There are numerous vitamins and minerals that are necessary for our bodies to perform at top efficiency. Still, it can be hard to fit them all into our daily diet. This is why vitamin B12 supplements are so important.
For some vitamins, it's easy to get your daily requirement from your diet. For others, it is necessary to take a supplement to ensure that you get the amount you need every day, including vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 has a large role in maintaining many vital functions in our body, including those done in your brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B12 Supplements: Why You Probably Need to Take One
Big Benefits of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is vital to your health. Your body requires Vitamin B, and it may even help with the following things:
- Assist in the production of energy in cells
- Maintain the nervous system
- Prevent brain shrinkage
- Grow and develop as a child
- Protect against heart disease and stroke
- Lower bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Promote skin, hair, and nail cell production
- Maintain proper circulation
- Support female health
- Promote mental health and memory
Where Do I Get Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal by-products like meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Because of this, vegetarians need to purchase food fortified with extra vitamins or take vitamin B12 supplements. Consuming Vitamin B12 can also be done through nasal sprays, gels, and injections. It is important to talk with your healthcare professional to see if you should be supplementing vitamin B12 and in what dosage.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Since organs like the liver and kidneys are the ones that store Vitamin B12, knowing whether you are Vitamin B12 deficient can be difficult. However, when symptoms do appear, you might experience:
- Decreased memory function
- Pernicious anemia
- Tingling and weakness in the limb
Who Needs Vitamin B12 Supplements?
As you age, your body absorbs B12 at a decreased rate. Because of this, if you are older than 50, you should consume or supplement around 6 to 15 micrograms per day. Fortified foods offer quick absorption of B12.
Since a vegetarian diet does not offer any sources of B12 naturally, vegetarians need to find a way to add Vitamin B12 to their diets. The easiest and most readily available way would be through Vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 Needs Protein to Absorb Properly
Vitamin B12 is the largest vitamin molecule that exists. For this reason, it requires a protein, known as an intrinsic factor, to help in the absorption process. An intrinsic factor is a protein that is made in the stomach lining. Intrinsic factors will attach to Vitamin B12 in the stomach and travel with the B12 into the small intestine.
When entering the large intestine, the intrinsic factor will pull the large B12 molecule into the intestine, where your body can absorb the B12. You may develop pernicious anemia if your body does not make enough intrinsic factors to absorb Vitamin B12 in the large intestine.
Because of the importance of vitamin B12, it is important to know how to get enough of it and the necessary complements. If you don't get enough B12, it would be wise to consider vitamin B12 supplements and keep your body strong and healthy.