Now, more than ever, we’re all on the lookout for our personal health, making sure we get the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep ourselves in the best condition possible. Today, we’re focusing on a specific vitamin that our bodies need for neurological health, blood cell formation, and energy production. Let’s talk about vitamin B12!
A needed supplement
Also known as cobalamin, our body can’t produce vitamin B12 naturally, so absorbing it through foods or supplements is the only way to get it. This water-soluble nutrient is found primarily in animal products like poultry, meat, fish, and dairy products, so those who follow a plant-based diet may be at risk of deficiency, and are generally advised to supplement.
Some people, including older adults, may have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from foods and may be at particular risk of deficiency. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage, and cognitive issues like confusion and poor memory.
The brain’s BFF
Vitamin B12 is closely linked with brain health. A 2020 study found an association between vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive impairment, and reported an improvement in symptoms following three months of supplementation with vitamin B12.
B12 may also help with depression. Studies have demonstrated a benefit of supplementation with vitamin B12 alongside antidepressants in patients with low-normal B12 levels and depression. Vitamin B12 is also commonly used to increase energy levels in athletes whose blood levels of vitamin B12 are lower than normal.
Vitamin B12 supplements are a health food store staple, and can be acquired as flavoured lozenges, gummies, and pills. Vitamin B12 is often included in multivitamin formulations and is also part of vitamin-B complex supplement products that include the range of B vitamins. Check with your knowledgeable natural health retailer to find out which formulation might be best for you.