Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes. When we fall ill, we are often recommended by the doctors to eat a healthy diet and include vitamins in our diet. If you frequently feel lethargic and exhausted then you may be recommended to take a supplement of Vitamin B12.
All the vitamins and minerals are very much needed by your body to keep all your body functions performing well and appropriately. Vitamin B12 is one such vital vitamin that plays a crucial role in keeping your mind as well as your body healthy.
Also known as methylcobalamin, Vitamin B12 is one the most important member of the Vitamin B family. Similar to the other members of the Vitamin B-complex family, Vitamin B12 is also water soluble and hence needs to be consumed each day in the RDA.
Effects of Vitamin B12
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to depression, heart problems, appetite loss, weakness, fatigue, constipation, weight loss, decrease in RBC counts, and shortness of breath, visual impairment, and excessive flatulence, diarrhea, and burning sensation on tongue, skin discolorations, irritability, dementia and memory loss. In case of severe deficiency of Vitamin B12, you may also suffer from anemia or impotence.
Best Benefits of Taking Vitamin B12
1. Prevents Cataracts
If you are deficient in Vitamin B12 then you are likely to suffer from visual impairment. Taking Vitamin B12 can help you greatly in maintaining normal vision.
It will also reduce the chances of developing cataracts because presence of sufficient amount of this vitamin in the body helps you in protecting the eye lens and hence decreases the risk of developing cataracts.
2. Alleviates Depression
It has been seen that deficiency of Vitamin B12 often results into depression in patients, especially the older people. Taking Vitamin B12 regularly helps to fight depression. This is due to the fact that in combination of the compound that makes serotonin, Vitamin B12 aids in the increase of the serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a compound whose deficiency is closely related to depression. Therefore, by increasing the levels of serotonin, Vitamin B12 helps in fighting and alleviating depression.
3. Increases Sperm Count
In case, you are suffering from low levels of sperm count then taking Vitamin B12 can be very beneficial. Yes, a number of studies have revealed that taking Vitamin B12 can radically increase the sperm count in men, who usually have low levels of sperm.
Vitamin B12 works by activating the sperm, which also enhances their motility rate.
4. Prevents Cancer
If any damage is caused to the DNA then the chances of developing cancer may increase significantly. Vitamin B9 (folate) is used in healthy DNA production and Vitamin B12 helps folate in this entire process. Therefore, if you are deficient in Vitamin B12 then there may be a decrease in the production of healthy DNA, which would significantly increase the risk of cancer.
In general, deficiency of Vitamin B12 is closely associated with breast cancer. It has been found out that people, who have low levels of Vitamin B12, are nearly at double the chances of being afflicted with breast cancer than those who have normal levels of this vitamin. Thus, one important benefit of taking Vitamin B12 is that it protects your body from cancer, particularly breast cancer.
5. Maintains Healthy Nervous System
Vitamin B complex is required by your body for maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system. Your body needs Vitamin B5 for the production of certain hormones, substances that regulate the nerves and for proper performance of the adrenal glands.
Vitamin B12 along with Vitamins B1 and B6, contribute in the appropriate functioning as well as the proper regulation of the entire nervous system. These vitamins are also essential for the maintenance of your brain’s health. Taking Vitamin B12 can help you in dealing with stress, depression and anxiety.
6. Prevents Anemia
Vitamin B 12 plays an integral role in the production of the RBCs (red blood cells). Sufficient amount of red blood cells are needed to deliver oxygen throughout the body and prevent anemia. In the absence of mature red blood cells, a person may develop anemia, which can be damaging for his/her health.
Vitamin B12 helps the red blood cells in developing and becoming mature and thus plays an integral part in preventing anemia. Therefore one of the most important benefits of taking Vitamin B12 is that it helps you to keep away anemia.
7. Controls Homocysteine Levels
An increased homocyateine level can prove to be fatal for health. If there is an excessive increase in the homocyateine levels, then it can lead to many severe conditions like osteoporosis, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Atherosclerosis condition can also be caused because of the blockage caused due to homocyateine.
Taking Vitamin B12 can help you to clear the homocysteine from the blood and thus help in reducing and controlling atherosclerosis. It can also minimize the risks of developing the conditions that have been mentioned above.
8. Produces Energy
One of the most common benefits of taking Vitamin B12 is that is can help you in feeling energetic and enthusiastic as it increases the levels of energy production. It also helps in combating fatigue and increasing alertness.
Along with the other vitamins of the Vitamin B group, Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in supporting the proper functioning of the various vital life processes. It also regulates the body metabolism and thus helps to maintain healthy weight.
These days, most people consume processed foods in high amount and hence are generally deprived of vitamins. We have seen that Vitamin B12 is necessary for a healthy body and hence you must include sufficient amount of the food sources of Vitamin B12 along with other minerals and vitamins.
Some of the good sources of Vitamin B12 include dairy products, fish, eggs, red meat, etc.