Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin for your overall health, but it has an essential role in your blood cells and nerves. It takes part in the creation of genetic material in our cells and optimal levels of this vitamin protect our organism from megaloblastic anemia. The symptoms of this condition are an overall feeling of weakness and tiredness.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for the following functions:
- Prevents Nerve Damage
The nerves in our body are protected with an external layer called myelin sheaths and they keep them safe from damaging outside factors, like toxins and free radicals. Without these sheaths the nerves can get damaged and even start to die off. These dead nerves can not transfer the signals from and to your brain properly and you gradually start to lose some nerve functions, which may lead to nerve-related conditions. Vitamin B12 supports the way your body replenishes this protective covering.
- Protects The Heart
Vitamin B12 is essential for your heart and your entire cardiovascular system. One of its most important functions is to remove a dangerous protein called homocysteine from the blood. If you lack vitamin B12, this protein will roam through your blood causing arterial damage and eventually leading to inflammation and heart disease.
- Supports Energy
Your body needs vitamin B12 to create energy. When you have an ample amount of this vitamin, your cells are fed, healthy and happy. Insufficient amounts make your cells hungry, causing you to feel weak, tired and drained constantly.
- Your Bones Need It
If you suffer from osteoporosis you probably have higher levels of homocysteine and lower levels of B12 than people with strong, healthy bones. If you have fragile bones due to some medical condition consult your doctor and discuss a possible B12 deficiency.
Usually this deficiency develops slowly and gradually, which is why many people fail to notice it at first. Among the most noticeable warning signs are:
- Strange Sensations, Numbness
- A swollen, Inflamed Tongue
If you notice these symptoms consult your doctor and check your B12 levels, they could be dangerously low.
The greatest food sources of vitamin B12
The biggest sources of this vitamin are animal products. There are some plant food products which can be fortified with vitamin B12 but you need to check the labels to see which ones have been fortified with this exact vitamin. These are the best sources of vitamin B12:
- Clams and beef liver
- Eggs, poultry, meat, fish, milk, and dairy products
- Nutritional yeast, certain cereals, and some fortified foods
Don’t leave your deficiency untreated!
Vitamin B12 deficiency can easily be treated; you just need to know if you suffer from it first. This vitamin is water soluble and non-toxic, meaning you can take it orally or in the form of injections and resolve your problem fast and simple. Or you can try to resolve it naturally by eating vitamin B12 rich foods. Consult with your doctor to determine which course of treatment works best for you.