Do you get enough of your daily vitamins from your diet alone? Many people don’t and have no idea, leaving them with deficiencies or just feeling sluggish or unwell. Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin that many people are lacking. As it’s found mostly in animal products, many people who are intolerant to meat and dairy, or who choose vegan and vegetarian diets can become deficient without realizing it unless they know how to balance their nutrition.
If you think you might be lacking B12, this might be the article for you. There are plenty of benefits of B12 shots and pills even if you do get a small amount in the food that you eat. If you’re not getting enough, you might be feeling the effects. Keep reading to learn more about how B12 can help you.
A Metabolism Boost
Vitamin B12 can be helpful to your metabolism and any weightloss efforts. B12 helps support iron intake which can help with anemia. Many people think it’s only an iron deficiency that causes anemia, but this simply isn’t true.
Anemia can prevent the body from properly converting food, fats, and proteins into energy, allowing you to build muscle and lose fat. This makes weight loss efforts challenging even with a healthy diet. B12 will help that process along, giving a slight jumpstart to your metabolism.
May Prevent Harmful Birth Defects
For people who are pregnant, B12 maybe even more important. Healthy levels of B12 can be essential (along with other vitamins) to preventing neural tube defects in the forming fetus. People with a B12 deficiency may have 5 times the risk of those deadly defects in their fetus than those with normal B12 levels. For those who are severely deficient, they may want to speak with their doctor about B12 shots vs pills to see if the shots may be a safer option to boost levels quickly.
Can Improve Overall Mood
A B12 deficiency can make you feel sluggish, fatigued, and overall “low”. B12 helps the body metabolize and create serotonin, one of the “happy chemicals” in the brain. Low serotonin is related to depression. In people who take SSRI type antidepressant medications, those with normal B12 levels fare better than those with low B12 levels.
The normal serotonin production and metabolization has a clear connection to mood and development, though it’s not completely clear how strong this connection is. Overall, though, there is a positive connection between B12 and mood.
Improves Skin, Nails, and Hair
B12 is one of the vitamins that can be found in those “hair, skin, and nails” vitamin packs. While it won’t necessarily help you grow these things longer or smoother, it can help you out if you’re suffering. If you have low B12 levels, you may notice cracked skin, breaking or shedding hair, or nails that break easily. These symptoms can be caused by a B12 deficiency and can be soothed by supplementation. Actual growth generally requires biotin, but B12 is a key player in the health of those parts of your body.
It Can Stop Some Hair Loss
Along with making some dry and breaking hair, a B12 deficiency can also cause certain forms of hair loss. While there are many different kinds of hair loss, all with their own causes, if you are B12 deficient (or suspect that this may be the case) and suffering from a bit of hair thinning, this is something you may want to consider. B12 can reverse this loss and allow your hair to begin regrowing as normal, unlike with many other forms of more permanent or difficult to treat hair loss types.
B12 Can Increase Energy Levels
One of the biggest benefits of B12 shots and pills is the energy boost that they can give you. As mentioned before, a lack of B12 can result in lethargy or fatigue. B12 contributes to the production of red blood cells which help to carry oxygen through your blood. When you’re not receiving this oxygen, you can experience brain fog and an overall lack of energy. Getting a regular dose of B12 can help solve this problem.
You Can Sleep Better
Vitamin B12 pills are great for regulating sleep, especially if you’ve ruled out other culprits. There’s a sleepy chemical in some foods (we often get it from turkey, blaming Thanksgiving dinner for our early naps) called tryptophan. Our bodies can actually create this naturally. B12 is partially involved in this creation. This means that if it’s working correctly, you’ll have an easier time regulating sleep. There are other chemicals involved in the sleep process, like melatonin, so B12 isn’t the only factor, but it can help if you’re deficient.
Can Support Memory Health
The brain fog that we mentioned earlier can have long term effects. B12 deficiency has been connected to memory loss in aging adults. Sufficient levels of B12 may play a role (alongside omega 3 fatty acids) in slowing down mental deterioration related to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Even in younger adults, low levels of B12 can result in poor short-term memory. Supplementing this vitamin can result in an overall sharper mind.
There Are Many Benefits of B12 Shots and Pills
B12 is a crucial vitamin that many people are deficient in without even knowing. While a vegetarian or vegan diet is incredibly healthy, if you’re not healthy and paying attention to nutrition while maintaining it, you can end up deficient or low in B12.
While many supplements are unnecessary in the average American diet, the benefits of B12 shots and pills can’t be overlooked, especially if you’re feeling sluggish, sad, or experiencing any skin or hair issues without other causes. B12 is typically affordable and won’t cause harm to the body. It’s a great first step to take.