Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Vitamin B12

Dear Dr. Walt

Can taking too much vitamin B-12 be dangerous? The label on my B-complex states it contains 50,000% the Daily Value!

—Concerned in Oregon

Dear B Keeper,

Many physicians recommend that all of their patients over the age of 50 take 1-2 mg (1000-2000 mcg) of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) per day.

The reason is that many people at this age are less able to extract B-12 from food.

I also recommend B-12 for those who have a B-12 deficiency, for those taking medications that interfere with B-12 absorption, for strict vegans or vegetarians, for alcohol and drug abusers, for people recovering from surgery or burns, and for those with bowel or pancreatic cancer.

Although vitamin B-12 is generally considered to be safe, and no “Upper Tolerable Intake Level” has been established, there are some reports of higher doses causing outbreaks of acne and rosacea.

In addition, in women who are pregnant, excessive blood levels of vitamin B-12 have been associated with an increased risk of autism.

In general, I think it’s best to avoid excessive doses of any vitamin if it is not needed.


© Copyright WLL, INC. 2017. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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