Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found naturally in animal products. Essential vitamins are something your body needs but can't produce on its own. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in many bodily functions like regulating nerve cells, the formation of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis. This is why many people with B12 deficiency turn to supplementation to get their daily dose.
One of the most significant health benefits of vitamin B12 is its role in red blood cell formation. Low vitamin B12 levels cause red blood cells to become oval. This irregular shape makes it harder for the red blood cells to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream fast enough, resulting in megaloblastic anemia.
Not only does anemia cause symptoms like weakness and fatigue, but your body can't transport enough oxygen to vital organs. A lack of oxygen in critical organs could result in organ dysfunction or possibly death.
One crucial vitamin B12 benefit is the prevention of birth defects. Doctor’s recommend that pregnant women take a multivitamin with folic acid and B-complex vitamins. Research suggests that a fetus’s nervous system and brain require adequate levels of B12 from the mother to develop correctly.
Maintaining optimal B12 levels support bone density. Bones with low mineral density may become fragile over time, possibly leading to osteoporosis. Adding B12 into your diet may also improve the quality of your hair, skin, and nails.
One B12 benefit is lowering the risk of developing macular degeneration. This eye disease mainly affects your central vision. Researchers believe adding vitamin B12 into your diet may reduce homocysteine, a type of amino acid found in your body. Lower levels of this acid, help prevent macular degeneration.
Serotonin is a bodily chemical connected to balancing moods. B12 plays a role in synthesizing serotonin, and lower levels of the vitamin have been linked to mood swings and depression. Supplement with B12 may improve symptoms of depression.
While being vitamin B12 deficient isn't that common, some people are at higher risk. Vegetarians and vegans who avoid animal products may need a dietary supplement or fortified B12 foods. Or those who have undergone weight loss surgery. Some symptoms of vitamin B12 include:
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in animal products like chicken and beef, but sometimes men and women need additional levels to help alleviate deficiencies. B12 supplementation is a safe and effective way to alleviate depression, improve bone density, and boost energy.
Getting enough B12 is crucial for optimal health. If you’re experiencing deficiency symptoms associated with low B12 levels, finding a high-quality supplement or food source will improve the quality of your life.