Vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins our bodies use to help fuel healthy lives. However, because we don’t produce B12 on our own, it is vital to understand how we can consume and absorb the vitamin and some of the benefits of ensuring that you receive enough B12.
Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin. It is an essential vitamin that is naturally found in animal products. However, modern science allows us to take B12 through pills, oral supplements, or even injections. B12 has several benefits for the body, including playing a role in DNA synthesis, red blood cell creation, and the ability of our nerve cells to function normally.
Here are a few of the significant benefits of ensuring that you include B12 in your diet.
Vitamin B12 Fights Anemia
Megaloblastic anemia is caused by an improper formation of hemoglobin, otherwise known as red blood cells. B12 is a critical component of the proper formation of these blood cells, so ensuring that healthy red blood cells can be created is one of the many benefits of this vitamin.
This Vitamin May Help Reduce Birth Defects
The typical person needs to consume 2.4 mcg. However, doctors recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women consume more during these times. Studies have shown that women who have lower levels of B12 in their blood tests were at higher risk of giving birth to a child who has birth defects. Additionally, the lower the levels were in the study also tended to be associated with higher rates of congenital disabilities. These pregnancies resulted in potential birth defects between three and five times higher than women with higher levels of B12.
You May Be Able to Lower Your Risk of Depression
Some studies show that levels of Vitamin B12 could be associated with the risks of developing depression or other mental health concerns. One study showed that individuals who were Vitamin B12 deficient had twice the chance of having depression categorized as “severe.” Furthermore, other tests suggest that individuals who already have a deficiency and are being treated for depression had better outcomes when given additional B12 and antidepressants rather than antidepressants alone.
This Vitamin Might Improve Brain Function
Some studies have found that adequate consumption of Vitamin B12 can help prevent individuals from suffering from memory loss due to brain atrophy. This essential vitamin appears to play a role in helping to reduce the loss of brain tissue. Additional studies are being conducted to determine if B12 can help reverse some of the issues associated with memory loss for specific individuals.