How Vitamin B12 Can Improve Your Nerve Health

How Vitamin B12 Can Improve Your Nerve Health

We often associate certain vitamins with specific benefits—vitamin C for immunity and D for strong bones, for example. You can add vitamin B12 and the health of your nerves to this list.

You make sure to boost your immune health with vitamin C and maintain healthy bones with calcium and vitamin D. Did you know there’s a vitamin directly linked to your all-important nerve health? In this case, it’s B12, and about 15% of the general population is deficient in this important vitamin.

Dr. Rajiv Sood and the team here at Spine & Orthopedic Center understand this important connection, which is why we offer B12 injections to promote improved nerve health, especially among people with peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage.

Here’s a look at the connection between vitamin B12 and your nerves and who can benefit from B12 injections.

The important role of vitamin B12

To call vitamin B12 important is a bit of an understatement if you consider all that this nutrient influences, which includes:

  • DNA production
  • Red blood cell production 
  • Nerve health
  • Brain development

While nerve health is quite general, we want to drill down a little bit to the exact role that B12 plays. Specifically, B12 tasks itself with producing myelin, which is the material that creates a protective and insulating sheath around your nerves. In this role, B12 supports myelin production and remyelination, which greatly help nerve regeneration after injury or damage.

Where do you get B12 vitamins

Vitamins are nutrients that are both produced in our bodies or come from the foods we eat (and sometimes both). With vitamin B12, the source is external and comes from animal foods, such as:

  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

You can’t get B12 from vegetable or grain products unless they’re fortified with the nutrient, which means people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets are at greater risk for B12 deficiency.

A B12 deficiency can be problematic for people with nerve issues, primarily peripheral neuropathy, a catchall term for nerve damage outside the central nervous system.

Fighting peripheral neuropathy with B12

Given what we’ve learned about B12 and nerve regeneration, it makes sense to turn to this crucial nutrient to treat nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy can occur for a wide range of reasons, including:

  • Having diabetes
  • Having alcoholism
  • Trauma to the nerves
  • Circulatory issues like peripheral artery disease

Of this list, diabetes is the most common driver of peripheral neuropathy — nearly half of people with diabetes have some degree of nerve damage, especially in their lower limbs.

Aside from managing the condition that creates the nerve damage in the first place, we focus on two things:

  1. Preventing more nerve damage
  2. Addressing existing nerve damage

To address the second item on this list, we turn to injections of vitamin B12, which helps damaged nerves create more protective myelin. This, in turn, helps nerves regenerate more quickly and can also help with pain, as nerve regeneration and remyelination work to prevent and block overactive nerve firing.

As you can see, there’s much that we can potentially accomplish with B12 injections to help you find relief from your nerve damage.

If you’d like to learn more about B12 injections for peripheral neuropathy, please contact our office in Jonesboro, Georgia, to schedule a consultation.