A vital nutrient, vitamin B12, aids in the production of healthy red blood cells, feeds the brain and nervous system, and assists in DNA synthesis. The nutrient can be produced in a lab and offered as a supplement, but it is also found naturally in meat, fish, and dairy products.
Some people lack a protein that aids the body in absorbing vitamin B12. In this instance, they have a higher chance of developing a certain type of anemia that makes them feel weak and exhausted if they don’t get enough B12.
Health Benefits of B12
Prevention and Treatment of Depression
Clinical depression may be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency since this vitamin is necessary for the generation of serotonin. In one study, it was discovered that older impaired women with a B12 deficiency had twice the risk of experiencing severe depression as those who did not.
Furthermore, higher vitamin B12 intake has been linked to a greater likelihood of remission from a major depressive disorder.
Decreased Likelihood of Macular Degeneration
The blood homocysteine level is thought to be reduced by vitamin B12 supplementation, which may help prevent age-related macular degeneration, an eye condition that can result in blindness in older persons. In one study, supplementing with vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid resulted in 34% fewer incidences of macular degeneration after seven years than in a placebo group in 5,000 women aged 40 and older. Their chance of experiencing severe deterioration was 41% lower.
Improved Brain Health
For the brain’s neurons, vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient. Dementia and memory loss is linked to brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain.
Elderly people with early-stage dementia who received vitamin B12 supplements to reduce their blood homocysteine levels showed a reduction in the decrease of cognitive and clinical decline in one randomized experiment. Additionally, it was found that low B12 levels, even when they are within the normal range, are a factor in poor memory function. Before scientists can be sure of the effect of B12 supplementation on dementia and memory loss, more research is required.
How Do You Get Vitamin B12?
It’s crucial to get enough vitamin B12 through your diet. However, if you struggle to acquire enough or have a medical condition that prevents absorption, supplements are a good option to increase your B12 intake. As mentioned earlier, it is found naturally in meats, fish, and dairy. There are also a variety of foods, such as cereal, that are fortified with B12.
There are more advantages to B12 besides those mentioned above. It controls a number of bodily functions and may improve your health in a number of ways, such as preventing significant birth defects, fostering bone health, enhancing mood, and maintaining the condition of your skin and hair. If you are worried about your B12 levels, discuss your alternatives with your doctor.