The health benefits of vitamin B12 are multiple and diverse. Cobalamin or B12 is a vitamin B complex that helps maintain healthy neurons, as well as ensuring the production of red blood cells, essential for the proper functioning of the body. It also plays a key role in preventing megaloblastic anaemia, which causes fatigue and weakness in people. But there’s so much more. Discover all the health benefits of vitamin B12.
The recommended daily amount of cyanocobalamin varies depending on people’s age and overall health.
In the case of babies, they need 0.4 micrograms per day
Children over 1 year old and up to 13 years old, between 1.2 and 1.8 micrograms per day
Cyanocobalamin, also called this micronutrient, plays a key role in people’s health. It is found mostly in products of animal origin. Thus, vegans or vegetarians are 10 times more likely to be deficient in this nutrient.
However, nowadays many people are betting on supplements to make up for this deficiency and obtain the benefits that vitamin B12 has for the body. It should be borne in mind that this nutrient has a wide selection of functions in the body, both essential and secondary, so its deficit is a very serious pathology to be avoided.
The symptoms of the lack of this micro-nutrient are many and varied. The most common symptom, which occurs in virtually all people who suffer from deficiency of this nutrient, is weakness and fatigue without apparent cause. In addition, migraines are usually more constant and more acute than those suffered from other problems. In more severe cases of vitamin B12 deficiency, affected people may feel numbness and tingling in their extremities, especially in their legs. The lack of cobalamin is also noticeable on the skin, which looks yellowish and pale.
B12 plays a key role in the production of energy as well as red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the cells. It is also a micro-nutrient that plays a key role in combating ageing.
One of the main roles that this vitamin plays in the human body has to do with the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine or serotonin, among others. That’s why this vitamin is so beneficial in people with depression.
Vitamin B12 also takes care of myelin, a fatty material that covers the nerves, helping to better transmit impulses between the various nerve cells in the body. Therefore, it is a key substance for good physical and mental health.
On a general level, these are the functions that cobalamin fulfills, however, it is much more what it can do for us; these points would be the fundamental ones, but we can go much further and surprise ourselves with all the benefits that vitamin B12 has for our body and organism.
What are the best health benefits of vitamin B12?
Below we point out the main benefits and properties of this micro nutrient for both physical and mental health:
Red blood cells
This is the most important and best-known health benefit. This nutrient plays a key role in the production of red blood cells, which, as we have just seen, carry oxygen to the blood. This is why people who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency feel very tired and fatigued; because their body is not producing enough red blood cells and, therefore, oxygen does not reach the bloodstream or, as a result, the organs that need it.
Another of the great virtues of this vitamin is that it helps digestion. B12 is responsible for generating digestive enzymes, which play a key role in the correct decomposition of food and, in this way, ensure good digestion of them. It also plays a very important role in regenerating bacterial flora in the gut while eliminating harmful bacteria.
Although this benefit of cyanocobalamin is not especially well known, it is very important. This nutrient greatly influences fertility, for both men and women. Vitamin B12 significantly increases women’s fertile capacity for vitamin B12, thus increasing their chances of becoming pregnant. In addition, it is important not to suffer deficiency of this nutrient for the good development of the fetus. In men, having good levels of cobalamin greatly enhances sperm production.
It is important to have good levels of vitamin B12 both during childhood and adulthood, but in childhood it is especially important because it plays a key role in the development of young children.
First of all, this nutrient significantly improves memory; one of the symptoms of having low levels of this vitamin is memory loss and, in some cases, even dementia.
Secondly, vitamin B12 influences the proper development of the immune system, increasing defences and preventing children from contracting viral diseases such as the flu.
And thirdly and finally, this nutrient prevents hearing problems in children.
It is highly effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease, which is unfortunately increasingly common in older people. It is a degenerative disease that causes the memory loss of those who suffer from it. Numerous studies have shown that people with vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as others such as vitamin C, are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s more prematurely.
This nutrient greatly helps the nervous system, one of the most important in the human body, perform its function correctly. If a person has good levels of B12 micronutrient in his or her body, their nervous system functions much better. Similarly, it not only helps the elements of the system to better fulfil their role, but also protects some of them.
For athletes, vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients for your body. It has an explanation and is that this vitamin is one of the main responsible for regenerating muscle tissue after an intense training session. In addition, it allows the maintenance of energy reserves, as it intervenes in the production of creatine, a key protein to maintain good muscle mass.
B12 is one of the most important substances for preventing cardiovascular disease. This vitamin considerably improves cholesterol levels in the body. This way, it is very beneficial because it minimizes the chances of suffering a cardiovascular accident. In addition, in conjunction with folic acid, it works to maintain homocysteine levels, which are responsible for problems such as stroke or heart problems of various kinds. This is one of the most interesting benefits that vitamin B12 provides us and should be used to encourage us to consume it properly.
Cobalamin also has great aesthetic health benefits. People who enjoy good levels of this nutrient in their bodies have less brittle nails and healthier, brighter hair. In addition, the skin looks healthier and smoother. This micronutrient is one of the parapharmacy products that are used to strengthen and prevent hair loss, along with other B-complex vitamins.
State of mind
Beyond the physical benefits, this vitamin is also extremely beneficial in improving people’s mood. The lack of this nutrient in the body causes mood swings and mental imbalances. It also helps to get a better rest and a more restful sleep. Sleep is a key element for good health and taking cyanocobalamin at the right dosage has a significant influence on it; this nutrient helps the body produce more melatonin, which produces a deep sleep.
As we can see, the benefits of this vitamin in the body are very many. It fulfills a wide range of essential functions for good physical and mental health. In addition, we also note that it offers other secondary benefits but that we also want to enjoy each and every one of them.
This is why it is so important to have good levels of vitamin B12 in the body because if we suffer from any kind of lack of it, the chances of suffering from more or less serious physical and/or mental illnesses increase dramatically. It is also good to know that there may be some risk of having excess B12 in the blood and in some cases it is contraindicated to take it in high doses.
What are the best sources of B12 and its health benefits?
Storage and storage of cobalamin in our organism
This vitamin is mostly stored in the liver. However, it can also be stored in other organs such as the kidneys, brain, pancreas, or testicles in men. The stored amounts can last up to 5 years, so the metabolism is using the amounts of this nutrient you need at any given time.
However, we only retain the amount needed to meet the demand of 2 or 3 years depending on different factors. That’s why it is so important to eat foods rich in vitamin B12 regularly, though. It is NOT a vitamin of bad storage at all, of those there are that they require very high doses, much more regular and that their adverse effects are suffered much sooner.
5 Foods rich in vitamin B12
In order to enjoy good health and therefore a good quality of life, it is essential to have good levels of this substance, as you have been able to see from its multiple benefits. Well, next we will see which are the 5 foods richest in this type of vitamin, which should be present in any healthy, balanced and positive diet for the organism.
Eggs: Eggs are one of the richest sources of cyanocobalamin, which is found in the yolk. In addition, eggs provide a wide variety of nutrients that are very beneficial to the body such as vitamin D and proteins and are not negative at all, as thought by the alert created.
Salmon: Salmon is perhaps the most common B12 food you can find. A 100-gram serving contains more than 300% of the daily amount a person needs of this nutrient per day. In addition, this fish is rich in Omega 3 fats, very beneficial for the heart, selenium and vitamin D.
Liver: The liver is another perfect and very beneficial source for the organism, especially the veal, pork and duck.
Veal meat: Of all the types of meat, veal is the one that contains the most of this vitamin. It is also rich in protein, zinc and iron.
Clams: Within molluscs, clams are the ones that provide the most to the body. They are also rich in zinc, copper and iron; nutrients that are very beneficial for health.
And although these are 5 top foods to have a good vitamin B12 stock, there are plenty of others, so designing a varied diet won’t be a problem.
Taking B12 artificially as supplements
It should be borne in mind, however, that the vast majority of foods with a high vitamin content are of animal origin. This is why one of the population groups most at risk of nutrient deficiency is vegans and/or vegetarians. While it is true that there are vegetable foods that contain vitamin B12, it is in a very low amount, insufficient to cover the recommended daily allowance.
However, people who opt for this type of vegan diet can take cobalamin supplements to make up for this deficiency, avoid any health problems, and enjoy all the benefits of vitamin B12. Supplements of this nutrient are available on the market in very different formats, such as pills, tablets or injections. Which to take depends on each specific case.
The deficiency of this micro-nutrient is harmful to the organism, but its excess is also harmful. Therefore, the key to enjoying iron health and enjoying the many benefits that this vitamin provides us with is to seek a balance in its consumption.
It is very important to be truly aware of all the properties of vitamin B12 and its contraindications for health and the serious situation to which we are exposed to inadequate levels of this nutrient, whether by excess or by default. It is one of the vitamins that is most talked about precisely because of the important role it plays in enjoying good health. The best way to make sure that blood levels of B12 are correct and we don’t suffer from any kind of deficiency is to undergo continuous clinical analysis; the optimal frequency is once a year.
This nutrient is stored in the liver and has a life span of two to three years. It is for this reason that many people who suffer deficiency or lack of this substance do not notice the symptoms until after that time. However, during those two or three years when the levels of this nutrient in blood have been low, some functions of the organism have been reduced without the affected people being aware of it and, consequently, we have not enjoyed the benefits and properties that vitamin B12 gives us for health.
If there are any noticeable deficiencies, the doctor can prescribe supplements of this nutrient or create a diet rich in this vitamin, so that, with the necessary treatment, the body will return to perform all the functions that we have discussed without taking too long.
By way of conclusion, to say that this vitamin B complex is one of the most important in our organism. Low levels of it can cause serious physical and mental disorders. In addition, in order to have a good state of health, it is very important to have a healthy and balanced life, with a healthy diet and the practice of exercise in a frequent way as well as trying to carry out check-ups and complete blood tests to avoid problems related to this micronutrient or any other.