Tuna, salmon, poultry, beef, potatoes, spinach, bananas and fortified breakfast cereals are all good sources. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. The B-complex vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage (3). Vitamin B12 overdose is very unlikely to happen because vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning the body has the ability to flush out any excess through urine that it doesn’t need. Some experts claim that vitamin B12 injections can help with energy levels, brain function and weight loss. Other studies have also shown a link between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health and osteoporosis, especially in women (6, 7, 8). Vitamin B12 levels and bone mineral density are interlinked. As a result, supplementing with this vitamin may improve memory, even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency (16). It is involved in many vital processes in the body, including: Producing red blood cells Keeping the nervous system healthy The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 for adults isn’t much — 2.4 mcg, according to the NIH. Because your body is capable of storing several years' worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). In fact, low vitamin B12 levels can cause various dermatologic symptoms, including hyperpigmentation, nail discoloration, hair changes, vitiligo (the loss of skin color in patches) and angular stomatitis (inflamed and cracked mouth corners) (24, 25). Cobalamin may have a role in the prevention of disorders of brain development … For this reason, Vitamin B12 is irreplaceable in the human diet. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults. There are four basic types of vitamin B12. Because vitamin B12 is also important for the production of red blood cells, a severe deficiency can lead to a condition called pernicious anemia, which can lower energy levels. Supplementing with vitamin B12 has been shown to improve dermatologic symptoms in people with B12 deficiency (26, 27). Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations. This article examines the benefits of B-complex vitamins, as well as dosage and…. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must obtain through diet or supplements. Office of Dietary Supplements. For women with a vitamin B12 deficiency and levels below 150 mg/dL the risk was five times higher, compared to women with levels above 400 mg/dL (4). Healthy red blood cells are small and round, whereas they become larger and typically oval in cases of vitamin B12 deficiency. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil, or … It may be given to you for other reasons. However, this vitamin plays a vital role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. B-12 helps regulate digestion, absorption, respiration, circulation and body temperature, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC 1. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Vitamin B12 helps a great deal in the proper functioning of your nervous system and adequate production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and DNA. Osteoblasts require an optimal level of Vitamin B12 for proper functioning. Here are the 8 most common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies…. Alzheimer’s Disease. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray might be prescribed to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency. Further, knowing what vitamins are good for low platelet count help in diet and treatment plan, as appropriate. Vegans are also at risk since B12 is only found in animal products. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. This article reviews 7 nutrients commonly lacking in…. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. But beyond that, vitamin B12 is known to help with our nervous system, blood-cell formation, digestion, and brain function, and helps prevent anemia and enhance our moods (so it also helps stave off depression, she noted). It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, for example. When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 supplements are generally considered safe. One study found that women with vitamin B12 levels lower than 250 mg/dL were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, compared to those with adequate levels (4). All rights reserved. Vitamin B12 is required by the body in small amounts, and most people end up fulfilling the requirement by consuming foods which have a small amount of the vitamin. Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is found in your bloodstream. It’s found naturally in animal products, but also added to certain foods and available as an oral supplement or injection. Vitamin B12 is an important member of the B vitamin family. Vitamin B12. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 may help prevent the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Stamina and energy are critical factors for better sex life. Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell formation. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. Vitamin B-12's primary function is to aid in metabolism, the process by which your body creates and uses energy. If recently, you feel constantly low in energy level, then it can be that you are … Talk with the doctor. Methionine synthase catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine to methionine [ 5, 6 ]. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that vitamin B12 supplements are effective in this regard (23). Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for specific activities and conditions shows: Most people get enough vitamin B-12 from a balanced diet. When vitamin B12 levels are too low, the production of red blood cells is altered, causing megaloblastic anemia. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes. The “methyl” portion is extra carbon and hydrogen. Vitamin B12 is vital for life itself as it helps make deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). One study in people with early-stage dementia showed that a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed mental decline (15). There are four fat-soluble vitamins in the human diet: A, D, E and K. This guide examines their health benefits, functions and main dietary sources. Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. When we look at chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes from a Functional Medicine perspective, we look at the imbalance that has been created within the body as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices and ears of abuse. Vitamin B12 supplements have long been touted as the go-to product for a surge of energy. It’s responsible for many bodily functions and may benefit your health in various ways, such as by preventing major birth defects, supporting bone health, improving mood and maintaining healthy skin and hair. The group receiving these supplements for seven years had fewer cases of macular degeneration, compared to the placebo group. Your body absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for several bodily processes, including nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.. A person whose vitamin B-12 … Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin, and deficiency is common. Methyl B12 is needed as a co-factor to convert homocysteine back into methionine. Your daily diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6. Low vitamin B12 levels cause a reduction in red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly (2). Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency. However, if you struggle to obtain enough or have a condition that affects absorption, supplements are a simple way to increase your B12 intake. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a number of important roles in the human body. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Adequate vitamin B12 levels are crucial to a healthy pregnancy. Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency include a decreased ability to absorb this vitamin due to low hydrochloric acid secretion, certain medications or gastrointestinal disease and surgeries. Once thought of as a single element, scientists now know that vitamin B is actually a complex assortment of nutrients. One study in more than 2,500 adults showed that people with a vitamin B12 deficiency also had lower than normal bone mineral density (5). Vitamin supplementation in disease prevention. Cyanocobalamin. The presence of folic acid (B9), vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin K in the body is very vital for the healthy functioning of the platelets as well as the overall body. This can cause symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels in your blood. It is vital for diabetics to get enough of the right nutrients, exercise and other lifestyle habits as a first step to reverse their chroni… While the benefits of Vitamin B12 are complex and wide-ranging, its foremost roles are in … Here are the top 12…. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as an oral supplement. Studies have shown that vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels, which may reduce your risk of heart disease (20, 21, 22). Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. On the other hand, if you’re significantly deficient in vitamin B12, taking a supplement or increasing your intake will likely improve your energy level (19). Vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss. Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. It also avoids miscarriage and premature birth. Though vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood and depression in people with a deficiency, research does not currently suggest that they have the same effect in those with normal B12 levels. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. But since it’s mainly consumed through meat and fish, people on plant-based or vegan diets might want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement, as well as consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12. When you’re anemic, your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to your vital organs. The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. In fact, one of the most common early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy. Vitamin B12 may play a vital role in your bone health. The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. Ultimately, further studies are needed to fully understand vitamin B12’s role in promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration. Bone Health. Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Another good way to assess one’s true B12 status is to measure total homocysteine (tHcy). The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types (11). All rights reserved. Currently, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin B12 supplements can boost energy in those with sufficient levels of this vitamin (18). This article examines each in detail, letting you know the best sources and how much you need. This content does not have an English version. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. An estimated 6% of people in the US and UK aged 60 or older have vitamin B12 deficiency, while about 20% have low to normal or borderline deficient levels (29). https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/b-vitamins-secret-good-skin-health Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. Therefore, further research is needed to understand the relationship between vitamin B12 and heart health. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (9, 10). Vitamin B12 is involved in energy production in your body. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. Either your diet lacks adequate amounts of it or your body is unable to fully absorb it from the food you eat. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. The crux of chronic disease reversal rests on correcting this imbalance. But, when a person doesn’t have the vigor to do it, it could be due to the lack of B12. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Maintaining adequate vitamin B12 levels may support your bone health. Methylcobalamin is the most active form of B12 in the body and is easily absorbed. Getting enough vitamin B12 through your diet is crucial. Vitamin B-12 supplements also are recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets. Vitamin B12 is crucial for the synthesis and maintenance of myelin sheaths, the covering that protects the nerves of the central and the peripheral nervous system. For most adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) is 2.4 mcg, though it’s higher for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (1). However, research does not currently support the claim that vitamin B12 reduces this risk. If you have normal B12 values, but high homocysteine levels, this may point to a deficiency or problem utilizing methyl B12. Healthy vitamin B12 levels are important for your hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal products. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that your body needs but cannot produce. More research is needed to make sound conclusions on the effect of vitamin B12 supplements on memory and cognitive function. Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. However, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don't contain vitamin B-12. High blood levels of the common amino acid homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Reduced level of vitamin B12 increases the risk of osteoporosis. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis [ 1-5 ]. Studies show that a fetus’s brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop properly. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. This type of B12 works well to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that at high levels increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. While vitamin B12 supplements are considered safe and non-toxic, taking large doses of around 1,000 milligrams can still be problematic. However, taking a supplement probably won’t improve your health in these areas if your levels are already sufficient. While the recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, you can safely take higher doses. Methylcobalamin is sometimes used in people with pernicious anemia, diabetes, and other conditions. A vitamin B12 … Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised. The higher the energy, the easier it is to maintain longer intercourse. Vitamin B12 can decrease blood homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Given vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of … However, if you’re well-nourished and not deficient in this vitamin, taking a supplement is unlikely to improve your skin, nail strength or hair health (28). Vitamin B12 is important for the brain and nerves, and for the production of red blood cells. Supports Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails. More research is needed to conclude if supplementing with this vitamin can improve memory in those without a deficiency. Vitamin B12 as well as all the other vitamins from the B family are vital for proper functioning of our body. A diet lacking in nutrients may cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. If your body has difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend intramuscular injections of B12 to increase your levels. If you eat a healthy, varied diet, preventing a vitamin B12 deficiency should be easy. Fairfield KM. The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia. One study in people with depression and low vitamin B12 levels found that those who received both antidepressants and vitamin B12 were more likely to show improved depressive symptoms, compared to those treated with antidepressants alone (12). Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as an oral supplement. And they are both innocuous at fairly high doses, up to 40,000 IU/day for vitamin D [3] and up to 5.0 mg/day for B12 (5,000 mcg). Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. They’re important for the prevention of brain and spinal cord birth defects. Bones with decreased mineral density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Low blood levels of this vitamin have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Given vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of this vitamin are needed to promote healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B12 may benefit your body in impressive ways, such as by boosting your energy, improving your memory and helping prevent heart disease. A few nutrients are either difficult or impossible to get in adequate amounts from plant foods. A good idea to take 1 mg of B12 ( 1,000 mcg a. 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