Are you constantly overwhelmed with lethargy and weakness? Do you experience mood swings? Do you lack the motivation to actually do something? Well, there’s a chance that your body is missing an essential energy source.
Vitamin B-12. It is an important water-soluble vitamin that your body needs, but can’t produce on its own. Hence, our bodies largely depend on the foods we eat for the intake of this powerful vitamin.
Apart from being an effective source of energy, Vitamin B-12 provides a plethora of health benefits that can bring positive change to your life.
Remember the days you were full of life and youthful zest? It's time to bring back those days with the benefits of Vitamin B-12. Read through to get a picture of life with and without B-12.
7 Health Benefits of Vitamin B-12
1. Promotes red blood cells production and prevents risk of anaemia.
When we are deprived of Vitamin B-12, the formation of red blood cells by our bodies is reduced and altered, causing megaloblastic anaemia. With insufficient red blood cells to transport oxygen and nutrients, our bodies eventually fall prey to fatigue and weakness.
2. Prevention of birth defects.
Optimum Vitamin B-12 levels are vital during pregnancy to prevent brain and spinal cord birth defects.
3. Improves bone strength and prevents osteoporosis risk.
Lack of Vitamin B-12 can cause bones to become delicate and fragile due to decreased mineral density. According to studies, low levels of this vitamin are associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis, especially in women.
4. Improves mood and depression symptoms.
Vitamin B-12 is required for the synthesis of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood and improving the state of depression.
5. Prevents the loss of neurons.
Vitamin B-12 helps to prevent brain atrophy (loss of neurons) and memory loss.
6. Improves heart health.
Homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease, rises when Vitamin B-12 levels are low.
7. Reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration, an eye disease affecting your central vision, can be significantly lowered when homocysteine levels are low in our blood. Vitamin B-12 ensures that and prevents age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Symptoms & Treatments
Vitamin B-12 is essential for our bodies to function and its deficiency could trigger severe consequences. Other symptoms include:
- Pale / Jaundiced skin
- Pins and needles sensations
- Glossitis and mouth ulcers
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite / constipation / diarrhoea
Foods that are High in Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is abundantly found in food sources such as poultry, meat, fish, and dairy products.
Since vegans avoid all animal-derived food products, they rely on foods that can be fortified with Vitamin B-12, such as:
- Fortified non-dairy milk
- Nutritional yeast
- Meat substitutes
- Vegan spreads (eg. Marmite)
- Breakfast cereals
Vitamin B-12 Overdose
As they say, too much of anything is never good for anyone. Similarly, too much of Vitamin B-12 comes with side-effects.
Generally, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B-12 for adults is about 2.4 micrograms. Our body absorbs the amount it requires and passes all excess through our urine.
However, high doses of Vitamin B-12 through artificial means to treat a deficiency bring about various side-effects:
Vitamin B-12 fuels your body and looks after it by ensuring that it functions at its optimum.
However, don't make matters worse by playing the role of the doctor. Upon experiencing Vitamin B-12 deficiency symptoms, first and foremost consult your doctor for a thorough assessment before taking any supplements.