Vitamin B12 Stains Your Undies

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Excess riboflavin in B12 supplements turns urine bright yellow.

Chemical Reaction

Urine color is a general health indicator that is skewed by some foods and supplements. Normal urine color can range from pale yellow to amber. Taking a B12 supplement, vitamin B complex or a multivitamin containing vitamin B12 will often turn urine dark yellow or orange. This is because of the yellow coloring in over-the-counter supplements that your body excretes. Consuming large quantities of foods that are rich in B12 (shellfish, liver, mackerel, beef) can cause your urine to become a bright green color. The chart below demonstrates at-risk colors.

Urine Color Chart
1Too much water
2Sufficient fluids
3Drink more water
4Dehydrated
5Possible cramps and heat-related problems
VITAMIN B12 URINE COLOR
6Health risk!Drink more water
7Health risk!
8Health risk!
9Health risk!

Along with muscle swelling and pain, brown urine is a symptom of an extremely rare (22:10000) emergency medical condition called rhabdomyolysis.

Normal capacity of the bladder is 400–600 mL (13–20 ounces). During urination, the bladder muscles squeeze, and two sphincters (valves) open to allow urine to flow out through the urethra (men: 8 inches; women: 1.5 inches). A urologist can help treat popular bladder conditions: cystitis, urinary stones, bladder cancer, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, hematuria, urinary retention, cystocele, bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis), and dysuria (painful urination).

Under Where?

Best Urine Color With Vitamin B12 Benefits

Men, in particular, using urinals out of reach of toilet paper may see residual staining on white underwear. This can be prevented by blotting leaks with paper near a toilet or sitting on on the toilet. Females often wear panty liners.

On the subject of intimate apparel, consider the environmental impact of tampons. An average woman uses about 16,000 tampons or pads throughout her lifetime. This contributes to 7 billion tampons and pads in landfills each year. Most of them contain chemicals, toxins, additives and synthetic materials such as plastic. The plastics take a very long time to breakdown. They also end up leaking into nature, and polluting rivers, lakes, streams and world. Convenient as disposables may be, reusable alternatives are available. Washable panty liners can help the environment and help keep underwear clean.

Pre-spotting garments with a stain remover may be required to clean tighty whities. Dark or variegated underwear patterns mask the staining. Going commando, particularly with light colored outer garments can prove to be quite embarrassing when stained, so do not forego underwear.

Benefitting From B12

Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that your body stores in small amounts for years. It synergizes a variety of biochemical reactions including DNA and RNA synthesis, new red blood cell production, and normal neurological functioning. So brain fog may be a symptom of low B12 levels, particularly in vegans and vegetarians. It takes about two years to deplete the liver of its reserve B12.

Since B12 can be obtained primarily from animal products like meat, cheese, and eggs, vegans are more at risk for deficiency than vegetarians. However, vegetarians who limit consumption of eggs, cheese and vitamin-fortified soy can experience effects of low B12 levels.

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Stained underwear might be acceptable collateral damage in the battle against arteriosclerosis. The cardiovascular benefits of plant-based diets may be severely undermined by vitamin B12 deficiency. Research demonstrates that vegans have better arterial elasticity, only when they consume adequate B12 supplements.

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References
Kevin Williams is a health advocate and writer of hundreds of articles for multiple web­sites, including: A Bit More Healthy, KevinMD (WebMD), and Sue’s Nutrition Buzz. He is a prior 15-year con­sul­tant for Neutrogena Research and Scientific Affairs.

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