Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that contains cobalt, a cyanide group and a nucleotide in its structure. It is dark red in color with crystalline structure. Action of vitamin B12 is linked to vit B9 (folic acid) and insufficient supplies of either causes deficiency symptoms.
Vit B12 is absorbed only from the gastrointestinal tract in the presence of glycoprotein produced by the intestinal epithelium. Without the intrinsic factor and calcium, the vitamin cannot be absorbed through the intestinal mucous membranes and enter the bloodstream.
Here are 7 Reasons why VITAMIN B12 is Important for You:
- ENERGY BALANCE
Vitamin B12 benefits your metabolism because its needed to convert carbohydrate into usable glucose in the body. Glucose is used as a form of energy therefore people deficient in vitamin B12 experience fatigue. Claims are also based on the fact that vitamin B12 helps in correcting megaloblastic anemia caused by its deficiency.
- NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH
Vitamin B12 has a role to play in nerve health and neurotransmitter signaling. Low vitamin B12 status has also been positively associated with cognitive decline. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes accumulation of homocysteine in blood and decrease levels of substances needed to metabolize neurotransmitters. The elevated homocysteine levels are known to promote incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- REGULATION OF NERVOUS SYSTEM
Vitamin 12 plays major role in regulating the healthy functioning of nervous system. Myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds nerves and serve as a protection and insulation. Sensation of pins and needles are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 also helps in reducing mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Vitamin B12 along with folic acid is needed as a major determinant of one carbon metabolism which produces S- adenosyl methionine (SAM) which is important for dealing with stress and mood regulation.
- CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Homocysteine is a compound linked to an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Vitamin B12 is known to reduce the blood levels of homocysteine therefore reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR
Vitamin B12 plays a major role in cell reproduction. Therefore it is an important vitamin for skin, hair and nails. Vitamin B12 helps in reducing dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes. It also helps in reducing hair breakage and help the nails to grow stronger.
Vitamin B12 supports healthy metabolism by playing a role in helping digestive enzymes and breakdown of food within stomach. It also promotes growth of healthy bacteria within the gut environment. This way it helps in preventing digestive disorders like Irritable bowel disorders or Candida.
- HEALTHY PREGNANCY
Vitamin B12 is needed for the formation of nucleic acid or DNA, which is a basic genetic material required to create entire body. Vitamin 12 is vital for healthy pregnancy because it helps to lower the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defects. Low vitaminB12 levels traps the folate required for DNA synthesis and impairs cell replication.