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Anyone knows about patches of vitamin B12?

(9 Posts)
schroedingersdodo Sun 11-Sep-11 21:14:07

I've read a theory that vegetables and even meat nowadays have much less vitamin B12 (or whatever our bodies use to produce said vitamin) than they used to, due to poor soil and modern food producing techniques. So even if we have a good diet we may be B12 deficient, benefiting from supplements. (that's a VERY simplified explanation of the theory, of course).

I was advised by a friend to use B12 patches, which she does, and I would like to gather some good old MN wisdom on that.

I was wondering if such high doses of vitamin could have negative effects on me or on BF DS. The reason I want to try it is because the vitamin supposedly can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. I used to have anti depressants for quite a few years, but stopped when I got pregnant.

DS is 16 months and I plan to BF him for as long as he wants. I'll start TTC soon as well, so it would be great if I could avoid ADs for the next few years (the decision of not taking ADs was taken together with the GP - I'm not being irresponsible).

Any thoughts on that?


CrispyHedgehog Sun 11-Sep-11 21:43:06

I haven't heard of the patches, can you buy them over the counter?

At the moment I take a sublingual tablet every day because I have a malabsorptive condition but it's not very effective and I'm not deficient enough yet to have injections.

schroedingersdodo Sun 11-Sep-11 22:41:06

Hi Hedgehog, the friend I mentioned buys them from Amazon. If you search for B12 at Amazon you will find them.
However, I have no idea if they're any good. The one she suggested is not expensive, about £6 a month's supply, so may be worth a try in your situation?
Anyway, I would push the GP for the injections. Taking tablets everyday for no result is frustrating, to say the least...

nightcat Sun 11-Sep-11 23:10:42

My understanding is that B vits work best as a B complex rather than singly, I would have thought a B complex tablets orally would be perhaps better? B vits are destressors and mild relaxants, I would ask for a suitable one for you, maybe not megadoses.
Also, from my reads, some B vits(apart from what's directly in the diet) are made by bacteria living in the gut that help to digest meat (bifido.. family), so probiotics might also be relevant?

schroedingersdodo Mon 12-Sep-11 18:46:49

Hi Nightcat, thanks for the info. I think the patches are used to bypass absorption problems some people have. But in any case probiotics would be good.
You said "perhaps I would ask..." but who could ask for that? The GP? I may be wrong, but I don't expect GPs to believe you can treat mild depression/anxiety with vitamins... Once I asked several doctors if I should give probiotics to DS when he was on antibiotics and they all looked at me as if I was insane. They don't seem very interested in nutrition.
I would love to get orientation about B12 from health professionals, I just don't know who would be able to help me.

nightcat Mon 12-Sep-11 19:14:23

Meant to say, ask at the chemist for a B dose suitable in your circumstances. You are right, drs are not usually interested in prevention, my GP would never give me blood test referal to test for any deficiencies unless I have severe symptoms, otherwise I am sent to wait and see. I just ask questions and only do what I am comfortable with.

B12 is also often used in absorption problems due to celiac/gluten damage. But it's unlikely that the absorption is JUST a single vit, it is often that the person's symptoms might suggest B12 deficiency and that's all that got tested. If one vit is deficient, then it's more than likely that other nutrients might also be deficient, but are rarely tested coz there could be quite a selection, zinc or omegas are often deficient but rarely tested as their symptoms are not directly obvious.

There are some very interesting books/research on nutrition, some nutritionists are great in making sense out of even vague symptoms. Personally I swear by Jan de Vries and he has a number of books published. There are also papers on pubmed, eg here.

I was also told once that our cells need all nutrients so it's important to have a varied/complete diet. Also, a lot of nutrients work synergistically, so if one is out of sync, single-nutrient supplements might be insufficient.

schroedingersdodo Mon 12-Sep-11 23:50:56

Thanks for the recommendations, Nightcat, I'll take a look at the link. I have a decent diet, but sometimes I feel there is more I could be doing. Well, your link will give me some stuff to read for a while, tks again smile

LittleMissProcrastinator Tue 13-Sep-11 14:20:16

Don't know if I'm off the mark here but how about Marmite? It says on the jar that it contains Vitamin B12. Although I know some people don't like it.
Was just a thought!

schroedingersdodo Tue 13-Sep-11 22:13:27

Hi Procrastinator, I do like Marmite, but the problem with it is that probably the levels of B12 are low (I don't know exactly what they are) and as it is a food, the absorption depends on how well the gut absorbs vitamins - in lots of cases the problem is not in the diet, but in the gut). That's why some people rave about the patches (but I'm still not sure of what to do...). Thanks for the suggestion anyway, it reminds me of eating the marmite I have at home more often.

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