Vitamin B12, also called Cobalamin is a water disolveable vitamin needed for a range of biological functions in the human body. From metabolism of cells to the steady functioning of the nervous system, Vitamin B12 plays a key role in maintaining a healthy physical state. Spirulina is the ideal source of Vitamin B12. It can also be obtained from fish, eggs meat, dairy products, etc.
Vitamin B12 has numerous health benefits and can help your body in various ways. Here’s a look at the different benefits offered by Vitamin B12:
1.) Creation of Red Blood Cells – The formation, maintenance and repair of red blood cells is mostly dependent on Vitamin B12. Athletes and people with low energy levels usually take B12 injections, for an instant increase in energy levels. Vitamin B12 also plays a vital role in the regeneration and development of DNA and RNA (the genetic material in our body). It is important for the rapid synthesis of RNA and DNA during cell division, specifically in tissues where cells are dividing quickly.
B12 Deficiency can affect DNA production and cause abnormal cell growth, resulting in anemia.
2.) Healthy Nervous System – Vitamin B12 assists in the smooth and proper functioning of the brain and nerve cells in the body. Each nerve fiber is enclosed by an insulating fatty sheath made up of Myelin, which is a complex protein. Myelin not only protects the nerves but also allows transmission of electrical impulses among the nerve cells throughout the body. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the metabolism of fatty acids important for maintenance of Myelin.
A lack of Vitamin B12 can have serious neurological effects ranging from loss of sensation to visual impairment to dementia and memory loss.
3.) Treats Depression – Vitamin B12 is regarded to promote activity of hormones and neurotransmitters 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 trigger serotonin ‘happy hormone’ production and uplift their mood.
A deficiency of B12 vitamin can lead to anxiety, stress and depression.
4.) Controls Homocysteine Levels – Proper dosage of Vitamin B12 mixed with with Folic acid can effectively control the homocysteine levels (an amino acid produced from proteins) in the blood plasma cells. Vitamin B12 insufficiency can result in hematological diseases, increasing the risk of heart conditions, stroke and osteoporosis
5.) Healthy Hair and Skin – Vitamin B12 is vital for DNA and RNA synthesis and cell reproduction. Our skin, hair and nails undergo a process of constant renewal and growth, which is why they need enough amount of B Vitamins, especially B12 for maintaining a healthy growth. Insufficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to dry skin, wrinkles, acne, brittle hair and nails and skin problems like dermatitis.
6.) Stimulates Absorption of Folic Acid – Folic acid is important for the synthesis of red blood cells in the body. Without Vitamin B12, folic acid can’t be regenerated in the body and becomes trapped in a metabolically useless form. For correct regeneration and absorption of folic acid, one needs to get enough amount of Vitamin B12. Both Vitamin B12 and folic acid are dependent on each other, as deficiency of Vitamin B12 is followed by a deficiency of folic acid, and vice versa.
7.) Weight reduction – Vitamin B12 is also called the ‘Energy Vitamin’ since it can give a instant and real energy boost. It can speed up the metabolism process, thus burning more calories and increasing the rate of weight loss. It also increases the total energy levels in the body, allowing you to increase your level of exercise and physical activity.
Moreover as we talked about previously, Vitamin B12 helps in fighting depression and stress, symptoms which are usually associated with weight gain.
8.) Encourages Healthy Pregnancy – Compared to normal adults, pregnant girls 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 women is 2.6 mcg per day, and it is essential that this requirement is met.
9.) Helps Combat Mental Decline – Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient essential for everybody including older adults. According to recent researches, enough amount of Vitamin B12 can prevent mental decline associated with old age. Alzheimer’s diseases, Dementia and short-term memory loss can all be prevented, as Vitamin B12 promotes healthy performance of the brain and neurological system.
Specialists have found that whenever patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory problems were medicated with vitamin B12, numerous of their symptoms disappeared within six months and they regained mental clarity and focus.
10.) Allows you to Sleep Better – Vitamin B12 enhances the production of Melatonin, a hormone that supports healthy sleep patterns. This is especially beneficial for older adults, as with age their body becomes less efficient in making this hormone. Vitamin B12 can help in improving Melatonin production allowing the elderly to sleep better.
While the above described benefits of Vitamin B12 are well documented, there are several other benefits that are being studied by researchers and health experts worldwide. One of such researches shows that Vitamin B12 can drastically increase sperm count and cure male infertility. Likewise, tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) can also be remedied with B12 supplementation.
Vitamin B12 is undoubtedly an essential nutrient required for most of our life processes – from improving physical health to boosting mental performance, Vitamin B12 can help you in countless ways. Ensure that you get enough amount of this vitamin either from dietary sources or through B12 supplements.