Vitamin B12 for weight loss?

At least 1 website is promoting vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) injections as a treatment to achieve weight loss.

First, the pitch.

  • With vitamin B12 injections you will have increased energy so your workouts can be more effective, and you’ll shed the pounds quicker.

And, the reality.

  • There are no studies where vitamin B12 was used to achieve weight loss.

The bottom line?

Dr. Gayle Nicholas Scott at Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk, Virginia, confirms, “No form of vitamin B12 (intramuscular, oral, or other routes) has been credibly tested as an aid to weight loss. A search of MEDLINE using the search terms “cyanocobalamin or vitamin B12” and “weight loss or diet” yielded no clinical studies using vitamin B12 supplements.”

Dr. Nicholas Scott concludes, “Weight loss programs that promote vitamin B12, particularly in injectable form, suggest treatment that is not based on sound evidence.”

Actually, the only association between vitamin B12 and weight loss (and loss of appetite) occurs in people with B12 deficiency.

When used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency, B12 injections actually help people gain weight.

6/1/10 21:26 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.