The importance of Vitamin B12

With people leading ever-more busy lives, and the growing availability of vitamin supplementation, B12 shots are becoming a common vitamin boost.

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the body’s metabolic processes such as red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and neurological function. It is probably most well known for its assistance in coping with stress and its function in maintaining energy levels.

Vitamin B12

B12 is part of the B group of vitamins, which, along with vitamin C, are water soluble. Vitamins A, D and E are fat soluble; they can build up in fatty tissue to potentially toxic levels over repeated overexposure, whereas excess water soluble vitamins are excreted by the body through urine.

The body cannot make B12 – it must be obtained by animal-based foods or supplements. Vegans, vegetarians or individuals with digestive disorders affecting absorption are most at risk to be vitamin B12 deficient. Symptoms of this deficiency range from pale skin to depression, however, it can be confirmed with a simple blood test (it should be noted that this can sometimes give a false “normal” result, so if you are concerned talk to your doctor about the secondary tests available).

Some of the many benefits of vitamin B12 include:

More energy

B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates into usable glucose for energy (one of the reasons people deficient in the vitamin often report fatigue). It also is responsible for a neurotransmitter which tells your muscles to contract, resulting in movement feeling easier.

Improved mood

The regulation of the nervous system is one of the most well-researched aspects of vitamin B12. B12, along with Folate, produce a compound called SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) which is crucial for neurological function and dealing with stress and mood regulation. A deficiency of B12 can sometimes manifest as mood disorders, depression, and the lack of ability to concentrate.

Heart health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Vitamin B12 not only lowers homocysteine levels in the blood but can also potentially help with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. All benefits that contribute to a decreased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Healthy hair and skin

Since B12 plays a significant role in cell reproduction, it is crucial for healthy skin and hair. It can reduce skin redness, dryness, and acne scarring, and can help strengthen nails and reduce hair breakage.

Digestive assistance

Due to the part B12 plays in digestive enzyme production, it is crucial in supporting metabolism. These enzymes not only help with food digestion but also contribute to fostering healthy gut bacteria and produce digestive enzymes. This, combined with the effect of eliminating harmful bacteria in the digestive tract are factors in preventing diseases such as Candida and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

B12 can be supplemented orally, but the absorption rates are higher (and results more immediate) via intramuscular or IV administration. At The Dose, we use Neurobion Vitamin B, which comes with B1, B6 and B12 (and creates to the IV’s pink colour). The B12 in this formula is B12 Cyanocobalamin 5000mcg. There are various forms of B12 on the market, but no scientific consensus on the advantages of one over another. We encourage individuals to find the formula that best suits their unique needs.

 

Further reading:

Resource 1

Resource 2