Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is one of the 8 powerful B-complex vitamins, known to increase energy levels in the body. It fuels the body cells with the essential nutrients that allow for ultimate performance. In addition to providing energy, Vitamin B12 has several other crucial roles for your health and well-being.
1. Makes Red Blood Cells and Saves from Anemia
Vitamin B12 along with Vitamin B9 supports the body by forming red blood cells. They ensure continual production of these cells and the maintenance of a healthy blood level in the body.
Anaemia is a condition in which the process of haemoglobin formation in the body is either slowed down or aborted.
Studies have shown that this condition occurs when an adequate intake of Vitamin B12 is not maintained. Making sure to obtain adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in your diet will allow you to avoid anaemia.
2. Boosts Fertility
Cobalamin has also been shown to have positive effects on enhancing fertility. Research conducted worldwide has concluded that vitamin B12 does the groundwork for reproduction. Many women who previously couldn’t conceive, after correcting the portions of vitamin B12 in their bodies, were able to bear and deliver babies. In men also, Vitamin B12 supports sperm and its potency.
3. Prevents from Ailing Bone Health
It is well known that strong bones provide for a strong and healthy body and therefore, it is essential to take care of your bones and maintain their strength. Bone metabolism is affected by low intake of Vitamin B12. Studies have found out that people who suffer from osteoporosis have very little B12 in their bodies to be used by the bones.
Maintaining adequate portions of Vitamin B12 can lower the risks of developing bone-related disorders because Vitamin B12 remineralizes bones, making them stronger and healthier.
4. Enhances Mood
Research has shown that people who have adequate levels of vitamin B12 in their bodies are more positive, satisfied, and happy. They tend to have enhanced moods as compared to people with lower B12 levels.
5. Supports Brain and Nerves
Cobalamin is food for the brain. It is healthy for prompt brain and nerve activity and can prolong youth in the working cells and save them from decaying.
Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to lower levels of Vitamin B12. Correct portions can make a tremendous difference in brain health and therefore, it is essential to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in the body through both food sources and dietary supplements.
6. Improves Vision
Vitamin B12 supports vision especially when a person is aging. It also helps in the treatment of certain eye disorders and diseases, related to loss or impairment of vision. Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are treated using Vitamin B12.
7. Protects Against Cancer
Certain studies have invoked that Vitamin B12, if used in correct portions, can play a part in reducing the risks of cervical and breast cancer. Although evidence is primary, subsequent studies and research are fast confirming the claim.
8. DNA Synthesis
Vitamin B12 also helps in DNA synthesis. It replenishes DNA cells that are damaged due to radiation or oxidation.
12 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency shows the same symptoms as any vitamin deficiency does. Weakness, dizziness, and fatigue are standard deficiency symptoms. However, if you are deficient in only B12, your body is also likely to show the following symptoms.
- Pale Skin
- Inflamed Tongue
- Loss of Memory
- Loss of Vision
- Numbness and Tingling in hands and feet
- Shortness of Breath
- Weight Loss
- Skin disorders (Patches and pigmentations)
If you are dealing with any of these conditions, continuously and for no other apparent reason, visit your doctor to see if it is due to a potential vitamin deficiency. Lower levels of the blood are often decisive in the case. American Medical Observers see blood level lower than 200 pg/mL as an indication of B12 deficiency.
3 Ways You Can Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Here are three simple ways you can treat vitamin B12 deficiency:
1. Consumption through Food Sources
Vitamin B12 comes from animal sources. If you are a vegan, the alternative that you have to obtain this vitamin is through dietary supplements. Regardless of your lifestyle, it is essential to make sure that you are getting the RDA levels of Vitamin B12 that suits your age and gender.
Beef, mutton, turkey, chicken, and fish are the other key sources of vitamin B12. Include in your diet liver and shellfish once weekly and eggs are a must. Moreover, breakfast cereals fortified with Vitamin B12 are also good sources for obtaining cobalamin.
2. Routine Vitamin Supplements
Vitamin B12 supplements must be incorporated in your routine as soon as you observe any of the above-stated deficiency signs. If you have discovered lower blood levels or signs of anaemia, you should start on a regular supplementation regime, right away.
The frequency with which you need to take routine supplements depends, on where you stand with the deficiency. If it is chronic, take 1000-2000 mcg to normalize the need. Or else a daily 200-300 mcg dose would suffice.
If Vitamin B12 levels decrease exponentially, injections may be needed to compensate for the deficiency.
Usually, when a deficiency is at its worst, oral consumption doesn’t work. The body does not accept B12 through an oral intake and in such cases, extreme doses must be injected into the body for instant recovery.
Vitamin B12 is not a vitamin which can be taken for granted. It has substantial health impacts and therefore, the adequate intake must be maintained for an energized body and sustainable function of bodily organs.
Dr. Dina Khairie is a medical specialist who has spent nearly a decade in key positions at NoorVitamins. After receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from St. John’s University in New York, she began her career working as a supervising clinical pharmacist in the community pharmacy arena.