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Vitamin B12 Tablets Hurt!
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27 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I took vitamin B12 tablets for about 1.5 to 2 weeks cos i thought it would be good for me, help with tiredness etc. However, every time i took them i got incredible bowel cramps, like ive never had before (and slight D).

Anyone know why? They are gluten-free, i checked.

It was definantly the pills as i stopped taking them and the symptoms went away, and vise versa!

I don't even get that sort of pain from eating gluten

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Hi everyone,

I took vitamin B12 tablets for about 1.5 to 2 weeks cos i thought it would be good for me, help with tiredness etc. However, every time i took them i got incredible bowel cramps, like ive never had before (and slight D).

Anyone know why? They are gluten-free, i checked.

It was definantly the pills as i stopped taking them and the symptoms went away, and vise versa!

I don't even get that sort of pain from eating gluten

Were you taking the sublinguals?

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Were you taking the sublinguals?

What are sublinguals? These were just the ones you swallow

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What are sublinguals? These were just the ones you swallow

Riceguy is the one to tell you about the sublinguals. Basically, any B12 in a swallowed tablet is pretty much bio-unavailable to your body. So they make sublingual tablets which are very small and good tasting which dissolve under the tongue. The other way to get your B12 is through injections, which I am currently getting because I had a strange reaction to the sublinguals. I have not had any reaction to the injections so it was obviously something else in the sublingual I reacted to. Anything you are swallowing is not being absorbed (and is obviously also causing you some problems.) You can buy the sublinguals from a health food store (get methylcobalamin type); for the injections your doctor has to prescribe them.

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That's correct, mushroom. Although it's possible to absorb B12 from the pills that you swallow, the sublingual is always a better bet. After all, if you're deficient, that means your absorption isn't where it should be. Except possibly in the case of someone on a vegan diet, who must supplement anyway.

S_J_L: What was the brand? If you have a link, post it, and maybe someone will spot something which might have caused the reaction. Vitamin B12 itself won't do that, so it must have been one of the other ingredients.

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Vitamin B12 itself won't do that, so it must have been one of the other ingredients.

It is certainly possible to react to vitamin B12, though I don't know if it would cause stomach cramps specifically...would depend on how your body reacts to allergy and intolerance. I am allergic to cobalt so would likely react to vitamin B12 supplements. I avoid taking them...but my levels are fine at this point...don't know what I would do if I needed to supplement!

Michelle

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Basically, any B12 in a swallowed tablet is pretty much bio-unavailable to your body.

In this context are we talking about the general population or people with celiac?

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It is certainly possible to react to vitamin B12, though I don't know if it would cause stomach cramps specifically...would depend on how your body reacts to allergy and intolerance. I am allergic to cobalt so would likely react to vitamin B12 supplements. I avoid taking them...but my levels are fine at this point...don't know what I would do if I needed to supplement!

Michelle

Well, since B12 is a vital, necessary nutrient, I have my doubts that anyone would be allergic to it, or any other essential nutrient for that matter. The liver normally processes B12 from food into methylcobalamin (though not all of it). I'd have to believe that anyone allergic to it would have serious problems (or die) even before being born.

From Wikipedia:

Cobalt is an essential trace-element for all multicellular organisms as the active center of coenzymes called cobalamins. These include vitamin B-12 which is essential for mammals. Cobalt is also an active nutrient for bacteria, algae, and fungi, and may be a necessary nutrient for all life.

I suspect that your reaction may be to a specific form of cobalt, but the basic element itself seems to be quite essential.

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In this context are we talking about the general population or people with celiac?

I'm guessing mushroom was referring to those with Pernicious Anemia. In those cases, a sublingual (or shots) becomes necessary.

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I'm guessing mushroom was referring to those with Pernicious Anemia. In those cases, a sublingual (or shots) becomes necessary.

Yep, sorry I didn't make that clear.

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Thanks for doubting me. Maybe you can chat with my dermatologist who performed the patch tests that confirmed the allergy. :-P The body will take B12 from natural sources, and that is what I count on. It is the supplementation that is at risk. Yes, I am allergic to cobalt...which is what cobalamin supplements are made of. I am also allergic to nickel and chromium, which are also mentioned below (from http://www.acu-cell.com/nico.html):

"While estimated to be rare, dermal exposure to cobalt can - like with nickel sensitivity - trigger allergic

reactions, dermatitis and asthma, whereby hypersensitivity to nickel becomes a heightened risk factor

for cobalt hypersensitivity. Home or work-related contact sources of cobalt are pottery, paints, some

cosmetics, costume jewelry, antiperspirants, hair dyes, dental plates, etc., and also Vitamin B12 in the

form of injections (which can cause a red, itchy and tender area around the injection site) and tablets

(which can trigger eczema-like dermatitis).

In addition to nickel and cobalt, chromium is another metal whose exposure may trigger an allergic

reaction in some hypersensitive individuals, necessitating the use of gloves when handling any suspect

metals, or applying a protective coat of varnish (or clear nail polish) on items one has to touch and use."

And FYI, there is risk of having anaphylactic reactions to injections B12 in allergic people.

Well, since B12 is a vital, necessary nutrient, I have my doubts that anyone would be allergic to it, or any other essential nutrient for that matter. The liver normally processes B12 from food into methylcobalamin (though not all of it). I'd have to believe that anyone allergic to it would have serious problems (or die) even before being born.

From Wikipedia:

I suspect that your reaction may be to a specific form of cobalt, but the basic element itself seems to be quite essential.

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And FYI, there is risk of having anaphylactic reactions to injections B12 in allergic people.

True. After I had a rash reaction to the sublingual B12 my doctor made me wait 30 minutes after my first B12 shot to be sure.

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Don't know if this is much help at this point, but I have been shopping around for sublingual B12 and many brands are made with LACTOSE. Are you lactose intolerant?

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Don't know if this is much help at this point, but I have been shopping around for sublingual B12 and many brands are made with LACTOSE. Are you lactose intolerant?

I used to be really lactose intolerant (long before I realized I was gluten intolerant), but since going gluten free I am beginning to feel more comfortable with lactose; can even drink a couple of cappuchinos in a row and not have a problem. I am even getting cocky enough to consider some ice cream sometime in the near future (with Lactaid tablets at first). Gosh, it's been 20 years since I had ice cream (gluten free 18 mos.) so I'm drooling at the thought. Imagine three weeks in Italy and no gelato--what hell!

So, no, don't think it was the lactose. I broke out in an acne-type rash all over my face, and it only responded to an adult acne cream, and then it took four weeks! (And I never even had acne as a teenager!)

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Hi everyone,

I took vitamin B12 tablets for about 1.5 to 2 weeks cos i thought it would be good for me, help with tiredness etc. However, every time i took them i got incredible bowel cramps, like ive never had before (and slight D).

Anyone know why? They are gluten-free, i checked.

It was definantly the pills as i stopped taking them and the symptoms went away, and vise versa!

I don't even get that sort of pain from eating gluten

I had difficulty with some B12 due to artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, etc...(anything with a 'tol' at the end. They would upset my digestive system for 3 days each time. Now I use Natural Factors brand. It was difficult to find sublingual, gluten free, artificial sweetner free in the Methylcobalamin form of B12.

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Thanks for doubting me. Maybe you can chat with my dermatologist who performed the patch tests that confirmed the allergy. :-P The body will take B12 from natural sources, and that is what I count on. It is the supplementation that is at risk. Yes, I am allergic to cobalt...which is what cobalamin supplements are made of. I am also allergic to nickel and chromium, which are also mentioned below (from http://www.acu-cell.com/nico.html):

"While estimated to be rare, dermal exposure to cobalt can - like with nickel sensitivity - trigger allergic

reactions, dermatitis and asthma, whereby hypersensitivity to nickel becomes a heightened risk factor

for cobalt hypersensitivity. Home or work-related contact sources of cobalt are pottery, paints, some

cosmetics, costume jewelry, antiperspirants, hair dyes, dental plates, etc., and also Vitamin B12 in the

form of injections (which can cause a red, itchy and tender area around the injection site) and tablets

(which can trigger eczema-like dermatitis).

In addition to nickel and cobalt, chromium is another metal whose exposure may trigger an allergic

reaction in some hypersensitive individuals, necessitating the use of gloves when handling any suspect

metals, or applying a protective coat of varnish (or clear nail polish) on items one has to touch and use."

And FYI, there is risk of having anaphylactic reactions to injections B12 in allergic people.

I am allergic to cobalt also and have low B12. I have had anaphylatic shock twice, Do not know what to do. I am getting weaker. I can not find any DR to help me.Have you found a solution? I had the patch test for Cobalt ,also.I get the same reaction.from others also.
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I am allergic to cobalt also and have low B12. I have had anaphylatic shock twice, Do not know what to do. I am getting weaker. I can not find any DR to help me.Have you found a solution? I had the patch test for Cobalt ,also.I get the same reaction.from others also.

I just looked in my crystal ball, and I can see organ meat in your future :ph34r: lasga. Also shell fish, octopus, pork and various other options. See here:

http://nutritiondata...00000000-w.html

Welcome to the boards and I hope you are not allergic to shell fish. :)

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I am allergic to cobalt also and have low B12. I have had anaphylatic shock twice, Do not know what to do. I am getting weaker. I can not find any DR to help me.Have you found a solution? I had the patch test for Cobalt ,also.I get the same reaction.from others also.

Can you do the injections?

I never heard of this allergy before but I have learned, from this website, that people can be allergic to anything! I agree with Shroomie, find foods with B12 and start eating them, even if you don't love them.

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Hi

I have just started to take B12 (Methylcobalamin) - it is liquid form and I put drops under tongue to absorb sublingually.

This also avoids potential absorbtion problems from damaged digestive system as sublingually is absorbed directly into the bloodstream - I think!!!

Have also read (please don't take this as a fact because I don't know that it is) that B12 swallowed is a direct foodsource for candida albicans - like sugar and yeast. That could presumably cause stomach issues if you have candida.

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In this context are we talking about the general population or people with celiac?

I'm a celiac and my B12 (with tablets, 1000mcg/2-3 per week) values were 320 (Feb,2011), 528 (Aug,2011), 609 (Dec,2011) and 693 (Mar,2012). Lab range: 208-964. My next bloodwork is in Feb.

I use Nature Made B12 which claims "Timed Release" formula that extends the vitamin absorption by the body.The last part of the small intestines is the ileum where B12 is actually absorbed. If the villis are intact there, enough absorption will occur. It did for me.

This product does contain cyanocobalamin and is gluten-free. Apparently, cobolt is not a problem to me.

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I just looked in my crystal ball, and I can see organ meat in your future :ph34r: lasga. Also shell fish, octopus, pork and various other options. See here:

http://nutritiondata...00000000-w.html

Welcome to the boards and I hope you are not allergic to shell fish. :)

still going to contain cobalt....would seem from what i read that it appears to be more dermatitis than true allergy. would be interested if lasga has been fully tested for other potential allergens..
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You are so right, frieze. Just looked up a cobalt food chart here: http://www.thecdi.com/cdi/images/documents/Cobalt_food_Feb_06.pdf on natural sources of cobalt. Seems hard to separate B12 from cobalt. Can you tell us what put you into anaphylactic shock, lasga? Was it a food source of B12 or a supplement?

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I also found this to be of interest:

Normally, B12 must be broken apart from food by acid and enzymes in the stomach. B12 must then be tied together with a protein called intrinsic factor, which is produced by cells that line your stomach. Intrinsic factor carries B12 across your intestinal wall into your blood, to be delivered to your cells. This journey across your intestinal wall requires the presence of calcium, which is suppled by your pancreas.

Pernicious anemia is a condition that involves gradual destruction of cells that line your stomach, which decreases the ability to break B12 apart from food and decreases the availability of intrinsic factor to carry B12 into the blood.

If you are deficient in B12 because you don't have enough stomach acid, enzymes, and/or intrinsic factor, you might have to receive injections of B12 directly into your blood via your muscles.

Another option is to take high oral doses of vitamin B12, which can lead to a small percent being absorbed into your bloodstream without the help of intrinsic factor. An oral dose of 1000 mcg results in approximately 10 mcg entering your bloodstream.

http://drbenkim.com/nutrient-b12.html

Have you, lasga, been tested for hydrochloric acid in stomach, and for pancreatic sufficiency? It could well be that you might need some betaine HCl and some digestive enzymes to help you break out the B12 from the foods you ingest.

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So, no, don't think it was the lactose. I broke out in an acne-type rash all over my face, and it only responded to an adult acne cream, and then it took four weeks! (And I never even had acne as a teenager!)

Mushroom were your sublinguals hydroxycobalmin? That form of b12 is known to cause acne. Also methylcobalamin is very sensitive to light and heat. Both (or each) will break down methyl to hydroxy rather quickly. All b12 supplements should be kept below 20C (about 70F) and out of light.

And FYI, there is risk of having anaphylactic reactions to injections B12 in allergic people.

From what I understand those reactions are usually from the preservatives used in the shots.

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Mushroom were your sublinguals hydroxycobalmin? That form of b12 is known to cause acne. Also methylcobalamin is very sensitive to light and heat. Both (or each) will break down methyl to hydroxy rather quickly. All b12 supplements should be kept below 20C (about 70F) and out of light.

No, it was Solgar methylcobalamin in a brown bottle, the first day I got them home from the Naturopath. No problem with the shots.

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