Cobalamin, aka vitamin B12, is an essential nutrient our body needs to function. B12 is found naturalle in foods of animal origin. Meat, poultry, dairy products, fish, and eggs contain B12. However, there are fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts that contain this crucial vitamin.
Some plant food or vegetables contain very small amounts of naturally occurring B12. When organic fertilizer is used on these plants, the B12 levels increase, making them an alternative option for vegans and vegetarians. Sciende shows us that fermented beans, edible algae, spinach, and edible mushrooms are excellent options.
Working B12 into our diet through food can be challenging, which is why supplementing it through vitamins, supplements, or injections are essential.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia. While a mild deficiency might cause no symptoms, untreated deficiencies may show symptoms including:
- A general weak, tired, and fatigued feeling (even with sufficient sleep)
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Smooth tongue
- Pale skin
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Nerve issues include numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
- Vision impairment or loss
- Mental issues such as depression, behavioral changes, and memory loss
B12 Boosts Energy Levels
Vitamin B12 helps maintain high energy levels by converting carbs into usable glucose our body can absorb. When our body can’t absorb carbs in the form of glucose, we end up feeling tired and with low energy.
B12 Helps Brain Function
One of the most critical roles B12 plays in our functioning is that it helps ensure our brain is working correctly. People with B12 deficiencies are more likely to experience memory problems and an increased risk of developing dementia.
One study found that mental decline slowed down in patients treated with a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Supplementing B12 is thought to improve memory and cognitive functioning.
Benefits of B12
In addition to improving our energy levels and brain function, B12 also plays a vital role in trating depression. The nutrients help improve and regulate our mood by synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin in our brain.
Vitamin B12 helps our body produce red blood cells, which in turn helps prevent anemia. This essential vitamin can also contribute to a healthy pregnancy. B12 also plays a role in supporting our bone health to help prevent the development of osteoporosis.
Believe it or not, vitamin B12 helps the body create DNA, nourishes the brain and nervous system, and aids in the formation of healthy red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 can reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes vision loss. Syudies have provided significant evidence that those with a B12 deficiency are at greater risk of developing this degenerative disease. It also shows that individuals supplementing B12 have reduced chances.
Vitamin B12 is essential and crucial for our body to function correctly. When we lack this vitamin, it can lead to further issues with our health. If you have any signs of a deficiency, you may want to have a doctor run a few tests to check your levels. Once you have verified a deficiency, you can take the appropriate dosage of B12 supplements.
Eating a balanced diet full of the essential vitamins and minerals we need helps our body maintain proper functioning. Supplements and supplemental drinks are an easy way to ensure our body has everything it needs.