Maybe you’ve heard about the weight loss clinics that say you need high doses of vitamin B-12 to lose weight. This may leave you wondering if you would benefit from vitamin B-12 shots or supplements.Vitamin B-12 is necessary for the development of red blood cells, proper neurological functions, and the prevention of anemia. You also need vitamin B-12 for the manufacturing of DNA. While weight loss clinics claim to have marvelous results from delivering B-12 shots and supplements, there is no hard scientific evidence to back this up. It’s unusual to find people who have a vitamin B-12 deficiency because your body stores B-12 for up to years. Taking extra vitamin B-12 will not improve your metabolism or give you extra energy unless you are anemic –which again, can be proven by a simple blood test. Consult a licensed physician before you get on a B-12 shot or supplement regimen, especially if you already take medications–sometimes vitamin B-12 can reduce the effectiveness of certain prescription drugs. You can get vitamin B-12 naturally by eating animal products. If you eat dairy products, shellfish, meat, eggs, or fortified products, you probably get plenty of vitamin B-12. The people who need to worry are vegans–those who don’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy products. However, if vegans eat fortified cereals, they probably aren’t at high risk of deficiency. Most people need between 2.6-2.8 micrograms of vitamin B-12 a day to be healthy. You can get this much in a simple bowl of fortified cereal with a cup of milk. Most people who show up with a B-12 deficiency have a problem using the B-12 they’ve consumed, not because they didn’t eat or take enough. The problem may be that your intestines are functioning properly and allowing your body to take in the B-12, or it could be that your body has stored the B-12, but can’t release it for use. In most cases, people store vitamin B-12 for years, meaning deficiency is unusual.