The Singer's and the Clinician's Perspective on Vitamin B12 Treatment for Vocal Benefits

Hagit Shoffel-Havakuk, Christian X. Lava, Edie R. Hapner, Karla O'Dell, Lindsay Reder, Michael M. Johns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: There is a belief among vocalists that there are voice benefits from vitamin B12 treatment. Yet there are no previous reports regarding vitamin B12 effects on voice. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of vitamin B12 use among singers and their beliefs regarding vitamin B12 therapy. Methods: Anonymous online survey administered to singers, singing-teachers, speech-language pathologists, and laryngologists. Results: A total of 192 participants completed the surveys; 128 singers (68 singing-teachers, 30 speech-language pathologists) and 64 laryngologists. Among singers, 12% have perceived voice benefits from vitamin B12 treatment taken for any reason. Four percent used vitamin B12 for voice benefits; all perceived voice benefits as a result. The leading voice benefits were improved stamina, reduced effort, confidence, and control. Nineteen percent of the singers would recommend vitamin B12 treatment to a friend; 15% of the singing-teachers would recommend it to a student. Among laryngologists, 33% been asked by a singer to prescribe vitamin B12 for voice benefits; 9% have prescribed it in the past. Yet only 3% would you recommend it to a patient. When asked “Do you believe vitamin B12 therapy improves vocal performance?” 31% of the singers responded “Yes,” compared with none in the laryngologists. When asked “Do you think the singing community believes vitamin B12 therapy improves vocal performance?” 26% of the singers responded “Yes,” compared with 53% of the laryngologists (P = 0.0002). Conclusions: There is a discrepancy between the singers' and the laryngologists' beliefs regarding vocal benefits perceived by vitamin B12. Blinded randomized trials are required to verify or refute this belief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-356
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Voice
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cobalamin
  • Complementary medicine
  • Singing
  • Vitamin B
  • Vocal performance

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