If you are someone who has been fussing over a twitchy eye, constant fatigue, numbness in your hands and feet, poor memory, and loss of appetite, among other things, then you ought to get your vitamin B12 levels checked. Vitamin B12 is an important micronutrient that your body requires from time to time but cannot produce on its own. This is why you must consume foods or dietary supplements that are rich in this powerhouse nutrient. That said, let us try to understand in detail what is Vitamin B12 and why it is important for the body.
What is Vitamin B12?
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. Additionally, it helps make DNA, which is the genetic material in all cells. Ideally, the recommended daily intake of vitamin b12 for people is 2.4 mg, however, it could be higher for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
There are many ways in which vitamin B12 can benefit your health, from improving energy levels and boosting memory to reducing the risk of heart ailments. Let’s look at some of these benefits below.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
Many people wonder, “Is B12 important or not.” To answer that question, let us give you the benefits of this crucial vitamin.
- It helps prevent a type of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. In this condition, your body lacks sufficient red blood cells to transport oxygen to all the important organs in your body, which causes symptoms of fatigue.
- This essential nutrient also aids in cell production, promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause numerous dermatological problems such as greying hair, hyperpigmentation, vitiligo (loss of skin colour) and the like.
- Additionally, vitamin B12 helps with a healthy pregnancy as it plays an important role in the brain and neural development of the foetus.
- An adequate intake of this nutrient helps maintain bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
- Vitamin B12 also reduces the risk of macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease that causes severe, permanent vision loss.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain - a condition that can lead to memory loss and the development of dementia with age. Thus an adequate amount of vitamin B12 can help maintain sound cognitive function.
- Healthy levels of vitamin B12 in the body will ensure that you have adequate amino acid homocysteine levels, which will further help maintain a healthy heart.
How to get Vitamin B12?
It would help if you got your daily dose of the nutrient through your diet or Vitamin B12 natural supplements. The nutrient is primarily found in animal products, particularly meat, eggs, fish, clams, and dairy products. It is usually not found in plant foods unless they are fortified. If you are struggling to have enough of this vitamin through your diet, then our Daily Greens (a multivitamin from 39 farm-fresh greens, veggies, fruits, and antioxidant-rich superfoods) is a perfect solution for you! Just drop a tablet into your glass, watch it fizz, and sip on the delicious drink to get your daily dose of vitamin B12!
- Vitamin B12 and Homocysteine Levels and 6-Year Change in Peripheral Nerve Function and Neurological Signs, Kira Leishear, Luigi Ferrucci, Fulvio Lauretani, Robert M. Boudreau, Stephanie A. Studenski, Caterina Rosano, Rosanna Abbate, Anna M. Gori, Anna M. Corsi, Angelo Di Iorio, Jack M. Guralnik, Stefania Bandinelli, Anne B. Newman, and Elsa S, The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2012, doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr202, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326240/)
- Megaloblastic Anemia, Anis Hariz; Priyanka T. Bhattacharya, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537254/)
- Reversible hyperpigmentation of skin and nails with white hair due to vitamin B12 deficiency, N Noppakun, D Swasdikul, Archives of Dermatological Research, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3740873/)
- Maternal Vitamin B12 Status and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Population With High Neural Tube Defect Prevalence and No Folic Acid Fortification, Anne M. Molloy, PhD,a Peadar N. Kirke, FFPHMI,b James F. Troendle, PhD,c Helen Burke, BSocSc,b Marie Sutton, MB, MPH,b Lawrence C. Brody, PhD,d John M. Scott, ScD,e and James L. Mills, MD, MSc, Pediatrics Journal, 2009, doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1173, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4161975/)
- Vitamin B-12 status is associated with bone mineral content and bone mineral density in frail elderly women but not in men, Rosalie A M Dhonukshe-Rutten, Martine Lips, Nynke de Jong, Marijke J M Chin A Paw, Gerrit J Hiddink, Marijke van Dusseldorp, Lisette C P G M De Groot, Wija A van Staveren, Comparative Study Journal, 2003, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12612156/)
- Homocysteine and the risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Peirong Huang, Fenghua Wang, Birendra Kumar Sah, Junhai Jiang, Zhentian Ni, Jentso Wang, and Xiaodong Suna, Science Reports, 2015, doi: 10.1038/srep10585, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508850/)
- Vitamin B-12 concentration, memory performance, and hippocampal structure in patients with mild cognitive impairment, Theresa Köbe, A Veronica Witte, Ariane Schnelle, Ulrike Grittner, Valentina A Tesky 4, Johannes Pantel, Jan Philipp Schuchardt, Andreas Hahn, Jens Bohlken, Dan Rujescu, Agnes Flöel, Randomized Controlled Trial, 2016, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.116970, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26912492/)