15 Amazing Vitamin B12 Benefits You Don’t Know
Vitamin B12 is one amongst 8 vitamin B series. It is also called cobalamin because its chemical structure contains cobalt. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the formation of Red blood cells and also helps in our growth and development by forming the outermost covering of our nerve cells. Let us take a look at vitamin b12 benefits.
Vegetarians are mostly deficient in vitamin B12 because B12 is found only in animal sources(1). The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 in adults is 2.4 mcg which increases to 2.6 to 2.8 mcg for pregnant and breastfeeding women(2).
Adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 is very beneficial in boosting energy levels, improving memory, etc. In this post, I have discussed regarding more such benefits of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Requirements
The daily requirement of B12 changes as per our life stages. Let us have a look at Vitamin B12 requirements as per age group
- Birth to 6 months – 0.4 mcg
- Infants 7–12 months – 0.5 mcg
- Children 1–3 years – 0.9 mcg
- The Children 4–8 years – 1.2 mcg
- Children 9–13 years – 1.8 mcg
- Teens 14–18 years – 2.4 mcg
- Adults – 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant teens and women – 2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding teens and women – 2.8 mcg
Vitamin B12 can be consumed through food or supplements. There is no certain threshold for the overdose of Vitamin B12 since it is water soluble and can be excreted through urine or sweating. However, when too much vitamin B12 is supplemented, it can lead to acne outbreaks and red puss filled bumps called rosacea. It also causes the risk of a heart attack in people with diabetic neuropathy(13). Too much vitamin B12 is also harmful for pregnant women and her offspring. It increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder in the unborn child(14).
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 helps in increasing the supply of RBCs in our blood which results in the proper supply of oxygen throughout our body. This increases our stamina and helps us remain fresh throughout the day.
Constant fatigue is one of the early symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency(3). Good stamina is very important for sportsmen but it also plays an important role in our overall health and work.
Since vitamin B12 is related to nerve cells and helps in protecting them, it is a very important vitamin to maintain a good memory(4). People with an abundance of vitamin B12 never struggle to remember name and birthdates. So if your spouse often tends to forget your birthdate or anniversary, get his/her vitamin B12 test done. 😉
This also makes vitamin B12 must for students and people preparing for competitive exams. A glass of raw milk, proper intake of dairy products and meat is essential for your memory.
3. Improves Mood and Helps De-stress
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the synthesis of Serotonin which helps in improving mood. It helps to de-stress and prevents depression (5). A well-relaxed body is much more healthy and responsive. People who have adequate levels of vitamin B12 are cool. 😉
4. Improves Heart Health
Vitamin B12 reduces the level of homocysteine in our blood(6). Homocysteine is an amino acid which increases the risk of heart disease. B12 also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in our body. In this way, it helps in the reduction of heart attack risk and hypertension.
5. Increases Skin Glow
Vitamin B12 helps in cell reproduction. As the lifecycle of old cells gets over, the new cells are formed quickly with the help of Vitamin B12(7). This causes the formation of new skin cells and old cells are excreted by over body through sweat, urine or stool.
6. Improves Eye Health
Vitamin B12 helps to improve our vision. It prevents the risk of macular degeneration which affects the central vision with age. High level of homocysteine is associated with macular degeneration. Vitamin B12 helps in lowering homocysteine levels which help to improve eye health(8).
7. Helps in Growth and Development of Fetus
Vitamin B12 is important for the production of nucleic acid and DNA. It helps in the growth and development of the nervous system in the fetus. Vitamin B12 also prevents the occurrence of major birth defects such as neural tube defects(9).
It also helps to prevent premature delivery or miscarriage. It is also essential in cell reproduction, in this way it helps during pregnancy and lactation. The requirement of vitamin B12 is thus more for pregnant and lactating mothers.
8. Treats Anaemia
Since vitamin B12 helps in the formation of RBCs, it helps in the treatment of anemia. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 increases the size and changes the shape of RBC cells from round to oval. Due to this change in shape and size, the RBCs are unable to pass through the bone marrow causing Anaemia(10).
This is also one of the main reasons for weakness and fatigue. Anemic patients should regularly include B12 rich food in their diet.
9. Prevents Alziemers Disease
Vitamin B12 helps in preventing Alziemers disease(11). In this disease, a person tends to lose his or her memory. It also affects other various important mental function. Currently, almost 1 million people on earth are dealing with this disease. Vitamin B12 increases our memory and prevents us from it.
10. Makes Hair Healthy
If your hair growth is stunted or you are constantly facing problems of hair fall and split ends, get a vitamin B12 test done. Vitamin B12 promotes cell division which helps in increasing the hair volume and length. It also helps to improve hair texture.
11. Improves Nail Texture
Brittle nails are one of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 promotes growth and development. Proper amounts of vitamin B12 ensures good health of your nails.
12. Improves Sleep
Vitamin b12 helps in destressing and relaxing which causes us to have sound sleep. This is very important for rest and recovery. Sound sleep also aids in the proper assimilation of nutrients and promotes healthy weight loss.
13. Improves Bone health and Prevents Osteoporosis
Vitamin B12 helps in improving bone mineral density(12). Decreased bone mineral density may make your bones fragile and delicate and also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Enjoy this informative video on Vitamin B12 Benefits
Who is at risk of B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be due to a lower intake of it or also due to malabsorption. It is very common amongst
- Vegans and vegetarians because they mostly rely on a plant-based diet.
- People of or above the age of 60.
- Patients with a gastrointestinal disorder or bowel surgery
- People who are on metformin dosage.
Sources of vitamin B12
The sources of vitamin B12 are of animal origin. No plants are capable of producing it.
Bacterias and archaea have enzymes for its production.
Vitamin B12 is mostly present in seafood like
- Crab, etc.
Chicken, Eggs, and Mutton are vitamin B12 rich foods.
Dairy products like Milk, Feta-Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt, etc are rich in B12.
Vegetarians can opt for pickles, greek yogurt too.
Yeast and fortified cereals also come under the list.
The vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are
- Constant fatigue
- Loss of vision
- Loss of memory
- Weakness in muscles
- Numbness in body
- Pale skin
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Smooth tongue
FAQs on Vitamin B12 Benefits
Q: How much B12 should you take per day?
Ans: The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 in adults is 2.4 mcg which increases to 2.6 to 2.8 mcg for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Q: What happens when you have too much vitamin B12 in your body?
Ans: Excessive vitamin can lead to acne outbreaks and red puss filled bumps called rosacea. It also causes the risk of a heart attack in people with diabetic neuropathy. Too much vitamin B12 is also harmful for pregnant women and her offspring. It increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder in the unborn child.
Q: Does B12 help you lose weight?
Ans: Adequate amount of vitamin B12 surely help in reducing excess weight. According to a study, the level of vitamin B12 is correlated with obesity reduction (14).
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and a crucial nutrient for our health and well being and it is very essential to maintain its healthy levels.