What is Vitamin B12 and What are its Benefits?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that the body needs but cannot produce. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is absorbed in the stomach and then reaches the blood and cells. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal foods and can also be added to foods or supplements. It is needed to form red blood cells and DNA, and is a key player in the function and development of brain and nerve cells.

All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B-complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and proteins. They are necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver, as well as for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 helps lower homocysteine levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

It also works with folate to produce S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound involved in immune function and mood. The main dietary sources of vitamin B12 are animal products because animals obtain vitamin B12 through microbial symbiosis. Healthy red blood cells are small and round, while in cases of vitamin B12 deficiency they become larger and usually oval. It is recommended that people over 50 eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 or even a vitamin B12 supplement to meet their needs.

If you take vitamin B12 supplements in addition to the vitamin-rich foods you eat, you could experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Vitamin B12 is available in intranasal form (administered through the nose), as well as in oral tablets, capsules, soft gels and lozenges. Although there is no evidence that vitamin B12 alone reduces the risk of breast cancer, population studies have shown that women who consume more folate in their diet have a lower risk of breast cancer. In conclusion, Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in many bodily functions.

It helps lower homocysteine levels which may reduce the risk of heart disease, produces S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) which is involved in immune function and mood, and helps form red blood cells and DNA. The main dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal products, but it can also be added to foods or supplements. People over 50 should eat foods fortified with Vitamin B12 or take a supplement to meet their needs.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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