what is vitamin b12 good for

Supplementing with vitamin B12 has been shown to improve dermatologic symptoms in people with B12 deficiency (26, 27). Methyl B12 is needed as a co-factor to convert homocysteine back into methionine. When vitamin B12 levels are too low, the production of red blood cells is altered, causing megaloblastic anemia. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that your body needs but cannot produce. There are four fat-soluble vitamins in the human diet: A, D, E and K. This guide examines their health benefits, functions and main dietary sources. Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is responsible for regulating several critical functions in your body. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. The myelin sheath is required for fast and effective nerve-impulse transmission. Another study discovered that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with twice the risk of severe depression (13). The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 for adults isn’t much — 2.4 mcg, according to the NIH. It is possible for the body to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is required by the body in small amounts, and most people end up fulfilling the requirement by consuming foods which have a small amount of the vitamin. While the recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, you can safely take higher doses. Vitamin B12 is required to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. If you have normal B12 values, but high homocysteine levels, this may point to a deficiency or problem utilizing methyl B12. However, older adults, vegetarians and people who have conditions that affect their ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from foods might benefit from the use of oral supplements. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency. The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. Your metabolism wouldn't run smoothly without it. B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage, The Water-Soluble Vitamins: C and B Complex, Nutrition: Great Foods for Getting Vitamins A to K in Your Diet, Top 12 Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12, 9 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency, 8 Common Signs You’re Deficient in Vitamins, 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common, 7 Nutrients That You Can’t Get from Plants, People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, Those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries, such as bariatric surgery or bowel resection surgery, Those who take metformin for blood sugar control, Those taking proton pump inhibitors for chronic heartburn. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that vitamin B12 supplements are effective in this regard (23). Because your body is capable of storing several years' worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. Vitamin D and vitamin B12 are two of the most potent vitamins “as defined by the amount of vitamin required to elicit a biological response” [5]. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) oral. One study in people with early-stage dementia showed that a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed mental decline (15). All B vitamins play an important role in your body’s energy production, though they don’t necessarily provide energy themselves (17). Causes and pathophysiology of vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies. Vitamin B12 can restore the body’s energy. Your daily diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B12 overdose is very unlikely to happen because vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning the body has the ability to flush out any excess through urine that it doesn’t need. The crux of chronic disease reversal rests on correcting this imbalance. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. Vitamin B12 can decrease blood homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin B12 is involved in energy production in your body. Currently, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin B12 supplements can boost energy in those with sufficient levels of this vitamin (18). It’s found naturally in animal products, but also added to certain foods and available as an oral supplement or injection. Office of Dietary Supplements. On the other hand, if you’re significantly deficient in vitamin B12, taking a supplement or increasing your intake will likely improve your energy level (19). Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online, Advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. Therefore, further research is needed to understand the relationship between vitamin B12 and heart health. For women with a vitamin B12 deficiency and levels below 150 mg/dL the risk was five times higher, compared to women with levels above 400 mg/dL (4). While vitamin B12 supplements are considered safe and non-toxic, taking large doses of around 1,000 milligrams can still be problematic. Other studies have also shown a link between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health and osteoporosis, especially in women (6, 7, 8). B-12 helps regulate digestion, absorption, respiration, circulation and body temperature, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC 1. Studies show that a fetus’s brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop properly. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a number of important roles in the human body. But since it’s mainly consumed through meat and fish, people on plant-based or vegan diets might want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement, as well as consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. The higher the energy, the easier it is to maintain longer intercourse. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Happiness And Health. One study in more than 2,500 adults showed that people with a vitamin B12 deficiency also had lower than normal bone mineral density (5). Types of vitamin B12. This can cause symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Cobalamin may have a role in the prevention of disorders of brain development … The B vitamins are famous for boosting energy and benefiting the metabolism. Osteoblasts require an optimal level of Vitamin B12 for proper functioning. High blood levels of the common amino acid homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin B12 – also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin, naturally found in some foods, added to others and synthesised by bacteria in the small intestine. While the benefits of Vitamin B12 are complex and wide-ranging, its foremost roles are in … Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray might be prescribed to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency. The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/b-vitamins-secret-good-skin-health Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults. When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 supplements are generally considered safe. It is involved in many vital processes in the body, including: Producing red blood cells Keeping the nervous system healthy Even though some plant-based milks or grains may have been fortified with vitamin B12, vegan diets are often limited in this vitamin, putting people at risk of deficiency. But, when a person doesn’t have the vigor to do it, it could be due to the lack of B12. Ultimately, further studies are needed to fully understand vitamin B12’s role in promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration. When you’re anemic, your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to your vital organs. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. One study found that women with vitamin B12 levels lower than 250 mg/dL were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, compared to those with adequate levels (4). The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types (11). Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. High doses of vitamin B-12, such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause: Your doctor might recommend changing drugs or timing doses to offset any potential interactions. The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Bones with decreased mineral density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Research suggests that vitamin B12 boosts skin health by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes — and can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema. But B12 … As a result, supplementing with this vitamin may improve memory, even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency (16). This article reviews the science. Cyanocobalamin. However, if you struggle to obtain enough or have a condition that affects absorption, supplements are a simple way to increase your B12 intake. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage (3). Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. A study involving 5,000 women aged 40 or older concluded that supplementing with vitamin B12, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, may reduce this risk (11). Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. Here are 7 incredibly common nutrient deficiencies. Adequate vitamin B12 levels are crucial to a healthy pregnancy. All rights reserved. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis [ 1-5 ]. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. Taking a supplement may improve your energy level, but only if you’re deficient in this vitamin. Vitamin B12 supplements have long been touted as the go-to product for a surge of energy. The effect of vitamin B12 on mood is not yet fully understood. Healthy red blood cells are small and round, whereas they become larger and typically oval in cases of vitamin B12 deficiency. Supports Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails. Healthy vitamin B12 levels are important for your hair, skin and nails. If your body has difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend intramuscular injections of B12 to increase your levels. When we look at chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes from a Functional Medicine perspective, we look at the imbalance that has been created within the body as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices and ears of abuse. Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances. It can be a good idea to take 1 mg of B12 (1,000 mcg) a day for a whole month. An estimated 6% of people in the US and UK aged 60 or older have vitamin B12 deficiency, while about 20% have low to normal or borderline deficient levels (29). Fairfield KM. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. Vitamin B12 helps a great deal in the proper functioning of your nervous system and adequate production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and DNA. More research is needed to make sound conclusions on the effect of vitamin B12 supplements on memory and cognitive function. If you eat a healthy, varied diet, preventing a vitamin B12 deficiency should be easy. However, research does not currently support the claim that vitamin B12 reduces this risk. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Schrier SL. Vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell formation. Reduced level of vitamin B12 increases the risk of osteoporosis. Learn how to get the vitamins you need — including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K — in your…, Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or supplements. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (9, 10). Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in one of two ways. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. This type of B12 works well to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that at high levels increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Nutrient deficiencies may occur with almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others. More research is needed to conclude if supplementing with this vitamin can improve memory in those without a deficiency. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. It is one of eight B vitamins.It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Vitamin B12. Uses of Vitamin B12-Folic Acid: It is used to help growth and good health. A diet lacking in nutrients may cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. The B-complex vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. They’re important for the prevention of brain and spinal cord birth defects. However, if you think that you might be at risk, speak to your doctor. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/. Low blood levels of this vitamin have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency. Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal products. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, for example. Getting enough vitamin B12 through your diet is crucial. Alzheimer’s Disease. Vitamin B12 has many roles in your body. Vitamin B-12's primary function is to aid in metabolism, the process by which your body creates and uses energy. Given vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of this vitamin are needed to promote healthy hair, skin and nails. Methylcobalamin is sometimes used in people with pernicious anemia, diabetes, and other conditions. Talk with the doctor. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vegans are also at risk since B12 is only found in animal products. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. It supports the normal function of your nerve cells and is needed for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. A few nutrients are either difficult or impossible to get in adequate amounts from plant foods. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Vitamin B12 is vital for life itself as it helps make deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is found in your bloodstream. Those at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include (1): In many older adults, the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is reduced, causing a reduction in the absorption of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an important member of the B vitamin family. Once thought of as a single element, scientists now know that vitamin B is actually a complex assortment of nutrients. Vitamin B12 is important for the brain and nerves, and for the production of red blood cells. Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. Low vitamin B12 levels cause a reduction in red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly (2). However, taking a supplement probably won’t improve your health in these areas if your levels are already sufficient. Vitamin B12 deficiency in the beginning stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. Methylcobalamin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil, or … Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin, and deficiency is common. Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for specific activities and conditions shows: Most people get enough vitamin B-12 from a balanced diet. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency include a decreased ability to absorb this vitamin due to low hydrochloric acid secretion, certain medications or gastrointestinal disease and surgeries. Here are the top 12…. Studies have shown that vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels, which may reduce your risk of heart disease (20, 21, 22). Due to this larger and irregular shape, the red blood cells are unable to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at an appropriate rate, causing megaloblastic anemia (2). However, this vitamin plays a vital role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. This may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for several bodily processes, including nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.. A person whose vitamin B-12 … It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes.

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