Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12: Here's All You Need To Know All About This Vitamin
From improving your mood to correcting adrenal fatigue, Vitamin B12 can do it all. Here's how vitamin B12 benefits your health.
Benefits of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common health concern
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common health concern in India
- Vitamin B12 helps you keep your energy levels high at all times
- Vitamin B12 increases the production of red blood cells
Vitamin B12 is a component of vitamin B complex and is essential for your overall health. But did you know it is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world? Yes, Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common health concern in a number of countries in the world, including India. From improving your mood to correcting adrenal fatigue, Vitamin B12 can do it all. Because of the fact that this nutrient is required for treating a number of ailments, its deficiency gives rise to multiple health problems as well. Basically, it keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. The fact that it plays such an important role in the overall normal functioning of the body is why its deficiencies can show in a number of health conditions.
So now that you know what vitamin B12 deficiencies can do, let's explore the health benefits of this nutrient.
Also read: Here's Why You Must Consume Vitamin D
1. Maintaining energy levels
Vitamin B12 helps you keep your energy levels high at all times. It benefits your body by converting carbs into usable glucose. A person who suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency often experiences fatigue. This happens when the body fails to absorb carbs in the form of glucose. Vitamin B12 makes that process faster. This is one of the reasons why vitamin B12 is an important ingredient of energy drinks. However, you must stick to its natural sources rather than the processed ones.
2. Treats depression
Just like Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 plays an important role in treating depression.
3. Improved heart health
Vitamin B12 is essential for your heart. Homocysteine levels in the blood are to blame for heart diseases like strokes and heart attacks. Vitamin B12 lowers homocysteine levels and promotes better heart health. It can also control cholesterol levels and combat high blood pressure. It is also known to control plaque buildup in the arteries leading to atherosclerosis.
Photo Credit: iStock
4. Improves digestion
Vitamin B12 promotes the production of digestive enzymes in the body. This ensures proper breakdown of food in the body. It improves gut health by promoting the growth of good gut bacteria. It also eliminates the bad gut bacteria, thereby preventing the inflammatory bowel disease.
Also read: Know All About The Amazing Benefits Of Vitamin C
5. Benefits for the skin and hair
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in keeping your hair, skin, and nails healthy. It promotes cell reproduction. It benefits the skin by reducing redness, blemishes, and acne. For the nails and hair, vitamin B12 is the strengthening agent as it prevents easy breakage of both skin and hair.
Photo Credit: iStock
Vitamin B12 is a vital element of a healthy pregnancy. DNA is the main component of the human body; vitamin B12 is required for DNA production. This forms an essential component of growth and development. Besides this, it interacts with folate in the body, thereby reducing the risk of birth defects in the baby.
7. Prevents anemia
Vitamin B12 increases the production of red blood cells. This way it prevents anemia, thereby lowering risk of weakness and chronic fatigue.
8. May prevent cancer
Studies show that vitamin B12 supplementation may lower the risk of cancer, especially when taken with folate. It may benefit the immune system to an extent where the risk of certain forms of cancer can be mitigated. These include prostate, colon, and cervical cancers.
Also read: Do Not Take These 5 Vitamin Supplements!
9. Lowers risk of neurodegenerative diseases
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in improving cognitive function. Its deficiency may lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. Increase your intake of this nutrient to lower the risk of such diseases later in life.
Photo Credit: iStock
10. Improves sleep patterns
Vitamin B12 increases the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Its deficiency is usually linked to insomnia. Vitamin B12 supplementation is used to treat the sleep-wake rhythm disorder.
11. Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system
Vitamin B12 is important to maintain a healthy central nervous system. Also known as cyanocobalamin, Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining myelin - an important component of the central nervous system. If the synthesis of myelin is not done properly, it can cause neurological damage in the body.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 in breastfeeding mothers can expose infants to myoclonic seizure disorder, brain atrophy, irreversible cortical blindness and microencephaly. If you have perniciuous anemia and are deficient in Vitamin B12, you are more prone to loss of cognitive function and dementia.
People suffering from down syndrome are unable to absorb Vitamin B12. Even small or minute deficiencies of Vitamin B 12 can cause anemia, fatigue and depression. Nutritionists believe that Vitamin B 12 is one of the most complex vitamins which affects energy levels, digestion and appearance.
Speaking about daily requirement for Vitamin B 12, the body needs around 3 micrograms of it every day. Sea food is considered to be a rich source of Vitamin B 12. Lobster langutsa, oysters, crabs, shrimps and mussels are all believed to be good sources of Vitamin B 12. Fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and trout also have high content of Vitamin B 12.
12. B-Vitamins have folic acid
Deficiency of folic acid is associated with anemia and neuropathy in adults. It can cause defects in neural tubes in newborns. Studies suggest that around 5 to 10% of the population suffers from deficiency of folic acid because of an inadequate dietary intake. Pregnant women need Vitamin B12 in high quantities.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can make you go through symptoms such irritability, tiredness, depression or nervousness. Eating a proper and well-balanced diet can prevent any kind of vitamin deficiencies in the body.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.