Vitamin B12 is said to be the most complex of all vitamins known to people. It is involved in many vital processes in your body, and insufficient amounts of it can lead to many health disorders and illnesses. Here, you’ll learn four of its best health benefits that will hopefully help you understand its importance to your overall health.
What’s more, you will also learn four symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and food sources to obtain it to prevent conditions caused by lack of this vitamin.
4 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Makes You Weak and Tired and 4 Foods to Increase Vitamin B12 Levels
1. Prevents Nerve Damage
This vitamin helps your body replenish myelin sheath – a protective covering that keeps your nerves safe from free radicals and toxins. If your nerves don’t have this covering, they can easily be damaged and even die. Dead nerves can lead to nerve-related disorders as they interrupt the signals to and from the brain.
2. Protects The Heart
Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world. However, this vitamin can help your heart health in several ways. It helps reduce the major risk for heart disease – raised levels of the amino acid homocysteine. The levels of homocysteine in the blood are affected by the levels of vitamin B12 and other B-complex vitamins in the blood. So, by reducing the blood levels of homocysteine, vitamin B12 reduces the chances of stroke and heart attack.
3. Important for your bones
According to studies, people suffering from osteoporosis have been found to have low levels of vitamin B12 and high levels of homocysteine in their blood. Osteoporosis manifests with brittle and weak bones as well as loss of bone tissue. If you’re suffering from this condition, make sure to check your vitamin B12 levels at a doctor.
4. Keeps your body supplied with energy
Vitamin B12 stimulates the production of energy in your cells – tired people are often affected by vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is crucial for your metabolism and can convert carbs into usable energy, which is why lack of it causes fatigue. Furthermore, the body requires vitamin B12 as it’s crucial for neurotransmitter signaling which plays a role in muscle contraction and provides energy to the cells which will help you last through the day without feeling weak.
Here are the main symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
Our erythrocytes are the oxygen-carrying cells and we need vitamin B12 to help us form them. If we lack this vitamin, we could become anemic. During this condition, our heart and muscles don’t get the necessary amount of oxygen, so they can’t work properly and we are tired all the time.
- Strange Sensations, Numbness
The low oxygen levels in cells cause nerve damage which can lead to “pins and needles” sensation or numbness running from your head to your feet.
- A Swollen, Inflamed Tongue
People who have a severe deficiency of B12 lose papillae, the little bumps on the tongues. Usually, they lose papillae around the edges of the tongue and taste buds located on these bumps.
This means loss of taste as well. Soreness and burning sensation on the back of the tongue is another symptom. Women with deficiency of this vitamin can lose their appetite because the food does not have the same taste as it previously had, which in most cases lead to lost weight.
One of the main symptoms of most vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin B12, is fatigue, and it occurs due to low levels of oxygen in the cells, which makes you feel tired and sleepy.
Here are the best natural food source of vitamin B12: