Q: A lot of my friends get vitamin B12 shots regularly. How do I know if I need one?
A: Many people get B12 shots because, well, they ask for one. There is a popular myth out there that getting a B12 injection gives you a shot of energy. This idea has been around for many decades, and there are people who absolutely swear it works. Additionally, many people believe if they are stressed and run down—say at finals time during college—then a B12 shot will keep them from getting sick. But there are no current evidence-based medical studies that support this theory. There is one recent study that showed high intake of vitamin B12 (and of B6) was protective against depression in older adults. Unless your doctor recommends it, though, you should only get B12 shots if your B12 levels are low. The good news is that B12 is easily replaced, although it will take a few months to refill the tank. —Family physician and sharecare.com expert Dr. Jill Grimes
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