The importance of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 also referred to as cobalamin, is part of the Vitamin B complex and is a water-soluble vitamin.
It was considered the “Painkilling Vitamin” in some countries as far back as the 1950’s. Vitamin B12, also known as the energy vitamin, benefits your mood, energy level, memory, heart, digestion and so much more.
Here is how vitamin B12 functions as a health-promoting vitamin:
- Involved in DNA synthesis: the basic genetic material that’s used to create the entire body.
- Maintains Energy Levels: vitamin B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, which is used as a form of energy.
- Involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body: as it plays a part in the synthesis of fatty acids and energy production.
- Prevents memory loss and is essential for the brain health: because of its role in nerve health and neurotransmitter signaling, vitamin B12 is needed for concentration and cognitive function and is used to lower the risk of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Boosts the mood; reducing depression and anxiety.
- Maintains heart health: vitamin B12 helps to protect against heart attack or stroke by lowering high homocysteine levels in the blood. which is now considered a major risk factor for heart disease. It also helps control high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
- Helps produce red blood cells and prevents anemia: the human body produces millions of red blood cells every minute. These cells cannot multiply properly without vitamin B12.
- Plays a role as an anti-inflammatory : reduces homocysteine, one of the body’s naturally occurring chemicals. Homocysteine causes inflammation if it is not properly metabolized.
- Improves Sleeping Patterns by improving sleep-wake rhythm disorders.
Optimizes the immune system by restoring immunoglobulins synthesis & cellular immunity.
- Maintains healthy skin,hair and nails: because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 reduces skin redness, dryness, inflammation, acne & blemishes. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails to become stronger.
- Aids in Digestion:by helping with digestive enzyme production,
- Helps lower the risk of birth defects during pregnancy: such as neural tube defects as it interacts with folate in the body. Vitamin B12 is a key nutrient for growth and development,without enough vitamin B12 your baby could have developmental delays.
- Reduces pain: due to inflammation of the nerves in neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy.
Are you getting enough Vitamin B12?
In order to stay healthy, you need to make sure that you are getting enough vitamin B12.Your body doesn’t make vitamin B12 and it isn’t like other vitamins, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products like eggs, meat, shellfish, and dairy.
Lots of people don’t get enough B12, and they’re more likely to be vegetarians, have digestion problems, or are over 50 years old.
Therefore, both older adults and vegetarians are advised to take a daily vitamin B12 supplement on regular basis because the body doesn’t store B12 for a long time.
The impact of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Because of its wide-reaching roles within the body, vitamin B12 deficiency can have a lot of symptoms such as:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Mood disorders like depression and anxiety
- Difficulty in concentrating and poor memory
- Pale skin
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
- Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and an increased risk for heart disease
- Digestive disorders, loss of appetite and weight loss
- Blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and even vision loss
- Muscle weakness, and loss of balance