Vitamin B12 is of vital importance for your body system as it takes part in large number of crucial processes within the body.
Therefore, if the body lacks this vitamin it can lead to various illnesses and health disruptions.
This vitamin offers many health benefits, and because of that we cannot focus on all of them, we will show you only four which for sure will prove you the importance of this vitamin.
Furthermore, we will present you four symptoms of vitamin B12 shortage and some food sources which are helpful in the prevention of such conditions triggered by lack of this vitamin.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
- Heart Protection
Heart disease is the capital reason of death all around the world; therefore you need to do everything in your power to protect it since it is the number one organ in the human body. Vitamin B12 is highly beneficial for your heart as it can diminish the main cause of heart disease, and that is increased levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
Namely, the levels of homocysteine in the blood are greatly impacted by the levels of vitamin B12 and other B-complex vitamins in the blood. Vitamin B12 can decrease the blood levels of homocysteine by which it will lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Nerve Damage Prevention
Vitamin B12 assists the body to replenish myelin sheath, a protective covering accountable for keeping your nerves safe from toxins and harmful free radicals.
If such covering does not exist your nerves can be easily damaged and terminated for good. Consequently, dead nerves will interrupt the signals to and from the brain and can trigger nerve-related disorders.
- Bones Need Vitamin B12
People suffering from osteoporosis have higher levels of homocysteine and lower levels of vitamin B12 contrary to the people with healthy and strong bones.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition accompanied with brittle, fragile or weak bones as a result of loss of tissue. Therefore, individuals that struggle with osteoporosis or as a matter of fact from any other bone condition are strongly advised to ask their doctor to check their vitamin B12 levels.
- Supports Energy
Vitamin B12 takes good care of your cells meaning it feeds them, keeps them healthy and happy so that they produce sufficient amounts of energy needed for the body. If the body lacks vitamin B12 then cells turn hungry which makes you feel tired and weak.
This vitamin is vital for the metabolism because it is able to change carbohydrates into usable glucose highly needed for the creation of energy. This is one of the facts that can cause fatigue if the body lacks vitamin B12.
This vitamin is of great essence to your body so that it can do the neurotransmitter signaling which assists muscle contraction and offers the needed energy for executing daily activities without feeling tired or weak.
4 Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
The way how they will appear very much depends on the body, in some cases the symptoms of vitamin B12 shortage appear quickly, and in most of the cases they appear gradually and intensify over time.
This vitamin takes part in cells formation of erythrocytes which are carriers of oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, shortage of B12 can lead to insufficient amounts of these cells, or a medical condition known as anemia. Individuals struggling with anemia are feeling weak and tired. Lack of B12 can also damage the nerves and influence the memory.
- A Swollen, Inflamed Tongue
Individuals with severe shortage of vitamin B12 lose papillae, the little bumps on the tongues. Most frequently they lose papillae around the edges of the tongue and taste buds located on these bumps which mean that they have also lost their taste.
Another symptom is soreness and burning sensation on the back of the tongue. Women who are lack of this vitamin lose their appetite since the food does not taste the same which eventually in most cases lead to loss of weight.
- Numbness, Strange Sensations
Due to the low oxygen levels in cells, nerves can be damaged which can lead to “pins and needles” sensation or numbness going through your head to your feet.
This is one of the main symptoms of B12 deficiency. As a result of the insufficient amount of oxygen in cells, people feel tired no matter how long they have slept. Yet, persistent sleepiness does not always mean that you are short of vitamin B12.This symptom is commonly accompanied with the other symptoms previously mentioned.
Food Sources of Vitamin B12
- Clams –are rich in vitamin B12 and potassium. They are also abundant with iron, for instance 3 oz. of clams contain 23.8 mg iron and 126 calories.
- Beef – is packed with vitamin B12 and vitamin A. However, always go for the leaner beef.
- Eggs–are as well as high in vitamin B12. They are not expensive with such versatile uses and they can be included to soups, salads, stir-fries, and so on.
- Turkey– is an incredible source of vitamin B12. Namely, one cup of turkey contains 48.2 mg of this vitamin.
Vegan Food Sources of Vitamin B12
- Plant-based milk such as soymilk, almond milk, and coconut milk
- Nutritional yeasts