Vitamin B12: An Essential Nutrient for Overall Health

Vitamin B12: An Essential Nutrient for Overall Health
Vitamin B12, also known as folate, cobalamin, or cyanocobalamin, is naturally present in certain foods and is a vital nutrient for maintaining health. The body cannot produce it naturally, so obtaining it from food and, in some cases, vitamin supplements in the form of tablets or injections is essential.

If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, it indicates that your body isn't producing enough red blood cells, potentially leading to anemia.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a B-complex vitamin essential for life. The body requires it for DNA synthesis (the genetic material of cells), energy production, and proper functioning of the central nervous system. Additionally, vitamin B12 contributes to the formation of red blood cells, transporting oxygen to organs such as the heart, and supports the immune system in combating diseases.

This water-soluble vitamin dissolves in water and is transported through the bloodstream. The body can store vitamin B12 in the liver for several years, and any excess not needed is excreted through urine. It belongs to the B group of vitamins, playing a crucial role in maintaining our health.

What Does Vitamin B12 Do?

Vitamin B12 is necessary for various functions, including:
  1. Brain and Nervous System Functioning.
  2. Cognitive Function (Thinking).
  3. Red Blood Cell Formation (alongside folic acid).
  4. Anemia Prevention.
  5. Energy Production.
  6. Prevention of Cognitive Abnormalities.
  7. Protection of Eyes and Vision from Degeneration.
  8. Production of Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails.
Pregnant women should ensure their vitamin B12 levels are sufficient for the proper development of their baby.

Where Can You Find Vitamin B12?

Sources of vitamin B12 include specific foods and nutrients in your daily diet, such as:
  1. Fish and Seafood.
  2. Dairy Products (milk, cheese, and yogurt).
  3. Eggs.
  4. Poultry (chicken and turkey).
  5. Red Meat (beef, lamb, and beef liver).
It's essential to include these foods in your nutrition. Vegetarians and vegans may be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, especially vegans, as the mentioned foods are of animal origin or derived from animals.

Some food products are fortified with vitamin B12, such as cereals, plant-based beverages, and dairy products, among others. It's advisable to read labels to check for added B12. However, if a food naturally contains it, the label may not necessarily indicate it.

Vitamin B12 can also be taken as an oral supplement in the form of tablets. In cases of severe deficiency, such as anemia, a B12 injection may be administered.

This vitamin is also included in some multivitamin supplements, offering various health benefits available over the counter. It's crucial to read the labels of vitamin supplements and monitor the daily dosage. Different over-the-counter products contain varying amounts of vitamins and minerals. Consulting with a pharmacist can help determine the best supplement for your circumstances.

Vitamin B12 is vital, and the required amount should ideally come from the foods you consume. However, vegetarians and vegans may need a supplement, especially vegans who consume no animal products. For the latter group, daily or weekly supplementation (depending on the B12 dosage in the supplement) is recommended.
If you suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency, consult your doctor.
Where Can I Find Vitamin B12

How to Consume Vitamin B12?

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) for adults. If pregnant or breastfeeding, you should take between 2.6 and 2.8 mcg per day. For children, 2.5 mcg is advised up to the age of 6, and 4 mcg until adulthood.

While there is no maximum amount of vitamin B12 that can be taken without harming the body, an excess is believed to increase the risk of bone fractures and gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea.

Side Effects of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency may take many years to manifest, as the body stores it for future needs. The body stores 1,000 to 2,000 times more vitamin B12 than it needs daily and can preserve it for up to four years.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
  1. Fatigue or Weakness (which may also result from an iron deficiency, as red blood cells fail to transport sufficient oxygen).
  2. Heart Palpitations to compensate for the reduced number of red blood cells.
  3. Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss due to gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Very Pale Skin, a sign of jaundice.
  5. Inability to Maintain Balance and Difficulty Walking due to nerve damage.
  6. Mouth or Tongue Pain due to reduced red blood cells.
  7. Numbness in Hands or Feet (tingling sensation) due to nerve damage.
  8. Lack of Clarity of Thought and Memory Loss due to oxygen deficiency in the brain.
  9. Breathing Difficulties due to a lack of red blood cells.

A deficiency in vitamin B12, and other B-group vitamins, can also impact mental health, causing depression, nervousness, and confusion. This vitamin synthesizes and metabolizes serotonin, the chemical responsible for mood. Without vitamin B12, the body couldn't produce the necessary serotonin for mental balance.

Additionally, it's worth noting the effect vitamin B12 may have on memory. People with dementia or memory loss experience a loss of neurons in the brain. These conditions can be slowed down by taking a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish). However, it's essential to emphasize that vitamin B12 does not cure dementia; it can only alleviate symptoms.

If you suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency due to symptoms.
All the information on this website – – is published in good faith and for general health information purposes only. We do not provide any personal or general health advice. You must immediately contact the local emergency personnel or immediately go to the nearest medical facility if you have an urgent emergency for the best advice and care. Wholenessly makes no recommendation, endorsement, or representation about the efficacy, appropriateness, or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers, or other information contained on or accessible via this website. Wholenessly is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products obtained through this website. This website’s content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content on or available through this website, including text, graphics, images, and information, is for general information purposes only and is created with the assistance of certified, licensed, or registered healthcare professionals, signed, and external contributors. Wholenessly makes no representation and accepts no liability for the accuracy of the information on or accessible via this website. This information is subject to change at any time without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this website with other sources and consult your physician about any medical condition or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice or delay seeking medical attention.
From Wholenessly , you can visit other websites by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and may occur before we have the opportunity to remove a link that may have gone ‘bad’.
These disclaimers are included on this site for your convenience. These disclaimers are added to the terms of service for Wholenessly and are a part of them.


    In this intersecting world
    Open your mind and open your heart as we embark on a discursive exploration of the many facets that make up the beautiful tapestry of human existence.
    of health and spirituality, we invite
    you to journey with us
    Together, we will uncover the wisdom that transcends boundaries and discover the profound inspiration that lies within.
    Subscribe to our newsletter

    In this intersecting world of health and spirituality, we invite you to journey with us