The most complex of all vitamins known to people is said to be the vitamin B12. It is involved in many vital processes in our body and when there are insufficient amounts of it, may lead to many health disorders and illnesses as well.
Here, in this article, we are going to present you the four of its best health benefits that will hopefully help you in in understanding its importance to your overall health.
Other things which you will learn are the four symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as food sources to obtain it to prevent conditions caused by lack of this vitamin.
Here are the best 4 health benefits of the vitamin B12:
1. It prevents nerve damage
Vitamin B12 helps our body to replenish myelin sheath, which is a protective covering which keeps our nerves safe from radicals and toxins as well. If your nerves don’t have this covering, they can easily be damaged and even die. Some dead nerves can lead to nerve – related disorders, because they interrupt the signals to and from the brain.
2. Protects the heart
Nowadays, heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world. However, this vitamin can help you your heart health in many ways. It will help in reducing the major risk for heart disease – raised levels of the amino acid homocysteine. The levels of homocysteine in the blood are affected by the levels of the vitamin B12 and some other B-complex vitamins in the blood. So, by reducing the blood levels of homocysteine, the vitamin B12 will reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack as well.
3. Support energy
The vitamin B12 will keep your cells well-fed, healthy, and happy, in that way helping your body to produce energy. When there is lack of vitamin B12 it will make your cells hungry, making you weak and tired as well. Your metabolism needs the B12 vitamin in order to convert carbohydrates into usable glucose which is needed for the creation of energy. This is why when there is lack of vitamin B12 it can often lead to fatigue.
Moreover, your body needs this vitamin in order to perform the neurotransmitter signaling which helps muscle contraction and provide the necessary energy to perform your daily activities without feeling weak and tired as well.
4. Your bones need it
Those people suffering from osteoporosis have lower levels of vitamin B12 and higher levels of homocysteine than those with strong, healthy bones. Osteoporosis is a disease which is characterized by weak, fragile, or brittle bones, because of the loss of tissue. Because of this, osteoporosis patients or people who suffer from any other one condition are recommended to consult their doctor to get their vitamin B12 levels checked.
Here, we are going to present you the four symptoms of B12 deficiency. They appear gradually and intensify over time, even though in some cases they can appear very quickly. Here they are:
1. Strange sensation, numbness
Sometimes, you might feel “pins and needles” sensation or numbness which will run from your head to your feet. The low oxygen levels in cells will cause nerve damage which is responsible for these weird plans.
The vitamin B12 is involved in the formation of erythrocytes, which are the cells which carry oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, if there is lack of this vitamin, it may lead to insufficient amounts of erythrocytes, a condition known as anemia. Those people who suffer from anemia are usually feeling weak and tired. The lack of vitamin B12 can damage the nerves, and affect your memory as well.
3. A swollen, inflamed tongue
Most people who have a severe deficiency of this vitamin lose the little bumps on their tongues, known as papillae. They usually lose papillae around the edges of the tongue, as well as taste buds located on these bumps. When there is loss of taste buds, it means loss of taste too. Other symptoms of this are soreness and burning sensation on the back of your tongue. Those women who have lack of this vitamin can lose their appetite, as the food does not taste as good to them as before, and that can result in losing weight.
One of the main symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue. Since the lack of this vitamin means insufficient amount of oxygen in cells, these people feel tired no matter how long they sleep. However, being just sleepy does not mean that they are deficient of this vitamin. It usually comes with some other symptoms, like those we mentioned before.
Here, we are also going to present you some food sources of vitamin B12. You can find it usually in foods from animal sources. However, if the particular animal is raised in a conventional feedlot environment, the food can contain its own concerns. Here are the best non – began food sources of this vitamin:
1. Clams – besides being an excellent source of vitamin B12 and potassium, these are also incredibly rich in iron – 3oz of clams contain 126 calories and 23.8 mg iron.
2. Beef – this is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, and vitamin A as well. You should always try to choose a leaner beef.
3. Eggs – this is also another great source of vitamin B12. Eggs are cheap and versatile, so you can add them to soups, salads, stir – fries and so on.
4. Turkey – besides being very tasty, heritage turkey is also great source of this vitamin. Only a cup of meat contains 48.2 mg of this vitamin.
Here are also some vegan food sources of the vitamin B12: nutritional yeasts, cereals, plant-based milk (coconut milk, almond milk, soymilk), cheese, yogurt.