Happy Hour for Vitamin B12 Shots
Natural boosts of energy could be the Red Bull alternative
- Read More:
by Maria Grusauskas on Sep 05, 2012
Tonya Fleck-D’Andrea of Santa Cruz
Naturopathic Medical Center prepares a B12 shot.
Several weeks ago, an adventurous friend of mine told me about a local medical center’s “B12 Happy Hour” shots. No, not the kind thrown down the gullet and finished with lime, she clarified, the kind that is injected: 1,500 water-soluble migrograms of the coveted B vitamin delivered directly to the tender tissue of the rump—$17 between 3 and 6 in the afternoon every Wednesday.
Not knowing that B12 supplements, the most effective treatment for seriously anemic and B12-deficient people, are being injected into healthy, fit rumps across the country, I pictured a dingy clinic, full of rusty needles and questionable “B12” concoctions administered by shaky hands.
Could feeling “amazing,” with “a natural (not jittery) boost in energy,” improved moods and the rosy cheeks my friend attributed to a “vitamin flush” be worth the risk of the unknown?
Awaiting the syringe in a sun-dappled waiting room last Wednesday, a resounding “yes” washed over me. The B12 Happy Hour at the Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center on Chesnut Street is a steady stream of perfumed professionals and well-dressed 30- and 40-somethings, pausing to sip anti-stress Rose tea, eye the bowls of organic cherry tomatoes, get injected and continue on their way.
The elementary school teacher to my left was a B12-shot veteran, having started the routine after a colleague tipped her off.
“She was the only teacher last year who didn’t get sick, so I asked her how she did it, and she told me about these shots,” said the woman.
The human body needs B12 to create energy, and according to many doctors, it’s one of the harder-to-absorb vitamins by diet or capsule form. Injected, the vitamins bypass the gastrointestinal system and get absorbed immediately into the blood stream.
“They’re water-soluble nutrients so there’s no toxicity associated with them,” said Tonya Fleck-D’Andrea, naturopathic doctor and founder and director of the SCNMC.
A strengthened immune system and increased energy are two of many benefits attributed to the shots, and Fleck-D’Andrea says they are also known to effectively treat everything from anemia and depression to anxiety, obesity, nerve pain, dementia and even acne. How? B12 contributes to the health and function of the adrenal glands and helps stabilize blood sugar.
“Our adrenals are our stress glands, those little glands that sit on top of our kidneys, and they help us respond to stress. What most people notice is better sleep, a deeper sleep and more energy ... sometimes you can get a real ‘woo hoo,’ and other times it’s much more subtle,” said Fleck-D’Andrea.
The majority of clients coming in for B12 shots aren’t really changing anything else in their routines but do end up noticing a big difference in how they feel, according to Fleck-D’Andrea.
“What’s so great is that people who come in just for happy hour, they’re not changing anything else in their lives, often times they’re just coming in for the B12 shots, so the shifts that they’re reporting, they’ll say, ‘Since the B12 shots, I feel so much better,’” said Fleck-D’Andrea, who recommends patients come once a week for four weeks in a row in order to restore health in the adrenals.
Walking through Trader Joe’s shortly after, I did feel a bit of a “woo hoo!” And, placebo effect or not, it may be enough to tempt me back next week.