Sunday 14 November 2021

Vitamin B12


Vitamin B12, like most nutrients is something that many of us eat daily but don't fully understand. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is known as cobalamin. It plays a vital role in cell metabolism. Some of them include maintaining healthy nerve cells (keeping the normal nervous system) and red blood cell production. It's also good for skin, hair, and nails. Its deficiency is a severe problem as it can alter memory, mood, and heart health and can lead to certain forms of skin diseases. Without adequate amounts of this vitamin, the body’s ability to perform its job deteriorates as one won’t have enough physical, emotional and mental energy to survive through the day.

Benefits of Vitamin B12

May Prevent Birth Defects: vitamin B12 is one of the important micronutrients during pregnancy. A deficiency can also lead to folate deficiency, and this adversely affects pregnancy. A deficiency can cause spontaneous abortion and risk of neural tube defects( in the new born). It may also lead to preterm delivery. The deficiency in the mother may also cause the same in the newborn if sufficient vitamin B12 is not available in breast milk.

Helps in Red Blood Cells Formation: Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells. Low levels of B12 can result in fewer red blood cells forming and also prevent cells from developing fully.  When the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells, one can become anemic. Signs of anemia can include dizziness, weakness, headaches, and shortness of breath.

Help Maintain Bone Health: Vitamin B12 is linked to bone formation and low levels of this vitamin is associated to lower mineral density.

Boost Brain Health: vitamin B12 has a beneficial effect on mood. It is believed the vitamin produces brain chemicals responsible for a better mood, helps treat stress and certain anxiety disorders.

Support Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails: As vitamin B12 plays an essential role in cell production, it’s crucial for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Low levels can result in a ton of dermatologic symptoms like hyperpigmentation, hair changes, nail discoloration, a loss of skin color in patches, and cracked mouth corners

Deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B-12 deficiency occurs when the body does not receive enough vitamin B-12. Even slightly lower than normal levels of vitamin B-12 may trigger deficiency symptoms, such as depression, confusion, memory problems, and fatigue.  It can result in potentially and irreversible severe damage, especially to the nervous system and brain.

Other deficiency symptoms include constipation, loss of appetite, and weight. Infants who lack vitamin B-12 may demonstrate unusual movements, such as face tremors, as well as reflex problems, feeding difficulties, irritation, and eventual growth problems if the deficiency is left untreated. In adults, once symptoms escalate, they can include neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Some people may have difficulty maintaining balance.

Insufficient vitamin B-12 can also lead to anemia. The most common symptoms of anemia are fatigue, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat. People with anemia might also experience: pale or yellowing skin, menstrual problems, diarrhea etc.

Taking adequate vitamin B12 can help you avoid these symptoms.

The Food Sources Of Vitamin

Milk and milk products, fish (sardine, salmon, tuna), beef, chicken liver, egg, Shellfish (Clams or Lobster), fortified Cereals.

Including these foods in your diet can help you meet your regular vitamin B12 requirements.




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