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Science-Based Health Benefits of VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a critically essential vitamin required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, as well as many other parts of the body.

From Memory Loss to Psoriasis and Eczema — based on science, here are 9-Ways in which a liquid Vitamin B12 supplement taken daily, may be of great benefit to your health:

1. Helps with Red Blood Cell Formation and Anemia Prevention

Pernicious Anemia is a condition caused by too little Vitamin B12 in the body. It is one form of Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Vitamin B12 helps the body make healthy red blood cells and helps keep nerve cells healthy.

2. Supports the Prevention of Major Birth Defects

Neural tube defects refer to a group of birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. The defects include spina bifida, which can cause partial paralysis, and anencephaly, a fatal condition in which the brain and skull are severely underdeveloped. In countries where people eat high levels of animal products, such as the United States and numerous Western countries, only a small percentage of pregnant women have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. In countries where vegetarian diets predominate, such as in India, the percentage of pregnant women with B12 deficiency can exceed two thirds. Adequate Vitamin B12 levels are crucial to a healthy pregnancy.

3. Benefits Bone Health and helps to Prevent Osteoporosis

A Tufts University study showed that low levels of Vitamin B12 are linked to a higher risk of osteoporosis in both men and women. Osteoblasts, the body’s bone-building cells, require an adequate supply of B12, or their ability to function properly will be compromised. Supplementation is not always oral as elderly people in their 80’s and 90’ may develop changes in the linings of the stomach that prevents them from absorbing B12. In these cases where absorption is an issue, doctors may give injections of B12, bypassing the digestive tract, so patients get the benefits of the vitamin.

4. Helps to Reduce Your Risk of Macular Degeneration

One symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency is blurred or disturbed vision (optic neuropathy). This can occur when an untreated B12 deficiency results in nervous system damage to the optic nerve that leads to your eyes. Incomplete treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency with oral B12 supplementation coupled with oral folic acid can aggravate neurological impairment.

5. Assists with Mood Improvement and Symptoms of Depression

Vitamin B12 (as well as other B vitamins) play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B12 is often linked to depression. It could be much worse — a severe Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, memory loss, incontinence, paranoia and delusions.

6. Brain Function/Cognitive support by Preventing the Loss of Neurons

Vitamin B12 has been shown to help slow down brain shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in brain regions specifically known to be most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. High levels of the amino acid homocysteine are linked to brain shrinkage and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s; Vitamin B12 is known to suppress homocysteine. In one study, participants taking high doses of Vitamin B12 were shown to lower blood levels of homocysteine as was the associated brain shrinkage — by up to 90 percent.

7. Gives You an Energy Boost

Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins that help the body convert the food you eat into glucose, which gives you energy. In fact, all B vitamins play an important role in your body’s energy production, though they don’t necessarily provide energy themselves. One of the most common early signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy.

8. Helps to Improve Heart Health by Decreasing Homocysteine

Current research has shown that Vitamin B12 supplements reduce homocysteine blood levels by a quarter. Lowering levels of homocysteine with Vitamin B12 would therefore reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

9. Supports Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Given Vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of this vitamin are needed to promote healthy hair, skin and nails.

Ken Feakins

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