Vitamin B12 Benefits.
The perfect team member is this B vitamin. It works alongside B9 to produce red blood cells and works with iron to get the job done. It is only in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to lack this vitamin. For those people, supplements are a must.
The positive effects of vitamin B12 include preventing heart disease, managing dementia, boosting energy, and improving athletic performance. Dementia is a result of homocysteine, and vitamin B12 (in combination with vitamins B6 and B9) can reduce those levels. However, it is unknown whether B12 is effective in the treatment or prevention of dementia. As far as athletic performance goes, you’ve probably heard references to B12 vitamin shots taken by athletes as a way to increase their energy and endurance levels.
Good food sources of B12 are shellfish, eggs, milk, beef, cheese, and fish.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12
Why do you need vitamin B12? Well, deficiencies result in constipation, weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness, and megaloblastic anemia. In addition, it can also result in tingling and numbness in the feet and hands. That is just for starters. More severe symptoms include confusion, memory issues, depression, dementia, balance issues, and soreness in and around the mouth. It can result in severe damage to the nervous system, so deficiencies must be dealt with immediately.
One of the hallmarks of a B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anemia, which can be hidden with large amounts of vitamin B9. However, this doesn’t correct the issue. Therefore, it’s vital to stick to the recommended daily allowance of all B vitamins, but especially folic acid.
The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
- Men and women over 18 – 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant women -2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding women – 2.8 mcg
Remember that the members of the vitamin B family require regular replenishment due to their water-soluble and sensitive nature. Since the bulk of the group can only be kept in small amounts by our bodies (the liver stores vitamins B9 and 12), a continual bad diet can eventually lead to a vitamin B shortage after only a few months.
What is clear is that healthy levels of the B vitamin complex (which is made up of eight water-soluble vitamins) can be obtained through maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. They are vital in the body’s metabolic processes.
Also, note that because they are so delicate, it is easy to destroy them during the process of cooking, and when mixed with alcohol. Processing foods reduce the presence of B vitamins, especially when making white bread, rice, and reduced flour, which is why they are less healthy options compared to whole grain options.
Deficits in vitamin B are rather uncommon among people living in wealthy nations. Devout vegetarians and vegans must take the appropriate supplements to compensate for their diets’ deficiencies in vitamin B12. However, these supplements can conceal other vitamin inadequacies, so never self-diagnose your deficit; instead, go to the doctor. Always consult a medical professional before beginning any regimen because, if taken improperly, vitamins can be hazardous.
The key takeaway from this is that maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for your general wellbeing and is the only method to consume the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals for your body.