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What Does Vitamin B12 Do For You?

What Does Vitamin B12 Do For You?

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for red blood cell formation that nourishes the brain and nervous system. It can boost energy, prevent heart diseases, and improve memory. A lack of vitamin B12 can leave the body vulnerable to a particular type of anemia that results in weakness and tiredness. The nutrient is mainly found in animal products like meat, fish, and dairy products and is also available as an oral supplement.

Benefits Of Vitamin B12

1. It Helps To Build Red Blood Cell Production And Prevent Anemia

Vitamin B12 plays a huge role in the production of red blood cells in the body. Lack of vitamin B12  or low levels causes the red blood cell not to develop correctly and affects their formation.

Red blood cells are usually small and round when they’re healthy, whereas when there’s a lack of vitamin B12 in the body, they become oval. Due to this abnormal shape, the red blood cells cannot function correctly and cannot move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at the standard rate resulting in megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is represented by substantial red blood cells whose inner contents are not well developed. This defect causes the bone marrow to produce fewer cells, which die before their expected 120-day lifespan.

2.  PREVENT MAJOR BIRTH DEFECTS

Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are essential to a healthy pregnancy. Research has shown that a fetus’s brain and nervous system need enough B12 from the mother to grow correctly. A study shows that women with low vitamin B12 levels below 250mg/dL have a higher chance of giving birth to a child with congenital disabilities than those with appropriate levels. 

3. It Supports Bone Health And Prevents Osteoporosis

When there’s an adequate level of vitamin B12 in the body, it supports bone health. 

A study of more than 2,500 adults showed that people with low vitamin B12 had bone mineral density below average. Bones with lower mineral density can become weak over time, exposing the body to the risk of osteoporosis. Other studies have also revealed the relationship between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health, and osteoporosis, which occurs mainly in women.

4. Reduce Your Risk Of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes loss of central vision. Central vision is the essential part of your vision. It is used to read, drive, and recognize pictures or faces. Good central vision enhances your ability to see shapes and colors better. The macula(the lining of the back of the eye) provides central vision.

When there’s an adequate level of vitamin B12 in the body, it reduces the risk of macular degeneration.  Using vitamin B12 as a supplement helps to lower homocysteine. High homocysteine levels may be a result of vitamin deficiency. Without treatment, elevated homocysteine increases your risk for heart disease, dementia, and stroke.

Increased homocysteine levels have been linked to a higher risk of macular degeneration. A study of about 5,000 women aged 40 or older has shown that supplementing with vitamin B12 combined with folic acid and vitamin B6 lowers the risk of macular degeneration.

The women who had been supplemented with vitamin B12 for seven years recorded fewer cases of macular degeneration.

5. Improve Mood And Reduce Symptoms Of Depression

The extent to which vitamin B12 affects mood has not been fully processed. Still, this vitamin helps to synthesize and metabolize serotonin, a chemical in the body that’s responsible for controlling temper. As a result, a lack of vitamin B12 in the body can cause a depressed mood. The use of vitamin B12 supplements can help to reduce symptoms of depression in people who lack this vitamin.

A study on depression and lack of vitamin B12 levels revealed that those who were treated with antidepressants and vitamin B12 were most likely to show fewer depressive symptoms than those who were treated with just antidepressants.

Though supplementing with Vitamin B12 may help improve mood in people who lack the vitamin, it’s not yet certain if they have the same effect on people with normal vitamin B12.

6. Prevent Loss Of Neurons In The Brain

Lack of vitamin B12 has been linked to memory loss, especially in older adults. Vitamin B12 may prevent brain atrophy which is the absence of neurons in the brain and is often related to memory loss or dementia.

A study of people with early-stage dementia revealed that synthesizing vitamin B12 and Omega -3 fatty acid supplements reduced mental decline.

Another study suggests that low vitamin B12 in the body can cause poor memory performance. Consequently, supplementing with vitamin B12 may improve memory without confirming low vitamin B12 levels.

Conclusion

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