Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient with many benefits for your body. Also known as folate or folic acid, adults need around 2.4 micrograms of the vitamins daily to reap all of its benefits.
Without enough vitamin B12, your body could pay the price. It helps to regulate many important functions. From helping you see to keeping you energized, here are five ways vitamin B12 benefits you.
Macular degeneration is a disease that causes blindness in some older adults. There’s evidence that vitamin B12 can prevent that from happening.
Experts believe B12 can lower homocysteine, which causes macular degeneration. A study followed more than 5,000 women— those who took B12 among their other supplements had fewer cases of macular degeneration than a placebo group.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for your brain’s neurons to thrive, and neuron loss connects to memory loss and dementia.
The higher homocysteine levels a B12 deficiency causes can lead to memory loss and cognitive decline. This state can have a permanent impact on you and your loved ones. Along with homocysteine, B12 deficiency can also lead to low methylmalonic acid, which research also connects to memory loss.
Vitamin B12 is one of eight essential b vitamins that convert the food you eat into the energy you use throughout the day.
The vitamin also aids in DNA production, regeneration of bone marrow, protecting the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and maintaining the health of your nervous system. All of these benefits are necessary for you to stay at your best.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include yellow skin, sore or red tongue, mouth ulcers, blurry vision, depression, irritability, declining memory or judgment or feeling pins and needles.
Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production, which is necessary to carry oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. It also takes carbon dioxide from within your blood and takes it to your lungs to exhale.
A low red blood cell count can lead to various symptoms, including dizziness, weakness and shortness of breath. Lack of B12 also leads to abnormal blood cells that prevent them from moving around your bloodstream.
The reduced homocysteine levels helped by vitamin B12 can also improve heart health. When the amino acid goes unchecked, you face an increased risk of heart disease, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Even moderate increases in homocysteine levels can increase heart risks, and B12 greatly helps reduce that risk.
The benefits don’t stop at the heart. Your arteries and entire circulatory system get rejuvenated by the red blood cells that travel through your system and deliver oxygen to your organs.
You can vitamin B12 by eating various foods, with meat, fish and dairy products being good sources. Some cereals and other fortified foods contain it and are available in supplement form.
Bloodwork can determine whether you are low in nutrients. Injections and nasal sprays can help treat significant deficiencies.