To vitamin B, or not to vitamin B

2014-01-11 00:00

GETTING a Vitamin B injection has become a trend for stressed out executives, but the effects are not a definite cure-all.

Vitamin injections have been the subject of debate for many years.

Some believe they enhance energy levels and aid many ailments, while others feel that they do nothing.

Pharmacist Paul Hodkin said that you can get a standard Vitamin B injection for an energy boost or the stronger neurobion injection, which can help with nerve pain.

“There are many debates surrounding vitamin injections, but one thing that is clear, is that they do not do any harm. They give you a good boost and help your immune system. You can get them at any clinic, be it in a pharmacy or a doctor’s office. You don’t need a prescription,” Hodkin told Weekend Witness.

Vitamin injections are essentially a dose of vitamin B, a group of vitamins that is essential for cell metabolism in the body. It is not created by the body, so it needs to be ingested.

According to Ros Sutherland, a nurse who has been giving vitamin injections for 14 years, if you eat a healthy balanced diet you should be getting enough vitamin B.

She added that the effects of vitamin injections are dependent on the individual.

“Some people come and get an injection regularly and say they immediately feel better, others say it takes between 24 to 48 hours before they feel anything. Some people say they can’t have the injections in the afternoon or else they won’t sleep, for others it’s not a problem, ” said Sutherland.

Sutherland said that it is best to get vitamin injections after the body has gone through any illness, surgery or chemotherapy.

She said, “What the injection does is boost the conductivity of the nerves. This helps boost the immune system and as a result you have higher energy levels, your mood is lifted and recovery time for injuries lessens.”

She agrees with Hodkin that no harm can come from the injections. She said that it is impossible to overdose on vitamin B, as it is water soluble. The body will only take what it needs and the rest is just excreted out of the body.

Alex Patrick used to get vitamin injections during the four years she was in university. Her fellow students recommended she get them to help her energy levels.

“It gave me a good boost, almost immediately. I would literally be running around, but that didn’t last very long. I would still do it now if I needed it,” said Patrick.

Estelle Sinkins, who also uses the injections, said she doesn’t really feel any difference after getting a jab.

“I’ve had two done and have one more to go, but I haven't really felt a difference. Maybe that’s because my stress levels are higher than the average person?”

The injections cost between R20 and R70, depending on the type of injection and where you get it done.

While some people feel like they can’t cope without their injections, Sutherland said the dependency is a mental one.

She said, “People just think they can’t cope without the injection, but they can. It can become costly getting constant injections. I always tell people to try it first and see if it is for you or not.”

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