Vitamin B12: 7 Health Advantages (Backed By Science)

Vitamin B12 pills have been flying off the shelves in recent months.

You’ve probably seen them in the grocery store or pharmacy aisles, whether in the shape of chewable gummies or capsules.

In this article, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what Vitamin B12 is and some of its health benefits.

What Is Vitamin B12?

Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B12. It is involved in the development of red blood cells, neuron activity, and the generation of DNA, according to Mayo Clinic. Vitamin B12 shortage is uncommon, according to Mayo Clinic, because your body can retain it for several years.

However, if you eat a meat-free diet, such as a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may be more susceptible to deficiency. Furthermore, elderly persons are more likely to be Vitamin B12 deficient.

Fatigue, muscle weakness, mood disorders (such as depression or disorientation), and memory issues are all indications of Vitamin B12 insufficiency, according to the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.

As a result, it’s critical to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B12 in your diet.

Related: How Do Vitamins Help With Weight Loss?

The Main Sources of B12

Animal food, such as poultry, meat, fish, and dairy products, are the finest sources of Vitamin B12, according to Mayo Clinic.

Vitamin B12 is also added to some foods during manufacturing. This behavior can be seen in fortified breakfast cereals and some commercial yeasts. 

Because Vitamin B12 is mostly derived from animal products, persons who adopt a strict vegetarian or vegan diet may have difficulties reaching their dietary requirements.

Vitamin B12 can be supplied in certain instances. B12 can be given outside of the diet in two ways: as an oral supplement or as an injection.

7 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12

Here are seven science-backed health benefits of vitamin b12.

1. Reduces Risk of Anemia

Anemia is a disorder in which your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, according to Mayo Clinic.

This implies that your blood is unable to transfer oxygen to all regions of your body, resulting in exhaustion, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath, and muscle weakness.

Given its function in red blood cell creation, it’s no surprise that anemia prevention is one of Vitamin B12’s advantages. When you don’t get enough Vitamin B12, your red blood cells grow too big and develop an uneven form.

This prevents them from moving properly throughout your body, resulting in a kind of anemia known as “megaloblastic anemia.”

Related: Upgrade Your Water With These Ingredients For Better Digestive Health

2. May Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

Given the importance of Vitamin B12 in DNA function, it’s no surprise that it’s also a crucial component of bone development.

Individuals with higher Vitamin B12 levels also had better bone mineral density, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Osteoporosis is indicated by lower bone mineral density. Individuals with insufficient Vitamin B12 storage may be at risk for osteoporosis, according to one study. 

3. May Improve Heart Health

Homocysteine is an amino acid or a protein-building block. Homocysteine is one of the results of protein breakdown. Homocysteine levels beyond a certain threshold have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

High levels of homocysteine in humans usually suggest a folic acid (Vitamin B9) or vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 (together with other B vitamins including folic acid and Vitamin B6) can help decrease homocysteine levels, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

However, according to the National Institutes of Health, taking B12 supplements does not lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you’re looking for a supplement to specifically improve heart health, it may be beneficial to look into an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement instead.

4. May Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects

As previously stated, it is suggested that pregnant women supplement their diet with more Vitamin B12 than ordinary adults. This is due to the fact that Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to birth malformations such as neural tube problems and pregnancy issues.

To prevent birth abnormalities in their children, pregnant mothers must ensure that they are getting the required daily dose of Vitamin B12.

5. May Reduce Your Risk of Depression

Depression, according to the World Health Organization, is extremely frequent, affecting more than 264 million people globally. Individuals of various ages might be affected by this mental illness.

Vitamin B12 insufficiency was shown to be more common among adult women with depression than among those who were not sad, according to the American Women’s Health and Aging Study.

In fact, they discovered that people who were deficient in Vitamin B12 were more than twice as likely to be depressed as those who were not.

In a population of elderly people, another study confirmed these findings. According to the Rotterdam Study, elderly people who were low in Vitamin B12 were more prone to be depressed.

Vitamin B12 supplementation has also been demonstrated in studies to help with depressive symptoms. In a research published in the Open Neurology Journal, 100 percent of depressed people who took Vitamin B12 supplementation for three months saw a reduction in their depressive symptoms.

6. May Improve Your Cognition

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the presence of B12 indicators in the body is linked to cognitive function and brain volume.

The researchers discovered that if these signs revealed a Vitamin B12 deficit, overall brain capacity could be lowered, resulting in impaired cognition. Another study discovered that people with lower Vitamin B12 levels had poorer memory and learning abilities.

These findings highlight the necessity of having appropriate Vitamin B12 storage for cognitive function.

7. May Improve Hair, Skin, and Nail Health

One of the most common reasons for taking Vitamin B-12 is its hair, skin, and nail benefits. Vitamin B12 insufficiency can cause hyperpigmentation, hair changes, skin abnormalities, and glossitis, according to the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (inflammation of the tongue).

These unfavorable responses can be avoided by getting enough Vitamin B12, either through diet or supplementation.

How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Need?

Adults should obtain 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin B12 each day, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Different levels of this nutrient are required by different adult groups. Pregnant women should take 2.6 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day while breastfeeding mothers should take 2.8 micrograms.

Because Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, your body will only absorb as much as it requires before passing the rest through your urine.

This means that consuming more Vitamin B12 than the prescribed amount has no advantage. This also implies that Vitamin B12 poisoning is highly unlikely.

In Conclusion

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is essential for the development of red blood cells, neuron function, and DNA synthesis.

As I’ve already mentioned, taking enough Vitamin B12, either through diet or supplementation, can help you improve your cognition, lower your chance of osteoporosis, and lower your risk of developing depression or reducing depressive symptoms.

Vitamin B12 supplements are generally considered to be safe, especially for those whose diets are low in animal products such as meat, dairy, and fish.

While it is always preferable to get vitamins through diet, Vitamin B12 supplements are generally considered to be safe, especially for those whose diets are low in animal products such as meat, dairy, and fish.

If you’re concerned about your Vitamin B12 levels, we recommend consulting your doctor to see if they’re accurate.

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