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Unlocking the Benefits of Mighty B12

March 27th, 2024

In a sea of over-the-counter dietary supplements, vitamin B12 stands out as being essential for good health and vitality.

The following is a deep dive into the world of B12. We explore how it works, how to get more of it, and how it benefits your health.

What Does B12 Do?

First and foremost, let’s understand how vitamin B12 works in your body.

B12 shares many characteristics with other vitamins found within the B family:

  • B12 is water-soluble. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are not stored by your body, and as a result they have to be replenished on a daily basis.
  • B12 is a co-enzyme. This means that B12 helps your body’s enzymes to perform important chemical reactions that are essential for life, such as metabolism.
  • A lack of B12 and other B vitamins can lead to fatigue, weakness, and anemia.

One of B12’s primary functions has to do with red blood cell formation. Without sufficient supplies of vitamin B12, the body cannot produce adequate supplies of healthy red blood cells. Low B12 levels can lead to a condition known as megaloblastic anemia, which is characterized by fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. In particular, B12 is necessary for the production of myelin, the protective sheath that surrounds your nerves and facilitates proper nerve conduction.

How to Get More B12

As noted above, vitamin B12 is water-soluble. This means your body can’t store it and supplies have to be replenished every day.

Ideally, B12 comes from your food. The following foods contain large quantities of B12:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

However, vegetarians (especially vegans) may find it challenging to get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 from food alone. As an alternative to the foods listed above, vegetarians and vegans can try B12-fotrified cereals, non-daily milk substitutes, and nutritional yeast to help meet B12 needs.

While food is the best resource for B12, vitamin B12 deficiency is common (even among meat-eaters). This is because many people don’t readily absorb B12 through the digestive tract. For these people, vitamin B injections or sublingual drops can ensure an adequate vitamin B12 supply.

What Are the Health Benefits of B12?

When vitamin B12 is deficient, the result can be fatigue, weakness, memory loss, tingling sensations, and issues with mental acuity. Neurological damage and other complications can occur if a B12 deficiency is severe and goes on for too long.

Following are the many health benefits associated with vitamin B12:

  • Energy: Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in converting food into energy, making it essential for combatting fatigue and promoting vitality.
  • Cognitive Function: Adequate B12 levels are crucial for cognitive function and for reducing the risk for age-related cognitive decline.
  • Heart Health: Vitamin B12 works in conjunction with other B vitamins to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to an increased risk for developing heart disease.
  • Mood Regulation: Vitamin B12 is associated with the synthesis of important neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating mood.
  • Skin, Hair, and Nail Health: Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails, as it supports the renewal and reproduction of cells.

The Final Word on B12

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse nutrient with a multitude of health benefits, ranging from energy production and cognitive function to heart health and mood regulation.

B12 is found primarily in animal-derived foods, but B12-fortified foods are an option for those following a plant-based diet. Vitamin B12 injections and sublingual drops are a good option for those who don’t absorb B12 well during digestion.

At Renew Youth, we understand that good nutrition supports optimal hormone health. To learn more, call us at 800-859-7511 or use our easy contact form to schedule your free consultation.

 

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