Vitamin B12 supplements treat and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, states WebMD. The supplement may also help with a variety of other conditions, including pernicious anemia, memory loss, heart disease, osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Patients can take vitamin B12 by mouth, as a shot, through the nose or topically.
Vitamin B12 research demonstrates the supplement is most effective for treating vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia, according to WebMD. Research shows the supplement also likely treats high blood homocysteine levels and cyanide poisoning. It can possibly treat macular degeneration. Insufficient evidence exists for its use in treating heart disease and memory loss. The supplement may be ineffective for stroke, sleep disorders and improvement of mental functioning.
Patients with allergies to cobalt or cobalamin or those taking chloramphenicol should not take vitamin B12, explains WebMD. Patients should not take vitamin B12 if they have Leber’s disease. Pregnant and breastfeeding patients can take vitamin B12 but only in the recommended amounts. Patients with coronary stents should not take vitamin B12 in combination with folate and vitamin B6, as the risk of blood vessel narrowing rises when taking this combination. The function and development of many parts of the body depend on vitamin B12. The vitamin also exists in foods, including meat and dairy products.