Vitamin B12 Benefits

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin is a water soluble vitamin necessary for a variety of biological operations in the human body. From metabolism of cells to the steady functioning of the nervous system, Vitamin B12 plays a major role in maintaining a healthy physical state. Spirulina is the ideal source of Vitamin B12. It can also be obtained from eggs, fish, meat, dairy products, etc.

Vitamin B12 has numerous health benefits and can help your body in various ways. Here is a look at the various benefits offered by Vitamin B12:

1.) Generation of Red Blood Cells – The formation, maintenance and repair of red blood cells is generally dependent on Vitamin B12. Athletes and people with low energy levels often take B12 injections, for an instant boost in energy levels. Vitamin B12 also plays a major role in the regeneration and development of DNA and RNA (the genetic material in our body). It is essential for the rapid synthesis of DNA and RNA during cell division, especially in tissues where cells are dividing rapidly.

B12 Deficiency can disrupt DNA production and result in abnormal cell growth, leading to anemia.

2.) Healthy Nervous System – Vitamin B12 assists in the smooth and proper functioning of the brain and nerve cells in the body. Each nerve fiber is surrounded by an insulating fatty sheath composed of Myelin, which is a complex protein. Myelin not just protects the nerves but also allows transmission of electrical impulses among the nerve cells throughout the body. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the metabolism of fatty acids important for maintenance of Myelin.

A lack of Vitamin B12 can have serious neurological effects ranging from loss of sensation to visual impairment to dementia and memory loss.

3.) Cures Depression – Vitamin B12 is known to promote activity of hormones and neurotransmitters that can influence your mood and emotional state. These hormones add Dopamine, Serotonin and Melatonin. Patients with depression are usually prescribed Vitamin B12 supplements as it can trigger serotonin ‘happy hormone’ production and uplift their mood.

A deficiency of B12 vitamin can lead to anxiety, stress and depression.

4.) Controls Homocysteine Levels – Proper dosage of Vitamin B12 in combination with Folic acid can effectively control the homocysteine levels (an amino acid produced from proteins) in the blood plasma cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in hematological conditions, increasing the risk of heart diseases, stroke and osteoporosis

5.) Healthy Skin & Hair – Vitamin B12 is vital for DNA and RNA synthesis and cell reproduction. Our hair, skin and nails undergo a process of constant renewal and growth, which is why they need enough amount of B Vitamins, especially B12 for maintaining a healthy growth. Insufficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to wrinkles, dry skin acne, brittle hair and nails and skin problems like dermatitis.

6.) Stimulates Absorption of Folic Acid – Folic acid is essential for the synthesis of red blood cells in the body. With out Vitamin B12, folic acid cannot be regenerated in the body and becomes stuck in a metabolically useless form. For correct regeneration and absorption of folic acid, one needs to get enough amount of Vitamin B12. Both Vitamin B12 and folic acid are dependent on each other, as deficiency of Vitamin B12 is followed by a deficiency of folic acid, and vice versa.

7.) Weight loss – Vitamin B12 is also called the ‘Energy Vitamin’ since it can give a real and instant energy boost. It can speed up the metabolism process, thus burning more calories and improving the rate of weight reduction. It also increases the total energy levels in the body, allowing you to boost your level of physical activity and exercise.

Also as we discussed previously, Vitamin B12 helps in fighting depression and stress, symptoms which are mostly associated with weight gain.

8.) Promotes Healthy Pregnancy – Compared to typical adults, pregnant girls need a higher amount of Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, release energy from food, maintain a healthy nervous system and to process folic acid. B12 deficiency can cause miscarriage and even birth defects. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of Vitamin B12 for pregnant women is 2.6 mcg per day, and it’s essential that this requirement is met.

9.) Helps Combat Mental Decline – Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient important for everybody including older adults. According to recent researches, adequate amount of Vitamin B12 can prevent mental decline associated with old age. Alzheimer’s diseases, short-term memory loss and Dementia can all be avoided, as Vitamin B12 promotes healthy functioning of the brain and neurological system.

Experts have found that whenever patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory problems were medicated with vitamin B12, many of their symptoms faded within six months and they regained mental focus and clarity.

10.) Allows you to Sleep Better – Vitamin B12 enhances the production of Melatonin, a hormone that supports healthy sleep patterns. This is particularly beneficial for older adults, as with age their body becomes less efficient in making this hormone. Vitamin B12 can assist in increasing Melatonin production allowing older people to sleep better.

Although the above mentioned benefits of Vitamin B12 are well documented, there are a number of other benefits that are being studied by researchers and health experts worldwide. One of such studies shows that Vitamin B12 can drastically increase sperm count and cure male infertility. Similarly, tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) can also be remedied with B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12 is undoubtedly an important nutrient required for most of our life processes – from improving physical health to boosting mental performance, Vitamin B12 can help you in countless ways. Make sure that you get enough amount of this vitamin either from dietary sources or through B12 supplements.

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