Vitamin B12 is a vital, water-soluble nutrient that aids in many bodily functions, including nerve function and the production of red blood cells.
B12 is usually adsorbed from daily consumed foods, such as meats and dairy. However, when a person suffers absorption issues from pernicious anemia, chronic alcoholism, or other disorders, then he or she can take sublingual or injectable forms of the vitamin as a way to increase the body’s ability to absorb B12.
Also, because excess B12 is expelled through urine, the vitamin is considered non-toxic, even when taken in large doses. While there is no established limit for B12, there is a limit on a person’s ability to absorb the vitamin. Intake recommendations by the Office of Dietary Supplements suggest that the adult body requires approximately 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of B12 per day.
Sublingual vitamin B12 is a non-prescription product that comes in the form of tablets. A person places the tablet under his or her tongue until it dissolves and enters the blood stream through the sublingual glands, or salivary glands in the mouth. This form also serves as an alternative to the oral tablets of B12 where a person swallows the product, bypassing the gastric action in the stomach.
Injectable vitamin B12 can only be obtained through the prescription of a licensed doctor or health care provider. The product comes in the form of shots and is inserted directly into a muscle, usually the thigh or upper arm. This form serves as an alternative to sublingual tablets and is often the prescribed treatment for B12 deficiency disorders, such as pernicious anemia.
Sublingual B12, when compared to the injections, is considered more cost effective since it can be found in most health food stores. The sublingual form is also believed to be the painless alternative to injections.
However, B12 injections are administered through a prescription because the liquid product is the most concentrated form of the vitamin. Doctors and health care providers prescribe the shots over the sublingual tablets as a better treatment for malabsorption disorders. Since B12 shots are inserted directly into a muscle, the injections bypass many root causes of absorption issues, whereas the sublingual products don’t.
As a result, the injections are the most effective B12 source if a person wants to increase his or her energy levels, metabolism rate, regulation of DNA, and overall weight-loss efforts. Also, as with any medication, if a person follows the doctor’s instructions on how to inject, where to inject, and how often to inject, he or she will experience a quick and painless injection process.