The vitamin B12 craze has been around for some time. But this is more than just a craze and something that must be taken seriously. Surprisingly, it is one of the primary vitamins needed by the body which cannot be produced on its own. It is found in certain types of food and animal products. You can also find it in a variety of injectables and oral supplements.
But what makes this vitamin essential for the human body? What are the benefits that you can get? Discover below a list of the vitamin B12 benefits, according to science.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B12?
When creating a nutritional plan for better health, think about how you can integrate vitamin B12 food sources. The following are the benefits that you can get when you consume or supplement your daily diet with vitamin B12:
1. It increases red blood cell formation and prevents anemia.
Vitamin B12 is needed by your body to produce red blood cells. When this vitamin is low, it can make you prone to developing anemia. A healthy red blood cell is small and round. But when you are vitamin B12-deficient, it becomes larger and oval.
For this reason, it is unable to move through your bloodstream at the natural rate. When you are anemic, or when blood is unable to transport throughout your body, you will feel weak or fatigued.
2. It can improve your heart health.
Vitamin B12 is also vital in maintaining the health of your cardiovascular system. When there is a high level of amino acid homocysteine, it also increases your risk of developing heart diseases. Notably, this amino acid builds up in the blood.
Once this happens, it causes damage to the arterial walls of your heart. This is the result of your deficiency in vitamin B12. Its ability to prevent heart diseases can increase when you also consume food sources of folic acid and vitamin B6.
3. It keeps your nervous system healthy.
Vitamin B12 provides adequate support to your central nervous system. When there is a short supply of this nutrient, you will notice that annoying “pins and needles” sensation on your hands, legs, or feet.
This symptom is often accompanied by anemia. When you consume more vitamin B12 sources in your diet, it promotes the production of fatty sheath known as myelin. It is responsible for protecting your nerves.
4. It can prevent major birth defects.
Getting enough amount of vitamin B12 is vital to a healthy pregnancy. Studies have shown that it is needed by the mother to facilitate the development of the fetus’ brain and nervous system. When this vitamin is deficient, especially during the early stages of pregnancy, it can increase the chances of birth defects.
Pregnant women who lack this kind of vitamin can also increase their chances of suffering from miscarriage or premature birth. Thus, they should make it a priority to get an adequate amount of vitamin B12 before and during their pregnancy.
5. It supports bone health and fights osteoporosis.
Vitamin B12 is critical to keeping your bones healthy. In a study, deficiency in this vitamin has resulted in weaker bones and lower bone density. When your bone has lower mineral density, it is more fragile and prone to break.
Thus, its deficiency could develop osteoporosis. Make sure you get an adequate amount of this vitamin if you want to keep your bones strong and healthy.
6. It can improve your eye health.
As mentioned above, vitamin B12 is vital for your nervous system. By promoting this nutrient in your diet, you can boost the health of the optic nerves that are connected to your central nervous system.
On the flip side, deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause damage to the nerves around your eyes. It can lead to poor eyesight and a variety of eyesight problems.
7. It can boost memory and brain performance.
If you are suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, you could suffer from memory loss (especially among older adults). This vitamin has been linked to preventing brain atrophy. This condition is a result of the loss of neurons in the brain that causes dementia and memory loss.
When you consume food sources rich in vitamin B12, it can slow down your mental decline and manage symptoms of early-stage dementia. If you need to improve your memory and cognitive function, you need to supplement your diet with this type of vitamin.
8. It can promote your gut health.
Consuming lots of fiber and drinking plenty of water is important to maintaining your bowel movement. But when you lack vitamin B12, you are more prone to diarrhea, constipation, and loss of appetite.
This vitamin has been used as a marker for underlying digestive conditions. Crohn’s disease is a common example of digestive disorders associated with a lack of vitamin B12.
9. It can give you a boost of energy.
Do you need a surge of energy? It is important to consume vitamin B12-rich foods or supplements daily. All types of B vitamins are vital in the production of energy in the body. This is also required if you want to increase your energy levels.
Hence, you need to increase the amount of this vitamin in your daily diet. Experts believe that fatigue or lack of energy are two of the most common signs that you are deficient in vitamin B12.
10. It keeps your hair, skin, and nails healthy.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in cell production within the body. It is needed by the body to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to numerous conditions affecting your skin. It also has a direct impact on your hair and nails. You will eventually suffer from ailments such as vitiligo, hyperpigmentation, and nail discoloration.
Getting Vitamin B12 Supplements
As you can see, vitamin B12 is an important type of nutrient needed by the body to perform a variety of health functions. You must get an adequate amount of this vitamin to support the stated functions. There are also serious risks involved in your body when you suffer from a deficiency of vitamin B12.
If you are not getting enough of this vitamin in your daily diet, you can take vitamin B12 supplements. Check this article to help you choose the right supplement and find out how it can combat nutritional deficiency.