Vitamin b12 Benefits – Different Ways to Include It in Your Diet

Updated on March 4th, 2020
Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a vitamin that the body needs, but does not naturally produce. Found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products, it is often taken with other B vitamins. Vitamin b12 plays multiple roles when it comes to offering health benefits. Vitamin B12 benefits the brain, nerves, blood cells, and many other parts of the body. Vitamin B12 may be taken orally to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, a condition in which vitamin B12 levels in the blood are very low.

Health benefits of vitamin B12

1. Combats anemia

The role of vitamin B12 in helping our body produce red blood cells is very important. Low vitamin B12 levels may cause a reduction in red blood cell formation, thus preventing them from developing properly. In the absence of vitamin B12, red blood cells lose their small and round shape, and become larger and oval, and are unable to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at a required rate. This condition causes anemia. The symptoms range from fatigue to weakness. Hence, ensure you include enough vitamin B12 rich foods in your diet to stay healthy.

2. Prevent birth defects

A good quantity of Vitamin B12 level is good for a healthy pregnancy. According to studies, a fetus’s brain and nervous system require favorable B12 levels from the mother to develop properly. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 in the beginning stages of pregnancy might increase the risk of birth defects and even contribute to premature birth or miscarriage(1).

3. Good for bone health

Bone Health
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Maintaining a good amount of vitamin B12 in your system is paramount if you want to prevent bone deteriorating disorders like osteoporosis. Bones with decreased mineral density might become fragile and delicate over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

4. Prevent central vision disorders

Vitamin B12 is essential to prevent macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an age-related disorder that affects your central vision. According to certain researchers, supplementing your diet with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a kind of amino acid. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with a greater risk of macular degeneration, as you grow older(2).

5. Improve mood, lowers depression

Maintaining a good level of vitamin B12 is essential for improving your mood. This vitamin happens to play an important role in metabolizing serotonin, a chemical that is responsible for regulating mood. A vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which might lead to a depressed mood. Increase your intake of foods with vitamin B12, if you experience a dip in your mood.

[Read: Best Vitamins That Help Combat Stress]

6. Prevents loss of neurons

As you grow older, you may experience brain atrophy, i.e the phenomenon of loss of neurons in the brain. This is often associated with memory loss or dementia. According to one study in people with early age dementia, a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed their mental decline(3).

7. Vitamin B12 for energy

vitamin b12 benefits
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Vitamin B12 supplements might give you an energy boost. If you ask “Does vitamin B12 give you energy?” Then the answer is not exactly. All B vitamins play a vital role in your body’s energy production even though they themselves don’t provide energy(4). In fact, one of the most common and early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is the onset of fatigue or lack of energy. So, if you want to feel upbeat, keep your diet rich in foods with vitamin B.

8. Good for healthy skin, hair, and nails

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in cell production and adequate levels of this vitamin are required for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin B12 benefits for men include prevention of cause skin issues and hair issues like hyperpigmentation, nail discoloration, hair changes, and inflamed and cracked mouth corners.

[Read: Role of Vitamins in Treating Eczema]

How to use/consume vitamin B12?

Usually, vitamin B12 may be present in some foods. Foods like eggs, fish, milk and milk products, poultry, beef, liver, chicken, trout, salmon, tuna, clams, fortified breakfast cereal, etc. are loaded with vitamin B12. Additionally, you may take a vitamin supplement to fulfill your vitamin b12 needs. The recommended intake of vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 mcg. However, nursing mothers and pregnant women need to consult a doctor for the recommended dosage.

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Myths

There is a myth that the lack of vitamin B12 causes health problems. The truth is that if an individual has a pre-existing condition, that might be the reason for ill health. Having said that, one of the side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue. So, it is ideal to keep a healthy amount of vitamin B12 in the body to avoid health problems.

Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that you must consume, either through your diet or through supplements. Responsible for many bodily functions, it may also benefit your health in many ways, like supporting bone health and maintaining healthy skin and hear. Getting good enough vitamin B12 in your diet is important. If you aren’t able to eat foods rich in vitamin B12, take supplements.


FAQs

1. What Does Vitamin b12 Do?

Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin to have healthy levels of in the human body. Responsible for a lot of health bonuses, a lack of this vitamin may cause health issues.

2. Does Vitamin b12 Help Lose Weight?

Even though some weight loss programs offer vitamin B12 injections for weight loss, there aren’t enough studies or research to support the same. So it is better to talk to your nutritionist or doctor before deciding anything.

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