Vitamin B12 is one of the most important B complex vitamins and is needed for good health. This vitamin was first discovered to be useful in the 1940s when it was found to cure pernicious anemia. The benefits of vitamin B12 are numerous and include helping other B vitamins to process carbohydrates into glucose, which provides basic energy.
Vitamin B12 is needed to maintain certain body functions, such as red blood cell production, metabolism regulation, and maintenance of the central nervous system. Eye and eye health also benefit from vitamin B12 as it protects the lenses by helping prevent cataracts. Another important benefit of this vitamin is its ability to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. With proper vitamin B12 intake, homocysteine levels are maintained at normal levels, thereby reducing the chances of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 also has the ability to increase energy levels and fight fatigue. It helps relieve symptoms of depression because it increases serotonin levels, and many studies conducted with this vitamin have shown that this vitamin can increase sperm count in men with very low levels. Many diseases and disorders are treated with B12, which improves or eliminates these diseases. These include insomnia, allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, tendonitis, and memory loss.
Even though the body produces little vitamin B12, it is not enough to meet the body’s needs. Vitamin B12 must be consumed daily and is found in foods such as fish, shellfish, meat, dairy products and eggs. Many people who avoid animal foods have problems related to vitamin B12 deficiency. These include irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and in some cases, depression or psychosis. Deficiency of this vitamin is sometimes difficult to characterize, although there are some common symptoms which include waking up tired and sleeping, short-term white patches on the skin, numbness of the tongue, shortness of breath, migraines, short-term memory loss, sore spots on the skin of the mouth and unstable nervous shock. The gastrointestinal system can also be affected by a vitamin B12 deficiency. Symptoms can include constipation, diarrhea, pain, and excessive gas.
People who may be at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include children, the elderly, vegetarians, and anyone who has problems processing and storing the vitamin in their bodies, as well as those who eat an imbalance. Vitamin B12 is available in supplemental form which is available in sublingual tablets or pills.