One of the most essential and healthy vitamins you can consume is vitamin B12. Here we take a look at exactly what vitamin B12 is, and the benefits that supplementing with B12 can provide you.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, meaning that the human body cannot produce it, and it must therefore be consumed by outside sources. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver, unlike other water-soluble vitamins which are expelled through urine.
B12 is necessary for multiple critical bodily processes. Vitamin B12 is required for the development and functioning of the nervous system, as well as the formation of red blood cells, and even DNA synthesis. It interacts with other substances and compounds in the body to carry out these three critical roles, and other roles as well.
Most Americans get enough vitamin B12 from the foods they eat. However, some older adults, and people with some forms of autoimmune disease, as well those with pernicious anemia, may not get enough. It is these populations that can most benefit from supplementing with B12.
The Benefits of Supplementing With B12
Taking a dietary supplement with B12 can provide you with the following benefits. While B12 is a very standard vitamin to supplement with, we recommend that you talk to your medical provider before taking a B12 supplement.
Treating and preventing anemia can be done by supplementing with vitamin B12. Anemia means that the body is lacking in red blood cell count, and it often occurs when B12 levels are low. Supplementing with B12 can help restore healthy red blood cells, and increase red blood cell count, in individuals anemic due to low B12 levels.
Promoting a healthy pregnancy: The contribution of vitamin B12 to DNA synthesis makes it a key nutrient for pregnant women, because it enables healthy fetal growth and development. B12 also enables folate, another compound within the body, to be used; This contributes to cell replication.
Supporting bone health is a major potential benefit of taking B12. Multiple studies have shown a clear link between lower-than-normal bone density, as well as osteoporosis in women, and low levels of vitamin B12.
Maintaining energy levels: B12 helps the metabolism break down carbohydrates so that they can be used for energy. It also helps neurotransmitter signaling that enables your muscles to contract, and contributes to sustained daily energy.
Supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails can be done by taking vitamin B12. In individuals who are deficient in B12, certain dermatological symptoms can happen (e.g. nail discoloration, hair changes, and others). Those deficient in B12 who experience these symptoms might see a major difference by supplementing with B12.
The roles and benefits of B12 are many, and these are just some of the most important. If you suspect that you or a family member are deficient in vitamin B12, then taking a B12 supplement could make noticeable health changes for the better in at least one way. Consider supplementing with this vital, essential nutrient that is vitamin B12.