Benefits of Vitamin B12

Find here the benefits of vitamin B12, and why it is so important to make sure that you get enough of it.
Just like all the other nutrients required by the body for its effective function, vitamins have a very important role to play. There are numerous types of vitamins, and here, we are going to talk about one of the vitamins belonging to the group vitamin B complex, vitamin B12. Scientifically known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that performs numerous functions in the body. Its prime functions include the formation of red blood cells, and the healthy function of the nervous system. Here, we will take a look at the benefits of vitamin B12, and the many sources of this vitamin.

How Vitamin B12 Helps

People of all age groups benefit from vitamin B12. It has an important role to play among all age groups, and people have found that their overall health has improved after the intake of this wonderful vitamin. So what is vitamin B12 good for? Let's take a look.
  • Improving Mental Clarity: This benefit of vitamin B12 is extremely beneficial for the elderly. A regular dose of this vitamin, and they have found that their mental function has improved significantly. Even those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the initial stages have benefited from the intake of vitamin B12. Of course, this function can be beneficial for any age group.
  • Improved Energy Levels: One of the most important benefits of vitamin B12 includes an increase in metabolism and energy levels upon its regular intake. As such, those who suffer from low energy levels may benefit for an intake of this vitamin supplement. Many athletes and sports persons are regularly given vitamin B12 shots to boost their energy levels.
  • Weight Loss: Though one of the lesser proven benefits, there is a relation between vitamin B12 and weight loss. There is yet a lot of research that is to be conducted regarding this benefit. Since vitamin B12 increases the metabolism and energy levels, it is likely to cause fat burning in the body at a quicker rate. It has been found that clinics that guarantee quick weight loss usually administer vitamin B12 injections for the purpose. As such, it is yet only assumed that this vitamin is helpful for weight loss.
  • Reduced Asthma Attacks: Children who suffer from asthma can benefit from vitamin B12 injections that are known to reduce the instances of asthma attacks. However, such benefits, particularly for kids, should be checked with a pediatrician before having any such shots or injections administered.
  • Prevents Anemia: Since one of the most important functions of vitamin B12 is the formation of red blood cells, it is this function that helps prevent what is known as pernicious anemia. As such, it is likely that a vitamin deficiency of B12 can cause anemia. Further, this healthy development of red blood cells is what ensures that enough oxygen is distributed through your body for its healthy function.
  • Prevents Depression: In a study conducted on the elderly, it has been found that those who suffered from a lack of vitamin B12 were more prone to depression than those who did not have any such vitamin deficiency. The cause for such an instance is not clear, but it is definitely known that vitamin B12 aids the travel and function of neurotransmitters. As such, a lack may have resulted in this condition.
Usually, the body has adequate levels of vitamin B12. However, there are chances that particularly the elderly and children may suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be due to various causes. At times like these, apart from either providing vitamin supplements or administering vitamin B12 injections, those deficient in this vitamin may also be asked to consume certain vitamin B12 foods to boost these vitamin levels in the body.

Now, while the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency may be very evident to you, it is important that you do not resort to any supplements or foods rich in this vitamin without proper consultation. While there are no reported side effects of an overdose, it is still wise to consult a doctor before taking any supplements.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
By Puja Lalwani
Published: 12/31/2010
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