Medical Specialty >> Hematology

Doctors Lounge - Hematology Answers

Back to Hematology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: diverticulitis and vitamin B12

 dinobub - Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:26 pm

Is there any connection between diverticulitis and intramuscular injection of vitamin B12?
Also, with a normal alimentary tract, is there any reason for IM injection of B12 over high potency oral supplement of B12?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:02 pm

User avatar Hello,
I know of no connection between diverticulitis and B12.

Injections are sometimes required because B12 is often poorly absorbed orally.

Best wishes.
 dinobub - Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:30 pm

what causes poor absorption of high potency oral B12 supplements?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:11 pm

User avatar I am adding your other post here since it is related and the forum rules prohibit opening a new thread for a continuing subject.
what alimentary cause causes poor absorption of high potency oral B12 supplements, necessitating IM injections of B12?

I should say first that it has been shown that people can absorb B12 taken orally if it is given in huge doses to compensate for the poor absorption so in answer to your question of high potency oral vitamins, studies have shown that 1,000 to 2.000 mcg would be needed daily to get the amount needed (equivalent to 2 mcg by injection). Keep in mind that absorption is variable with the individual which is why we have a broad range here.

The reason is related to intrinsic factors in the gut which are required for the absorption. Pernicious anemia is one condition which causes B12 deficiency. There are many other conditions including long-term use of some medications that can result in such deficiency as well. Any process that interferes with gastric acid production can lead to this impairment. The acidic environment of the stomach facilitates the breakdown of vitamin B12 that is bound to food. The vitamin B12 ­intrinsic factor complex then aids in the absorption of vitamin B12 in the terminal ileum.

Dietary sources of vitamin B12 are primarily meats and dairy products so vegetarians and vegans can be especially prone to a lack of B12. Alcoholics and the elderly are also at risk. But, the body does hold in reserve vitamin B12 so one can go several years without showing any signs of disease due to a lack in the vitamin through normal food intake.

I hope this helps. Best wishes to you.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us