Vitamin B12 plays an important role in proper biological function. Not only does vitamin B12 have several notable health benefits, but a deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause numerous health problems. Individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency may experience loss of appetite, weakness, anemia, weight loss, depression, memory loss and fatigue. Fortunately, there is a stockpile of vitamin B12 stored in the liver, so B12 deficiency typically only occurs once the existing reserves have been severely depleted. Regular consumption of vitamin B12 is encouraged, however, due to the various health benefits.
1. Promote Neurological Health
Vitamin B12 is largely responsible for maintaining healthy red blood cells and nerve function. Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in the production of certain chemicals in the brain that are involved in mood regulation. Adequate levels of B12 can help to combat the effects of stress and depression. Vitamin B12 has also been found to improve memory retention in Alzheimer’s patients. The nerves are encased by a protective layer known as the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is vital for proper cognitive function, and is partially composed of vitamin B12, meaning that insufficient levels of B12 can lead to impaired cognitive abilities.
2. Increase Energy
Individuals who suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency often report feeling weak and lethargic. Vitamin B12 is involved in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, the process used to manufacture energy. Vitamin B12 is used to increase energy production and improve concentration. Vitamin B12 is also involved in the signaling of neurotransmitters responsible for muscle contractions and, as such, is effective in reducing fatigue and muscle weakness.
3. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
One of the most important health benefits of vitamin B12 is the ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. This is accomplished in several ways, such as the regulation and reduction of bad cholesterol levels. Vitamin B12 also helps to prevent heart disease by decreasing high levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is thought to cause arterial damage and blood clots. Vitamin B12 can also help to control high blood pressure and atherosclerotic diseases.
4. Promote Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails
Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in cell reproduction and renewal. Due to this involvement, B12 is vital for healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B12 not only causes nails and hair to grow faster, but stronger and less prone to splitting and breakage. Vitamin B12 benefits the skin in a variety of ways. It helps improve skin tone by reducing redness, dry patches and inflammation. Vitamin B12 can also aid in the prevention of future break outs. Vitamin B12 is sometimes used in the treatment of certain skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.