Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 benefits are many since it is the largest and most complex of all the vitamins. Like all B-complex vitamins, B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for normal cell activity, DNA replication, and even the synthesis of chemicals that affect your mood. Vitamin B12 is commonly found in a variety of foods such as fish, shellfish, meat, and dairy products. You can also buy vitamin B12 in supplement form either by itself or as part of a B-complex combination vitamin.
Prevent Chronic Illness
Vitamin B12 works in conjunction with folic acid and vitamin B6 to prevent many chronic and life threatening conditions. Together with these other vitamins, vitamin B12 helps to control homocysteine levels. Homocysteine regulation is crucial because excessive amounts of this chemical are linked to causing increased risk factors for stroke, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease.
Vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's
Vitamin B12 may play an especially important role in preventing Alzheimer's disease. Several recent studies have found that a significant percentage of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease were found to have abnormally low levels of vitamin B12 or a B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 and Your Well Being
Similar to the studies done on those with Alzheimer's disease, many patients with depression and related disorders were also found to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency was found to promote bipolar disorder, paranoia, anxiety and other mood disturbances. The cellular function of vitamin B12 also supports these findings.
Vitamin B12 and the Blood
Vitamin B12 benefits the blood system. The hematological systems and signs of B12 deficiency encompass a decrease in red blood cell count, skin discolorations, decreased energy, fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and anemia. These conditions are most common and most pronounced in the elderly.
Absorbing Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is not hard to get into our diets; it's in all sorts of meat products, eggs and milk. However, the problem is that some people have trouble absorbing enough of the vitamin to remain healthy. If you suspect you have a B12 deficiency then you should consult with your physician about taking B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 and Vegetarians
The only group of people who may have a difficult time getting enough of vitamin B12 through their diet are vegetarians. Vitamin B12 is exclusively available through animal sources. Because of this, vegetarians should especially consider taking a B12 or B-complex supplement.
Make Sure You Get Enough B12
Overall, our bodies need vitamin B12 to function properly. A deficiency of the vitamin can result in severe repercussions. If you suspect that you may have a B12 deficiency then you should go and speak to your physician or nutritionist. Oral supplementation of vitamin B12 is safe, effective and inexpensive.