There are many benefits to vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 also called cobalamin, is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body: it is a cofactor in DNA synthesis and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. It is particularly important in the normal functioning of the nervous system via its role in the synthesis of myelin, and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins; it is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin. It consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show physiological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt (chemical symbol Co) positioned in the center of a corrin ring. The only organisms to produce vitamin B12 are certain bacteria and archaea. Some of these bacteria are found in the soil around the grasses that ruminants eat; they are taken into the animal, proliferate, form part of their gut flora, and continue to produce vitamin B12.
There are no naturally-occurring notable vegetable dietary sources of the vitamin, so vegans and vegetarians are advised to take a supplement or fortified foods. Otherwise, most omnivorous people in developed countries obtain enough vitamin B12 from consuming animal products including meat, milk, eggs, and fish. Staple foods, especially those that form part of a vegan diet, are often fortified by having the vitamin added to them. Vitamin B12 supplements are available in a single agent or multivitamin tablets, and pharmaceutical preparations may be given by intramuscular injection.
The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in developed countries is impaired absorption due to a loss of gastric intrinsic factor, which must be bound to food-source B12 in order for absorption to occur. Another group affected are those on long-term antacid therapy, using proton pump inhibitors, histamine II receptor antagonists or other antacids. This condition may be characterized by limb neuropathy or a blood disorder called pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia. Folate levels in the individual may affect the course of pathological changes and symptomatology. Deficiency is more likely after age 60 and increases in incidence with advancing age. Dietary deficiency is very rare in developed countries due to access to dietary meat and fortified foods, but children in some regions of developing countries are at particular risk due to increased requirements during growth coupled with lack of access to dietary B12; adults in these regions are also at risk. Other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency are much less frequent.
Vitamin B12 is produced industrially via bacterial fermentation. Vitamin B12 total synthesis has been achieved but has no practical value. Vitamin B12 was discovered as a result of its relationship to pernicious anemia
Benefits of B12 Injections:
- Might Reduce Depression, Cognitive Decline and Dementia: Some studies show that, especially in older people, supplementing with vitamin B12 can prevent depression, restore better mood control and retain healthy memory/mental functioning.
- Helps Lower Fatigue: Restoring vitamin B12 to healthy levels can treat anemia, help with conversion of macronutrients and production of creatine (beneficial for building muscle mass), and reduce muscle weakness.
- Can Help Improve Your Metabolism: Some people turn to vitamin B12 shots to overcome a sluggish metabolism and even help with weight loss. Because injections might give patients more energy and regulate hormone production, it’s possible to experience changes in appetite, improved sleep, and better exercise performance. Some even claim B12 shots improve the appearance of their skin, hair, and nails.
- Protects the Heart: Elevated homocysteine levels have been identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of adults in industrialized nations. Vitamin B12 is needed for conversion of homocysteine and therefore can prevent conditions or complications like heart attack, stroke or coronary heart disease.
- Improves Low Sperm Count
- Helps with Fetal Development During Pregnancy
- Helps Prevent or Treat Diabetic Neuropathy
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