With its current fad status, Vitamin B12 is often overlooked as having serious health benefits beyond weight loss, but don’t let its reputation fool you. It’s actually an essential nutrient in maintaining overall health.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for proper brain, circulatory, and nervous system functioning. It is also responsible for the production of red blood cells and proper digestive functioning. Put simply, B12 helps our bodies operate more efficiently.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
Given its importance, let’s take a look at seven distinct benefits of Vitamin B12.
- Weight Loss
Vitamin B12 can help you shed those extra pounds, but the reason might surprise you. This nutrient provides a boost to your metabolism, which allows your body to effectively burn the calories that you are eating. While this won’t make up for a poor diet and lack of exercise, when coupled with proper nutrition it will ensure you get more life out of the food you eat.
- Maintains Energy Levels
Just as it helps metabolic function, Vitamin B12 also helps the body maintain adequate energy levels. Many of us go throughout the day feeling drained. If you’re constantly tired, it’s likely that insufficient levels of Vitamin B12 is the culprit.
- Improves Memory
Vitamin B12 can inhibit the memory loss that people often experience as they get older. In fact, studies have shown that getting enough vitamin B12 may help to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease and guard against dementia.
- Reduce Depression
The way we feel directly impacts all areas of our lives. When we are depressed it affects our jobs, our home lives and even our personal relationships. Vitamin B12 lessens the effects of depression, as it is improves nervous system functioning.
- Improves Sleep Patterns
If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up with enough energy, vitamin B12 may be able to help. This nutrient is known to help your sleep patterns improve.
- Fights Diseases
Vitamin B12 helps with proper DNA synthesis, which can prevent cancer cells from forming. It can also help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the amount of homocysteine in the body. As if cancer and heart disease weren’t enough, B12 also reduces the risk of Pernicious anemia by ensuring red blood cell production.
- Reduces Birth Defects
Proper nutrition is critical when you’re expecting. B12 helps with DNA synthesis. This not only helps to prevent cancer cells from forming, but also helps a fetus to develop properly, thereby reducing the chance of birth defects.
Getting Enough Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in most animal products and by-products, such as meat, eggs and dairy, as well as in some types of fish. Most of us consume enough Vitamin B12 through our diet- with the exception of vegans and vegetarians. Even so, supplements may be needed or wanted for those lacking or that want to incorporate a little extra into their diet.
Several popular supplement options are available, such as pills, drops, patches and B12 injections, which can be found in health stores or online. Of these, injectable B12 is often recommended as the delivery process guarantees that the full dose of B12 is absorbed and used by the body.
Proper levels of Vitamin B12 can dramatically increase our quality of life. While B12 may help you lose weight, it does much more – helping the body to run more efficiently. The truth is this: It’s not about your waistline; it’s about your health.