I wondered that myself too since for stand alone b12 and Lipo in medical offices, IM shots are the standard way. And the question comes up since many of the online hCG companies on my blog offer add-ons where b12 or lipo/mic (which often contain b12) are added to a person’s hCG mixing vial, which means they are then getting their injection through the daily Sub Q (SQ or SC) subcutaneous hCG shot.
So, I researched it. Gooooood ol’ google. Here’s what I found. And yes, I was totally WANTING to find that we don’t have to inject that long scary looking IM needle. I was completely and unabashedly biased in my search, just FYI. However, I DID know not to take the advice or quote articles from like, “buy all the b vitamins store.com” ;)- In my search I found all sorts of interesting information, like a random study about subcutaneous B12 shots given to lambs and how it rapidly increased and sustained their b12 levels for quite a few days – not sure if that helps us or not.
In a nutshell what I found is that they are both suitable, and that while IM likely yields faster absorption, and Sub Q a little slower, this is all pretty relative since you would be taking it on a regular basis, and after a small period of time, it basically all evens out as you absorb it all either way- Sub Q just apparently takes a little longer.
I found an excellent explanation of a doctor who treats children with methyl b12 shots (I’m not sure for what condition) and he likened subcutaneous b12 shots as being like a red lollipop in the middle of your fat, slowly dissolving over a few days. To read it yourself at that link look under letter “C”.
This doctor even felt that subcutaneous into the fat was actually the preferred way to do b12 shots because of the more sustained release of the b12 into your system.
This study, while it was a general overview of comparing types of administration, not for b12 in particular but other things, had a good way of putting it,
“If the safety and efficacy of two injection routes are equivalent, clinicians should consider more about patient preference and pharmacoeconomics because patient preference will ensure optimal treatment adherence and ultimately improve patient experience or satisfaction.”
It also mentioned re IM injections, “IM injection is the technique used to deliver a medication deep into the muscles, allowing the medication to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly.”
I was curious why this is so. Apparently it’s because muscle has a greater blood supply than our subcutaneous tissue that allows this faster absorption.
So it really does appear that this is the only main difference between IM and SQ is the speed at which the supplement/medication is absorbed. In my mind, I don’t think we need speed – if we are taking an injection with b12 in it every day, if it absorbs a little more slowly, I can’t quite see the problem with that.
I really couldn’t find any information that gave any other reason for doing IM over Subcutaneous.
Which means that to me, YAY, NO LONG NEEDLES. Wheeww. That was a close one.
Still, you should definitely do what you want! Hope this helps you decide. Maybe you’re a glutton for punishment. 😉