Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has an essential role in the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system.
As necessary as Vitamin B-12 is to our health, it’s something that our bodies doesn’t make on its own. Instead, we need to get it from our diets or supplementation. And because it’s a water-soluble vitamin doesn’t get stored in our bodies like fat-soluble vitamins, we need to replenish it every day.
The Benefits of Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is beneficial for your overall health and well-being. Beyond maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems, vitamin B-12 is believed to improve your mood by increasing your energy levels. It is an essential vitamin for addressing multiple metabolic functions such as hormonal balance, enzyme production, and DNA synthesis.
Here are some of the most mention-worthy benefits of vitamin B-12:
Vitamin B-12 Improves Sleeping Patterns – Cobalamin treatment improves sleep-wake rhythm disorders. It plays a crucial role in the production of melatonin or “the sleep hormone” which is responsible for allowing you get a good night’s sleep.
Vitamin B-12 is Good for the Digestive System – Vitamin B-12 assists the proper functioning of your digestive system. A backed up digestion can lead to toxicity in the body and not enough vitamin B-12 can leave you prone to constipation because of a sluggish digestive system.
Vitamin B-12 is Essential for the Brain – Studies reveal that cobalamin may have a role in the prevention of brain development disorders, vascular dementia in the elderly, mood disorders, and Alzheimer’s.
Top 10 Food Sources of Vitamin B-12
Here are just some of the vitamin B-12 foods you can consume on a regular basis to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential vitamin in your diet:
- Beef liver: 1 ounce: 20 micrograms (over 300 percent DV)
- Sardines: 3 ounces: 6.6 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Atlantic mackerel: 3 ounces: 7.4 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Lamb: 3 ounces: 2.7 micrograms (45 percent DV)
- Wild-caught salmon: 3 ounces: 2.6 micrograms (42 percent DV)
- Nutritional yeast: 1 tablespoon: 2.4 micrograms (40 percent DV)
- Feta cheese: 0.5 cup: 1.25 micrograms (21 percent DV)
- Grass-fed beef: 3 ounces: 1.2 micrograms (20 percent DV)
- Cottage Cheese: 1 cup: 0.97 micrograms (16 percent DV)
- Eggs: 1 large: 0.6 micrograms (11 percent DV)
The Effects of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Vitamin B-12 deficiencies can cause you to feel fatigued, anemic, constipated, and even depressed. Some people who have very levels of vitamin B-12 might appear to be in a dementia-like state called “brain fog.” Their memory can be hazy and suffer from cognitive decline.
The symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency are:
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of libido
- Low sperm count
- Heart palpitations
- Pale skin
- Loss of memory
- Changes in behavior
- Nerve problems such as: numbness, difficulty with walking and tingling
- Vision impairment
- Loss of appetite
Those with cobalamin deficiency are most at risk for cardiovascular risk factors such as heart failure .Cobalamin deficiency causes hyperhomocysteinemia which has proven to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, the amount of vitamin B-12 a person needs depends mostly on their age. In general, the recommendation is that “men and women over the age of 14 ingest 2.4 micrograms of it each day, while pregnant women should take 2.6 micrograms and breastfeeding women need 2.8 micrograms per day.” However, there are some people who may actually need more than that such as the elderly, alcoholics, smokers, and those with gastrointestinal issues.Learn More About Vitamins And SupplementsL: Do You Need To Take Them?
With the many supplement options for vitamin B-12, there’s no reason why you would ever need to suffer from a deficiency. When choosing the right supplement for you, find one that digests well in your digestive system for maximum absorption as not all supplements in the market can promise that.
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