The important benefits of vitamin B12 are to maintain a healthy nervous system, to produce plenty of red blood cells, and to decrease our risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B12 is the most popular vitamin among all the essential B vitamins. Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer from its deficiency because it is obtained only from sources of animal origin (meat, eggs, fish). All plant foods lack vitamin B12, unless they are fortified with it. Especially, if you’re a vegetarian you should not ignore the possibility of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency since B12 plays a crucial role in several process of the body – right from producing the red blood cells (RBCs) to stimulating the immune system and maintaining psychological health. There are certain specific categories of the population that especially need vitamin B12 to sustain their lives. These people include heavy drinkers, smokers, breastfeeding, and pregnant women and the elderly.
Foods That Are Rich In Vitamin B12
A deficiency in this nutrient can cause different illnesses such as fatigue, anemia, constipation, weakness, poor memory, soreness of the mouth, vision problems, asthma, low sperm count, and loss of appetite. This is one of the reasons to know vitamin b12 importance. The good news is that vitamin B12 tends to be rare compared with other types of nutrient deficiencies because the liver tends to store enough reserve of vitamin B12 that can last a couple of years. Here are some of the benefits of consuming vitamin B12.
Improves Mental Health
The role of vitamin B12 in cognitive and mental improvement has been studied extensively and it was found that, increased levels of homocysteine (the compound propagated by vitamin B12) are not only linked to heart diseases but also to cognitive impairment or gradual decline in the functions of brain. Recent scientific Studies have suggested that B12 supplementation can play an immensely important role in improving the signs and symptoms that indicate delirium.
Vitamin B12 is required to convert carbohydrates into glucose inside the body, thereby leading to production of energy and a fall in fatigue as well as lethargy in the body. Moreover, vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells. Several studies have proven that vitamin B12 supplementation helps in fighting fatigue as well as tiredness.
Improves Digestive Health
It is required for the maintenance of the digestive system. Vitamin B12 tends to protect the heart against harmful and life-threatening disease by improving unhealthy levels of cholesterol and protecting against high blood pressure and stroke.
Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
There is specific evidence that enhanced vitamin B12 levels can prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the levels of homocysteine in the body. The common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include confusion, memory loss, challenges in solving simple problems, difficulty in performing tasks, struggling to socialize, misplacing things, drastic changes in personality, difficulty in reading, repetition of words and withdrawal from social activities. A recent scientific study highlighted that with every picomolar enhance in the level of active vitamin B12 decreased the risk Alzheimer’s by three percent.
Can Prevent Cancer
Vitamin B12 can protect one against cancers of the breast, lung, colon, and prostate. It has a role to play in DNA synthesis as well as repair and has been thus found to have an association with cancer. A study had found that a high intake of vitamin B12 along with vitamin B6 and folate reduced the risk of colon cancer by 30 to 40 percent in participants who had genes that raised the risk of cancer in them.
Keeps Skin Healthy
A common remedy for hair and skin problems, vitamin B12 supplements can help in keeping skin, hair as well as nails health. It also helps in reproduction of cells and allows for constant renewal of skin.
Reduces the Incidence of Birth Defects
Vitamin B12 is immensely important for synthesizing DNA of our cells. Hence with decreased levels of vitamin B12, DNA defects can result. Birth defects are functional or structural abnormalities present at birth that cause mental and physical disability. Birth defects can be caused by problems with chromosomes, genetic problems, or environmental factors.
Structural birth defects are mainly related to a problem with body parts such as cleft palate or cleft lip, heart defects such as misshaped or missing valves, abnormal limbs like a club foot, and neural tube defects like spina bifida. The immense importance of vitamin B12 in the human body becomes clearly evident when defects in DNA are expressed as birth defects. Recent scientific Studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with higher risk of Down’s syndrome in neural tube defects (NTD) and children.