance. This is the link between blood sugar and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Researchers are studying inositol’s effects on blood sugar in hopes that it can be used to improve insulin sensitivity and treat metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.3
Choline is an essential amino acid that is used throughout the body to build cell membranes, maintain healthy muscle and liver function, and produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and is involved in forming memories and controlling muscle contractions.4
Choline is essential to move fats and bile from the liver. When people have a choline deficiency, they are at increased risk for a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. (NAFLD). This serious medical condition is common, affecting up to 65% of people who are overweight and 90% of people with obesity.5
Researchers have found that choline deficiency is common, and our genes regulate choline consumption, meaning that the amount of choline each person needs varies based on age and life stage. Only about 10% of U.S. adults consume enough choline to meet their recommended adequate intake level.4
Consuming enough choline in your diet or taking a supplement to restore your choline levels can improve liver function, increase efficient fat burning, increase metabolic flexibility, and support your weight loss efforts.
In one study, 22 female athletes who supplemented their diet with choline had greater weight loss than those who did not. Most of their weight loss was fat loss. Other studies have shown inconsistent results when using lipotropics for weight loss.6
Methionine is an essential amino acid that acts as an antioxidant and supplies sulfur to many molecules in the body. It helps to protect body tissues, modify DNA and maintain healthy cellular function. Because methionine is converted to homocysteine and SAM, it is involved in many steps in fat metabolism.
Methionine works with choline to transport fat from the liver. A lack of methionine is associated with NAFLD. A fatty liver increases your risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and abnormal blood lipids.7 Increased liver fat is also associated with increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and chronic kidney disease. These conditions are strongly linked to overweight and obesity.8
What are the cons of Lipo B12 injections?
Lipo B12 injections are generally recognized as safe but do have the potential to cause the following side effects:
- Irritation, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- An allergic reaction with itching, hives, wheezing, and facial and airway swelling
- Dry mouth
Supplements are not appropriate for everyone. Some medical conditions and medications are contraindications to taking supplements. Talk to your doctor about your health concerns to verify that a nutritional deficiency is likely and that supplements such as Lipo B12 or B12 injections would improve your health.
Factors that put people at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include the following:
- Being over age 75
- Having decreased stomach acid
- Taking antacids frequently
- Having an autoimmune condition or inflammatory disease that affects the stomach
- Taking high doses of folic acid
- Having stomach surgery
- Taking metformin for more than four months
- Consuming a vegan or vegetarian diet
- Consuming excess alcohol
Lipotropics and vitamin B12 are used to enhance weight loss. People use them to complement a low-calorie diet and exercise program as part of a weight loss or weight management plan. B12 and Lipo B12 injections are available by prescription only. If you have questions about lipo-B12 or B12 injections and how they may support your weight loss efforts, contact one of the treatment specialists at Invigor Medical.
Understanding the nuances of Vitamin B12 vs. Lipo-B12 shots is crucial for anyone looking to enhance their health and weight management efforts. Both options offer unique benefits, from boosting metabolism and energy levels with Vitamin B12 to optimizing fat metabolism and liver health with Lipo B12’s additional lipotropes. If you’re considering supplementing your diet to combat deficiencies or to support weight loss, buy Vitamin B12 injections and take a step towards achieving your health goals.
- Hunt A, Harrington D, & Robinson S. Vitamin B12 deficiency. BMJ. 2014;349g5226.
- Boachie J, Adaikalakoteswari A, Samavat J, Saravanan P. Low Vitamin B12 and Lipid Metabolism: Evidence from Pre-Clinical and Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 29;12(7):1925. doi: 10.3390/nu12071925. PMID: 32610503; PMCID: PMC7400011.
- Caputo M, Bona E, Leone I, Samà MT, Nuzzo A, Ferrero A, Aimaretti G, Marzullo P, Prodam F. Inositols and metabolic disorders: From farm to bedside. J Tradit Complement Med. 2020 Mar 24;10(3):252-259. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2020.03.005. PMID: 32670820; PMCID: PMC7340869.
- Wallace TC, Blusztajn JK, Caudill MA, Klatt KC, Natker E, Zeisel SH, Zelman KM. Choline: The Underconsumed and Underappreciated Essential Nutrient. Nutr Today. 2018 Nov-Dec;53(6):240-253. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000302. Epub 2018 Nov 13. PMID: 30853718; PMCID: PMC6259877.
- Zeisel SH, Corbin KD. Choline. In: Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed. Washington, DC: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:405-18
- Mah E, Chen O, Liska DJ, Blumberg JB. Dietary Supplements for Weight Management: A Narrative Review of Safety and Metabolic Health Benefits. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 24;14(9):1787. doi: 10.3390/nu14091787. PMID: 35565754; PMCID: PMC9099655.
- Chiba T, Suzuki S, Sato Y, Itoh T, Umegaki K. Evaluation of Methionine Content in a High-Fat and Choline-Deficient Diet on Body Weight Gain and the Development of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Mice. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 10;11(10):e0164191. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164191. PMID: 27723801; PMCID: PMC5056759.
- Chang TY, Wu CH, Chang CY, Lee FJ, Wang BW, Doong JY, Lin YS, Kuo CS, Huang RS. Optimal Dietary Intake Composition of Choline and Betaine Is Associated with Minimized Visceral Obesity-Related Hepatic Steatosis in a Case-Control Study. Nutrients. 2022 Jan 8;14(2):261. doi: 10.3390/nu14020261. PMID: 35057441; PMCID: PMC8779168.