Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin the body needs, but can not produce it.
For example, it supports the normal function of nerve cells and is required for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. Moreover, it helps to improve memory, increase energy and prevent heart disease, leading to a reduced risk of vascular accident, according to researchers.
This is naturally found in animal products but is also added to certain foods and is available as an oral or injectable supplement.
The main foods rich in vitamin B12 are: cereals, cow's milk, eggs, Greek yogurt, shiitake mushrooms, salmon and trout, oysters.
The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms for most adults and children over 14 years of age. However, there are also categories of people who need a slightly higher dose: pregnant women – 2.6 micrograms, and those who are breast-feeding need a dose of 2.8 micrograms.
Here are the benefits of vitamin B12:
- Prevents anemia because it contributes to the formation of red blood cells. For example, doctors say a low level of vitamin B12 reduces the formation of red blood cells, preventing their proper development.
- It helps to prevent major birth defects. Optimal levels of vitamin B12 are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Studies show that the fetus' brain and nervous system require B12 from the mother to develop properly. Vitamin B12 deficiency in the initial stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or spontaneous abortion.
- Maintains bone health. Moreover, it prevents osteoporosis. Therefore, it is especially important for women who are most prone to osteoporosis to have an optimal level of vitamin B12.
- Reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 can reduce homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is found in our blood. Elevated homocysteine levels were associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- It helps to eliminate depression and anxiety. Specialists claim that vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may lead to depression. Some studies claim that the use of vitamin B12 supplements can relieve the symptoms of depression.
- Ensures energy growth. Moreover, one of the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is the presence of fatigue and lack of energy.
The main signs of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- The difficulty of maintaining balance,
- Constant fatigue,
- Intestinal problems,
- Mood Disorders,
- Muscle weakness,
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet,
- Poor memory,
Deficiency of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in two ways: either in the diet you do not have enough food that contains vitamin B12 or the body is not able to fully absorb the vitamin from the food you consume.
Deficiency usually affects the elderly, people with celiac disease or Crohn's disease, vegetarians.