Do you often struggle with fatigue, mood changes, lack of focus, and low energy levels? This may be a sign that you are deficient in an essential vitamin – vitamin B12. If that is the case, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, about 40% of people have low amounts of cobalamin or vitamin B12. This issue needs to be addressed because vitamin B12 is an important vitamin, especially for the production of DNA and red blood cells. There is no denying that this particular vitamin is essential for overall health. Vitamin B12 has a multitude of health benefits – we will be discussing them later in this article! If you want to learn more about what this vitamin can do for you, feel free to give this article a read.
Vitamin B12: What is its role?
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The vitamin B12 or cobalamin exists in various forms. It contains cobalt mineral, which is the reason why the vitamin B12 is collectively known as cobalamins. Furthermore, there are two different forms of vitamin B12 which are active in the human metabolism – they are 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.
Vitamin B12 may benefit the central nervous system in various significant ways. It actually helps in maintaining the health of nerve cells, including those that are necessary for neurotransmitter signaling. Vitamin B12 also helps in forming the protective covering of the nerves, known as the myelin sheath. This means that when the body is low in vitamin B12 all the cognitive functions in the body may suffer.
The vitamin B12 is also beneficial for the digestion as well as heart health. Thus, the deficiency of it may lead to both increases in the risk of heart disease and digestive disorders. It may come in various food sources, vitamin B12 injections, or even as an intramuscular vitamin.
For most adults, the RDI or recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is about 2.4 micrograms. The RDI tends to be higher for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Suggested Dietary Allowance of Vitamin B12
The table below delineates the suggested dietary allowance for cobalamine:
|Infants||0 to 6 months old||0.4 micrograms|
|Infants||7 to 12 months old||0.5 micrograms|
|Toddlers||1 to 3 years old||0.9 micrograms|
|Children||4 to 8 years old||1.2 micrograms|
|Children||9 to 13 years old||1.8 micrograms|
|Adults||14 years old and above||2.4 micrograms|
|Pregnant women||–||2.6 micrograms|
|Breastfeeding mother||–||2.8 micrograms|
The vitamin B12 may help the body in a lot of ways. The health benefits of vitamin B12 include the improvement of memory as well as help in preventing chronic conditions such as heart disease. To find out more of the health benefits of vitamin B12 keep on scrolling!
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
Here are some of the most surprising health benefits of vitamin B12:
- Helps in supporting healthy hair, nails, and skin. Since vitamin B12 is beneficial in cell production, sufficient levels of it may help in promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- Help improve the heart health. By way of reducing the homocysteine levels in the body, the vitamin B12 is beneficial in improving heart health.
- Helps in giving a boost in the energy. Vitamin B12 supplements have long been a go-to supplement for an additional boost in energy.
- Helps in boosting the brain health. By way of preventing the loss of neurons in the brain, the vitamin B12 is essential in aiding brain health. Furthermore, vitamin B12 is also essential in preventing brain atrophy.
- Helps in improving mood and depression symptoms. The vitamin B12 is beneficial in reducing the production of serotonin, which may cause depression. Furthermore, it is also essential in improving the mood.
- Help support bone health. The maintenance of levels of vitamin B12 in the body may help in supporting bone health. Studies show that low levels of vitamin B12 may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin B12: Can I consume too much of it?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. The body has the capacity to flush it out of the system through the production of urine. As a result, the vitamin B12 is non-toxic and is safe to consume. Nevertheless, it is always best to avoid exceeding the recommended daily amount of the vitamin. Furthermore, do not take large amounts of any supplements without consulting your doctor first. Even though the side effects of vitamin B12 are rare, some individuals can experience itching, anxiousness, swelling, and headache due to excessive consumption of this important vitamin.
Bear in mind that some people can also experience trouble in the proper absorption of vitamin B12 due to digestive issues. For those individuals, taking more and more vitamin B12 is not going to solve the problem itself. They need to identify the reason why their body is failing to absorb the proper nutrients in the first place. Resolving gut health issues can help maximize the use of vitamin B12 as well as all other nutrients.