7 health benefits of vitamin B12

Posted 23 Days Ago in: Nutrition

CategoriesSearch

Vitamin B12 plays various roles in your body, including supporting nerve cell function, red blood cell production and DNA synthesis. Find out what it is, how it benefits your health and which foods are the best sources of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 plays various roles in your body, including supporting nerve cell function, red blood cell production and DNA synthesis. Find out what it is, how it benefits your health and which foods are the best sources of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is an important micronutrient for healthy nutrition.

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs, but doesn’t produce by itself. It’s found only in animal products such as fish, red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. However, strict vegans can supplement vitamin B12 orally or with a vitamin B12 injection.

Around 6% of the population in the UK and USA suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. A further 20% of the population have lower than average levels of vitamin B12 - placing them on the border of deficiency.

Seven health benefits of vitamin B12 

There are several health benefits of vitamin B12, these include:
 

1. Vitamin B12 supports healthy hair, skin and nails

Vitamin B12 plays a role in cell production, which is why it’s important for maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails.

2. Vitamin B12 may boost energy levels

Fatigue is one of the first signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency so, you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, supplementing vitamin B12 can help boost your energy levels. All of the B vitamins play a role in your body’s production of energy. There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that taking a vitamin B12 supplement helps to boost your energy levels if you already have sufficient vitamin B12 levels.
 

3. Vitamin B12 helps to reduce loss of brain neurons

Sufficient vitamin B12 can help reduce the loss of brain neurons (brain atrophy) which commonly occurs in elderly adults. A study on people with below average vitamin B12 levels, found that supplementing vitamin B12 improved their memory even without being diagnosed with a deficiency.
 

4. Vitamin B12 can help to improve your mood

Vitamin B12 helps synthesize and metabolise serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps promote feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression and irritability. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a decrease in your serotonin production, so supplementing vitamin B12 can help boost your mood.

5. Vitamin B12 supports bone health

Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bones. A vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to lower bone mineral density, which leads to conditions like osteoporosis - especially in older women.
 

6. Vitamin B12 helps to prevent anemia

Vitamin B12 is vital for red blood cell production (your red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to your organs). Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause reduced numbers of red blood cells, causing megaloblastic anemia. When your body isn’t getting sufficient oxygen, you could experience symptoms like weakness and fatigue.

7. Vitamin B12 supports eye health

Vitamin B12 can help maintain healthy eyesight. As we get older, many of us suffer from macular degeneration (loss of eyesight). In a study on 5 000 women over the age of 40, sufficient vitamin B12 intake was linked to 34-41% lowered risk of macular degeneration.

What are the best sources of vitamin B12?

If you’re following a food-first approach, these foods are the best sources of vitamin B12:

People at risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency

Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency 

If you do suffer from a deficiency in vitamin B12, you may experience some of the following symptoms.

Want to learn more about a healthy, balanced diet? Download our eBook, The beginner’s guide to healthy nutrition, for some expert insights from our wellness team.

Download eBook

Share:

Other Articles

Posted 28 Days Ago in: Genetics, Nutrition

Health Benefits of Omega-3

Omega-3 is an essential nutrient that not only protects us from heart disease but is important for our overall health.

Read More

Posted 30 Days Ago in: Genetics, Industry News

Introducing SnapShot: a simple, at home blood test by DNAFit

Get ready for a whole new era of self-guided health and wellness. SnapShot empowers you with knowledge about the inner workings of your body - helping you track your progress towards your health goals.

Read More

Never miss a post!

Get DNAFit's latest content straight to your inbox

We'll send you a monthly blog round-up filled with all our latest posts, eBooks, and special offers.

Start your DNAFit story today...

"I just want to improve my Diet"

Diet Pro

Now Includes MealPlanner

Diet Pro

We’ll help you eat the right way for you, and only you. Focus on nutrition with just our diet markers, supported by dietician coaching & our genetically guided MealPlanner system.

£149  £104.3

More InfoBuy Now

"I want to improve my Diet & Fitness"

Diet Fitness Pro 360

The New & Improved Fitness Diet Pro

Diet Fitness Pro 360

Eat the right way for you, and only you. Discover your personal genetic profile to make smarter diet choices, supported by qualified dietician coaching & our genetically guided MealPlanner system.

£179  £125.3

More InfoBuy Now