What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 belongs to the group of B vitamins and find in foods of animal origin. It helps keep neurons and blood cells healthy.
Also, it contributes to the development of DNA. It also prevents megaloblastic anaemia, which causes tiredness and weakness in people.
What are the Properties of Vitamin B12?
- Vitamin B12 is maintaining the health of neurons, the brain and blood cells. A nutrient helps to strengthen the nervous system and increase concentration.
- It is the formation of red blood cells, cell metabolism, the metabolism of amino acids and the creation of DNA. Vitamin B12 is one of the nutrients responsible for less tiredness and fatigue and increasing energy.
- It is also in charge of supplying the necessary energy so that the body can cope with all day-to-day activities. From a physical point, this vitamin is essential for our performance.
- Athletes overlook a large number of minerals and vitamins during training. The contribution of this vitamin and other nutrients will be essential to increase muscle mass and regain strength and endurance.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin B12?
1. Cell Formation and Duplication
- The most important function of vitamin B12 observes in the formation and repair of cells. For example, in the duplication and maintenance of red blood cells.
- This vitamin favours the formation of DNA during cell division, avoiding unwanted variations. Without this protection of the B12 complex.
- The most affected are red blood cells, due to mutations that generate megaloblasts (abnormally large red blood cells), as well as deformed red blood cells.
- It also supports the cells of the nervous system, which are healthier and more efficient due to the benefits of vitamin B12.
2. Prevention of Anaemia
- By protecting the red blood cells, it prevents various types of anaemia, from the simplest to the most complex caused by genetic mutations, such as sickle cell and megaloblastic anaemia.
3. Protection of the Nervous System
- Regarding the nervous system, it has been observed, for example, that Alzheimer’s disease patients are often deficient in vitamin B12.
- The benefits influence the health and dynamics of the nervous system in general, working in favour of the correct myelination of neurons.
- In this way, memory, concentration and reasoning functions are more efficient. Furthermore, cobalamin protects against the adverse effects of stress and reduces the risk of depression.
4. Stamina and Energy
- The maintenance of red blood cells, for which it is responsible, adds to its functions in the metabolism to alleviate or avoid the feeling of fatigue.
- On the one hand, receive an adequate supply of oxygen. Other, as this vitamin helps in the transformation of carbohydrates into glucose, the muscles are covered with the necessary amount of energy.
- In this way, it provides a feeling of energy and vitality, suitable to withstand great physical or mental efforts, as well as stress and pressure in a general way.
5. Cancer Prevention
- Studies point to cobalamin deficiency found in many women who develop breast cancer. In this way, it believes that the prevention of this type of cancer is associated with it.
- There is also the same probability when it comes to lung, colon and prostate cancer.
6. Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Other benefits found in the maintenance of low cholesterol level.
- It is hugely beneficial for the circulatory system since it prevents alleviates high blood pressure and the process of arteriosclerosis.
- In the same way, this vitamin controls triglycerides, the accumulation of which in the body affects similar to that of high cholesterol, since they lower the levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol).
7. Skin, Nails and Hair
- Due to its essential functions in cell reproduction, stimulates the constant renewal of cells in the skin, hair and nails.
- This continuous renewal guarantees rapid recovery from any damage, which generates healthier and better-looking tissues.
- Cobalamin is capable of increasing the number of sperm in semen.
- This function is not trivial, as low sperm count is one of the leading causes of male infertility, which in many cases can treat by balancing levels.
9. Weight Loss
- The belief that vitamin B12 contributes to weight loss base on the idea that it can stimulate the metabolism to run faster, and increases the energy supply in the body.
- Although these effects are beneficial, there are no signs of them occurring in those who already have healthy levels of vitamin B12.
10. Gain Muscle Mass
- For people looking to gain muscle mass, cobalamin is essential for its functions in the nervous system. Through the benefits of vitamin B12 in the nervous system, the connection between this system and the muscles becomes more significant.
- It makes muscle contraction movements better executed, resulting in better quality training. Also, the correct metabolism of carbohydrates guarantees the supply of energy to the muscles, making physical exercise even more useful.
- After training, its functions become valuable in terms of cell regeneration, stimulating a fast and efficient recovery of muscles.
Foods that Contain vitamin B12
- A person needs the amount of vitamin B12 per day depends on their age and physical condition.
- For example, vegetarians and vegans, professional athletes, and people with a high level of stress should consume a more significant amount.
- It can found in a large number of foods of animal origin. It contains the most significant contribution are beef liver, steamed shellfish, cooked oysters and clams.
- Also, fish (especially herring, salmon, tuna and trout ), poultry, cooked meat, eggs, powdered cow’s milk and other dairy products such as mozzarella cheese should include here.
- There are not plant-based foods rich in vitamin B12, at least naturally. Those people take diet is exclusively vegetarian should acquire this vitamin through supplements or with fortified foods or beverages.
- Vegetable drinks are almond, soy, coconut or oat drinks. An option for vegans is the intake of nutritional yeast.
- It is very similar to brewer’s yeast, rich in vitamin B12. But it is free of dairy, gluten and soy.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12
People with a long-term vitamin B12 deficiency may experience anaemia, weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite or weight, and tingling in the hands and feet. In turn, they are at greater risk of having problems in the nervous system, balance difficulties, episodes of depression or poor memory.
The groups of people with a greater risk of deficiency are vegetarians and vegans in the long term and 15% of the elderly. This deficiency can also be suffered by those individuals who, due to disease, have difficulties absorbing the vitamin.
Vitamin B12 deficiency and deficiency can alleviate with capsule supplements. However, the intake of these supplements should accompany medical advice. Otherwise, we can fall into excess vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be the following:
- Food deficit
- Disorder in the synthesis of vitamin B12
- Intestinal diseases
In short, it is one of the most necessary nutrients for our body. It’s very beneficial in ensuring that the body can perform at its best.
A diet rich in foods of animal origin will help us to enjoy the necessary contribution that is needed of this vitamin every day.
Difference Between Vitamin B and Vitamin B12
- Vitamins B can found in a wide variety of plant and animal foods, but vitamin B12 is more difficult to find in plant foods unless they have fortifies.
- Most of the B complex vitamins are the relatively small and straightforward chemical structure, while vitamin B12 is larger and more complex.
- Most of the B complex vitamins more easily absorb than vitamin B12, which has more complicated requirements for absorption.
- In terms of a physical quantity, it has the lowest daily requirement of all the B vitamins.
- It is one of vitamin that contains a metal element (cobalt). The cobalt contained in vitamin B12 is the reason this vitamin goes by the chemical name cobalamin.
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Supplementation of Vitamin B12
- Supplementation recommends for the groups that are most at risk of suffering from this complex deficiency, such as vegetarians, the elderly and people with gastric problems.
- For this group, however, it is also indicated to consume foods fortified with cobalamin, to avoid the need for supplementation.
- One of the most common forms of supplementation is injecting massive amounts of the vitamin at once. This injection is sufficient to treat those sequelae left by deficiency and severe anaemia.
- For those who have adequate levels, or even for those who suffer from a small flaw, it is not advisable to consume any additional. As already mentioned, it must take into account that it is water-soluble.
- Therefore, an excessive amount will be eliminated by the body, making supplementation ineffective. The dose should guarantee positive effects, which is why a prescription recommend.
Overdose of Vitamin B12
In cases of extreme supplementation, sensations of itching and body numbness have observed. Also, a prolonged overdose can increase the chances of developing cancer due to the stimulation to cell division.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must get through diet or supplements.
It’s responsible for many bodily functions and may benefit your health in various ways, such as by preventing significant congenital disabilities.
It is supporting bone health, improving mood and maintaining healthy skin and hair. Getting it enough through your diet is critical.
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