Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin is a water dissolvable vitamin required for a wide variety of biological processes in the human body. From the metabolism of cells to the steady functioning of the nervous system, Vitamin B12 plays a major role in maintaining a healthy physical state. Spirulina is the ideal source of Vitamin B12. It can also be obtained from eggs, fish, meat, dairy products, etc.
Vitamin B12 has many health benefits and can help your body in various ways. Here’s a look at the various benefits offered by Vitamin B12:
1.) Generation of Red Blood Cells – The formation, maintenance, and repair of red blood cells is largely dependent on Vitamin B12. Athletes and people with low energy levels usually take B12 injections, for an instant boost in energy levels. Vitamin B12 also plays a key role in the regeneration and development of DNA and RNA (the genetic material in our body). It’s essential for the rapid synthesis of RNA and DNA during cell division, especially in tissues where cells are dividing quickly.
B12 Deficiency can disrupt DNA production and cause abnormal cell growth, leading to anemia.
2.) Healthy Nervous System – Vitamin B12 helps in the smooth and proper functioning of the brain and nerve cells in the body. Each nerve fiber is surrounded by an insulating fatty sheath made up of Myelin, which is a complex protein. Myelin not only protects the nerves but also permits the transmission of electrical impulses between the nerve cells throughout the body. Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in the metabolism of fatty acids important for the maintenance of Myelin.
A lack of Vitamin B12 can have significant neurological effects ranging from loss of sensation to visual impairment to dementia and memory loss.
3.) Treats Depression – Vitamin B12 is regarded to promote the activity of neurotransmitters and hormones that can influence your emotional state and mood. These hormones add Dopamine, Serotonin, and Melatonin. Patients with depression are often prescribed Vitamin B12 supplements as it can set off serotonin ‘happy hormone’ production and uplift their mood.
A deficiency of B12 vitamin can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression.
4.) Regulates Homocysteine Levels – Proper dosage of Vitamin B12 in combination with Folic acid can effectively control the homocysteine levels (an amino acid produced from proteins) in the blood plasma cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in hematological diseases, increasing the risk of heart conditions, stroke, and osteoporosis
5.) Healthy Skin & Hair – Vitamin B12 is vital for DNA and RNA synthesis and cell reproduction. Our skin, hair, and nails undergo a process of constant growth and renewal, which is why they need enough amount of B Vitamins, especially B12 for maintaining healthy growth. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to dry skin, wrinkles, acne, brittle hair and nails, and skin problems just like dermatitis.
6.) Stimulates Absorption of Folic Acid – Folic acid is essential for the synthesis of red blood cells in the body. Without Vitamin B12, folic acid cannot be regenerated in the body and becomes stuck in a metabolically useless form. For correct regeneration and absorption of folic acid, one needs to get enough amount of Vitamin B12. Both folic acid and Vitamin B12 are dependent on each other, as deficiency of Vitamin B12 is followed by a deficiency of folic acid, and vice versa.
7.) Weight loss – Vitamin B12 is also called the ‘Energy Vitamin’ since it can give an instant and real energy boost. It can speed up the metabolism process, thus burning more calories and improving the rate of weight loss. It also increases the overall energy levels in the body, allowing you to increase your level of physical activity and exercise.
Moreover, as we discussed previously, Vitamin B12 helps in fighting depression and stress, symptoms which are mostly connected with weight gain.
8.) Encourages Healthy Pregnancy – Compared to typical adults, pregnant women need a higher amount of Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, maintain a healthy nervous system, release energy from food and to process folic acid. B12 deficiency can cause birth defects and even miscarriage. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of Vitamin B12 for pregnant girls is 2.6 mcg per day, and it’s important that this requirement is met.
9.) Assists Combat Mental Decline – Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient important for everybody including older adults. According to recent researches, an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 can eliminate mental decline associated with old age. Alzheimer’s diseases, short-term memory loss, and Dementia can all be avoided, as Vitamin B12 promotes the healthy functioning of the brain and neurological system.
Experts have found that when patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory problems were medicated with vitamin B12, numerous of their symptoms faded within six months and they regained mental focus and clarity.
10.) Permits you to Sleep Better – Vitamin B12 improves the production of Melatonin, a hormone that facilitates healthy sleep patterns. This is particularly beneficial for older adults, as with age their body becomes less efficient in making this hormone. Vitamin B12 can help in increasing Melatonin production allowing older people to sleep better.
While the above-mentioned benefits of Vitamin B12 are well documented, there are several other benefits that are being studied by scientists and health experts worldwide. One such research shows that Vitamin B12 can drastically increase sperm count and treat male infertility. Similarly, tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) can also be remedied with B12 supplementation.
Vitamin B12 is undoubtedly an important nutrient required for most of our life processes – from improving physical health to boosting mental performance, Vitamin B12 can help you in many ways. Make sure that you get enough amount of this vitamin either through B12 supplements or from dietary sources.
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