Vitamins are very essential for every human body, and in this article, let me explain to you about the health benefits of vitamin B12.
The human body needs energy for its proper functioning and as like machines, it also needs proper fuel for its stability and metabolism.
The fuels for the human body are mainly supplied in the form of nutrients. Science basically classifies these nutrients into 6 types.
Out of those 6 types, vitamins are of great importance for our body.
Vitamins are the compound of nucleic acids which are required for metabolism as well as the proper running of our body.
They aren’t as essentials as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates but without them, many metabolic functions are not possible.
Every Vitamin performs hundreds of functions ranging from healing of wounds, blood clotting and retaining brain function.
The vitamins are mainly classified into following types:
Vitamin B complex is not just composed of a single vitamin. It is further divided into eight types namely:
Here in this article, we shall discuss the various health benefits of Vitamin B12, its sources as well as its numerous benefits.
The last in the list but very important for the body is B12. It is water – soluble vitamin with a very complex structure, so let us not discuss its chemistry for now.
However, for differentiating it from other vitamins, it has cobalt (Co) in the center of its molecule. This makes it a very rare and unique molecule.
It is not absorbed in your body in its actual form. There it binds itself to a protein called intrinsic factor found in the stomach.
Then it is absorbed in the blood vessels and the blood cells. Amounts needed for people of different ages
The quantity of Vitamin B12 required differs with age. The amounts are measured in micrograms:
For infants, it is about 0.4 mcg.
For babies, it’s 0.5 mcg.
For children, it is up to 1.2 – 1.6 mcg.
For teenagers and adults, it’s 2.4 mcg.
However, these quantities may vary according to the conditions of the body. Women usually need a higher amount of Vitamin B12 especially if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin B12 is synthesized naturally by some bacteria spread around the embers of Poaceae family and phytoplankton.
Poaceae family mainly includes grasses and herbs. Phytoplanktons are simply microscopic plants present deep in the seas and oceans.
These plants are then taken in by different herbivores e.g. animals and fish and as a result, Vitamin B12 becomes a part of their body.
Humans obtain Vitamin B12 from dairy products e.g. cheese (Ricotta, Mozzarella), milk, eggs. These are the primary sources of Vitamin B12. Vegans who eat fortified food get it from their diets.
Nowadays, Vitamin B12 is added to many artificial and packed products. These products are easily available in your locality or nearest grocery store.
Fishes are a rich source of Vitamin B12. Many fish e.g. tuna contain Vitamin B12 in abundance.
Other than Vitamin B12, it also contains fats e.g. omega 6, protein etc. it may be ingested grilled or canned.
Nowadays, shrimps are a common source of many valuable nutrients. Their demands have been increased and now they are found in almost every fish market.
Shrimps contain Vitamin B12 in rich quantities and you may intake them in the form of starters or salads or make a cocktail of them.
Cereals are a common breakfast of many people and if they are fortified with Vitamin B12, then their benefits are quadrupled.
Cereals also contain bran or oats which are good for our skin and provide warmth to our body.
Beef or red meat is a very rich food containing many beneficial nutrients in it. It is a rich source of proteins, fats, and vitamins.
A common food and easily available, it can get you Vitamin B12 with much easiness.
Chicken meat is a delight for Asian people. People here are very much fond of it and use it in Biryani, Karahi, pulao etc.
Chicken is a good source of Vitamin B12. So eating it will provide you the taste as well as health.
Animal liver especially of goat is a rich source of B12. Other than that, it also provides B2 and elements e.g. Cu required for the metabolic reactions of our body.
The ability of our body to absorb Vitamin B12 also differs with age.
In early age, it is absorbed readily while in older people, it is not absorbed immediately.
Many people take Vitamin B12 but still, it does not gets absorbed into their bodies.
So if you are facing a deficiency of B12, see a doctor.
Causes of the deficiencies of B12 are:
It is an abdominal disease in which the walls of the stomach lose their thickness and become thin.
Anemia is a condition caused by the deficiency of iron. If you have an iron deficiency, it can lead to less or no absorption of B12.
An antacid is a substance which is used to neutralize the acidity of the stomach.
It is suggested by the doctors to relieve stomach pain or inhibit or stop indigestion.
If people take too much antacid, then it can also be a prominent factor of less absorption of Vitamin B12.
Now after we have discussed a little about B12 and its sources, let us see why it is important for you.
Vitamin B12 medicines and diets are suggested by many dermatologists and doctors due to its benefits.
It has innumerable benefits for the people especially women, so let us take a look at the amazing health benefits of B12.
As discussed earlier, B12 is very good for women. Moreover, for pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is highly essential.
Many doctors suggest folic acid intake during pregnancy but Vitamin B12 is equally important for the development of the child. It is highly important because:
Doctors usually suggest breastfeeding instead of powdered milk for infants.
Breastfeeding milk has many valuable elements required for the growth of the infant.
Breastfeeding women need Vitamin B12 for enough milk production.
Vitamin B12 raises the amount of estrogen hormone in the female body which leads to more milk production.
Our brain is the main controlling organ of our body. Even a minor damage to it can cause haphazard effects for us.
The brain is divided into hemispheres, lobes, hypothalamus etc. and all these parts are dedicated for performing their functions.
The Vitamin B12 helps in the development of our brain in a different way.
Red blood cells are the major component of blood which is required for the transportation of oxygen by using hemoglobin.
Vitamin B12 is involved in the formation of red blood cells and low amount of Vitamin b12 retards or lowers the formation of red blood cells.
The liver is partially involved in the formation of red blood cells.
So when we ingest animal liver rich in B12, we are actually increasing the production of red blood cells.
Prevention of Anemia:
Anemia is a condition caused by the deficiency of iron in hemoglobin.
Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells, thereby increasing the amount of hemoglobin.
More iron means more capability of hemoglobin to bind oxygen and efficient oxygenation of tissues and cells.
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes weakening of bones and muscles.
People who intake less B12 have less density or amount of minerals e.g. calcium in their bones.
Bones with fewer minerals become delicate with time and may be broken or fractured even by minor injuries.
Prevention of bone diseases:
Osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are common bone diseases which are caused due to the insufficient amount of calcium in the bones.
If there is more B12, there are fewer chances of these diseases.
Vitamin B12 has also been found good for eyesight.
People who intake good amounts of Vitamin B12 have sharp eyesight than those who do not.
This vitamin raises the focusing ability of our eyes and improves vision health by maintaining amino acid called homocysteine found in our blood.
Raised levels of this amino acid can cause eye defects, but Vitamin B12 lowers or maintains the amount of this amino acid.
Fewer chances of eye disease:
Nowadays, many eye diseases are common e.g. macular degeneration, cataract, visually impairedness.
Patients with eyesight diseases are suggested to increase their intake of B12.
Many Vitamin B12 supplements and medicines are provided to them.
The heart is the main circulatory organ of our body, any defect or damage to it can destabilize the functioning of our body.
Increased Homocysteine levels can lead to common heart diseases and strokes.
Although there is no scientific evidence to prove that Vitamin B12 is good for the heart but people which consume B12 have fewer chances of heart diseases.
Heart attacks and strokes are very common nowadays as they are caused due to many factors and one of them is homocysteine.
Raised levels of homocysteine cause weakening of heart muscles and blood clotting.
Vitamin B12 prevents these conditions by lowering the amount of homocysteine.
Sufficient amounts of this vitamin B12 are required for the growth of hairs and nails by increasing the formation of keratin protein (required to grow hairs and nail).
Vitamin B12 prevents the breaking of hair and nails by strengthening them and it increases the number of cells in our hair and nails.
Higher amounts ofvB12 boosts the growth of hair. It helps to form shiny and strong hair instead of delicate and fragile ones.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can be the cause of nail and skin discoloration.
Recent studies have shown that Vitamin B12 is also beneficial for our teeth.
People who intake more Vitamin B12 have strong and healthy teeth.
Vitamin B12 helps in maintaining the health of our teeth in various ways:
Peritonitis is a common dental disease which is caused by bleeding gums resulting in painful eating and swallowing.
Vitamin B12 helps peritonitis patients by preventing gum bleeding.
Vitamin B12 does not play any direct role in energy formation, however, it can be a factor for boosting the energy of our body.
Actually, these vitamins interact with the metabolism of our body and increase the rate of reaction, thus more amount of energy is produced.
A bipolar syndrome is a syndrome in which a person has severe mood swings e.g. sudden changes of moods.
The depression, tension or pressure are caused by the bipolar syndrome.
Serotonin is a hormone responsible for regulating moods. Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in its synthesis.
Now you have seen many health benefits of Vitamin B12, therefore, we can say it as a gift of nature for us.
Vitamins are a great factor for improving our mental health and physical health, so make sure to get benefits of this amazing vitamin and improve your body and mind.
Here it is also to be mentioned that in spite of these numerous health benefits of Vitamin B12, the regular intake of other macro and micro nutrients are also essential.
To lead a healthy life, we should take a balanced diet to meet the optimum requirements of our body.