Some people lack Vitamin B12 in order to meet their needs whereas some is not able to absorb the Vitamin B12. Mostly older people have deficiency of Vitamin B12. The vegans and strict vegetarians have higher chances of deficiency of Vitamin B12. Those who have gone through the weight loss surgery or stomach stapling have the chances of vitamin B12 deficiency because the operation intervenes with the ability of the body to absorb the Vitamin B12 from food.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
1. Mental Health Boost
The Alzheimer’s patients have low level of vitamin B12 in the blood. The strict deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to the damage in nerves. Vitamin B12 is essential to maintain nerve health and prevents depression, brain shrinkage, memory loss and stress. The folate with vitamin B12 produces the compound named SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) which relieves stress and regulates the mood. SAM is essential to produce phosphatidylcholine which is a factor of myelin. In the vitamin B12 deficiency, molecules damage the nerves. Researchers have reported that the Alzheimer’s patient has low folate levels, low B12 levels and elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid. According to the evidences collected, it reports that depression is related to vitamin B12 deficiency. It also suggests that the deficiency of vitamin B12 encloses the brain.
2. Digestive system
Vitamin B12 assists in the production of digestive enzyme and maintains the healthy metabolism as well as the breakdown of foods within the stomach. It alleviates the harmful bacteria from the digestive tract. It also forbids the digestive disorders such as Candida and inflammatory bowel disease.
3. Skin, Hair and Nail
Vitamin B12 is essential for the reproduction of cells. It alleviates the dryness, skin redness, acne blemishes and inflammation. It can also treat eczema and psoriasis. It lowers the breakage of hair and also makes the nail stronger.
4. Cancer prevention
The low presence of folate damages the DNA strands. The reaction of methylation is reduced due to the deficiency of folate and vitamin B12. An altered methylation of DNA and DNA damage leads to the high chances of cancer. Studies have shown that those who were provided 7 µg of Vitamin B12 and 700 µg of folic acid regularly for two months, their chromosome breakage were reduced.
5. Prevent anemia
Vitamin B12 is essential for the red blood cells formation. Without the adequate vitamin B12, hemoglobin could not make the building block. B12 deficiency anemia is caused by the vitamin B12 deficiency.
6. Pregnancy and DNA health
Nucleic acid or DNA is generated to create the entire body. Folate, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 is required for the production of DNA.
7. Birth defects prevention
Studies have shown that:
- The study conducted as Molloy et al. reports that the women having the serum B12 less than 300 pg. /ml have a chance of baby born with neutral tube defects.
- The study conducted by Kirke et al. on 328 pregnant women. The women having the infant with NTD has B12 level 243 pg. /ml and those who did not have 296 pg. /ml.
- Afman et al. reports that those having the low level of B12 have higher chances of having a baby with NTD by 5 times.
- The study conducted on 135 women shows that those who have the children with NTDs and a B12 with an average of 38 pg. /ml lower in the first trimester than controls.
The adequate amount of B12 before and after conception lowers the chances of NTDs.
8. Fatigue prevention
Vitamin B12 is essential for neurotransmitter signaling which assists to contract muscles and provides energy.
9. Healthy heart
The presence of high homocysteine levels in the blood is responsible for the blood clotting abnormalities, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and stroke. The level of homocysteine could be lowered with an intake of vitamin B12 supplements and other B vitamins. The amino acid homocysteine in the blood is controlled with vitamin B6, B12 and B9. B12 prevents the extreme build-up of homocysteine. The excessive collection of homocysteine is the cause of cardiovascular disease. It also organizes the levels of homocysteine in the blood allowing the homocysteine convert to methionine. Vitamin B12 prevents the heart attack such as stroke and heart attack by reducing the level of homocysteine in the blood.
10. Bone mineral density
Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the bone mineral density. The studies have shown that the vegetarians having B12 status has poorer bone health.
11. Boost immune system
Folate and B12 is essential for the production of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) which enhances the mood and immune function.
12. Risk of brain shrinkage
The study was conducted on the 121 seniors all above 65 years. They checked the levels of vitamin B12 and B12-related metabolites which assist to observe the deficiency. Other cognitive skills with their memories were evaluated. When the MRI scans were made after fifty-two months later to check the size of brain and any signs of brain damage. They founded that those with vitamin B12 deficiency had less cognitive test scores and less total brain volumes.
13. Male infertility
Vitamin B12 supplements upgrades the sperm and sperm’s ability to swim.
14. Breast cancer
Studies have shown that those women having the breast cancer has less amount of Vitamin B12 in the blood serum in comparison to those without breast cancer. The case control of study conducted in Mexican women shows that the risk of breast cancer in the women by the intake of highest quartile of Vitamin B12 was about to lower by 68%.
15. Neural tube defects
Due to anencephaly or spina bifinda which is a fatal congenital malformation of the nervous system is the cause of neural tube defects (NTD). The failure of embryonic neural tube to close is occurred between 21st to 28th days after conception, which is a time when the women are mostly unaware of their pregnancy. The evidences show that the presence of folic acid with homocysteine lowering effect assists to lower the risk of NTD.
Studies have found that those with deficiency of vitamin B12 have depression than those with normal vitamin B12. Till now it has not been cleared that there is relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and depression but it may involve the deficiency of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM).
The alteration in the bone biomechanical properties leads to osteoporosis and raises the chances of fractures in the elderly. It is suggested that the deficiency of vitamin B12 enhances the chances of osteoporosis.