Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining healthy nerve cells and producing DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It also plays a role in the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids.
But is that all there is to vitamin B12? Certainly not. Vitamin B12 has a myriad of benefits, including potential roles in bone health, memory enhancement, and cardiovascular health. As we look forward to a Christmas season filled with warmth, festive cheer, family traditions, and an abundance of gifts, let’s also make room for health and wellness. In the spirit of the season, we’re delighted to present 12 fascinating facts about Vitamin B12 - consider it our Christmas gift to you:
- B12 symptoms can be range from physical to psychological
Did you know that a severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more? The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can vary from physical to psychological. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, pale skin, headaches, stomach issues, mouth pain, etc. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to complications such as anemia, nerve damage, and dementia. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- It is important to use a trusted B12 vitamin
What’s in your vitamin B12 supplement? It may not be what you think. Some supplements contain low-quality ingredients, artificial additives, or allergens that can harm your health in the long run. This is why you should choose the Vitamin B12 supplement from Black Girl Vitamins. It is a natural and vegan product that provides you with the optimal dose of vitamin B12 in a delicious gummy form. It is free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, synthetic colors, dairy, and high fructose corn syrup. It is also Halal, gluten-free, and gelatin-free. This season, only select the best option for your vitamin B12 needs.
- B12 can be found in nutritious foods
Now is a good time to include nutrient-rich foods in your holiday meals to boost your Vitamin B12 levels. One way to do this is by preparing a hearty roast with lean beef, a rich source of B12. You could also consider adding a seafood platter to your menu, as shellfish and fish like salmon are packed with this essential vitamin. For those with a sweet tooth, a dessert made from dairy products like yogurt or cheese can provide a delicious and nutritious end to the meal. For your convenience, you should list 10 nutritious recipes that you can rotate for a healthy balanced diet this holiday.
- B12 Benefits for Heart Health
Vitamin B12 is a key player in maintaining heart health. It facilitates the production of red blood cells, helping to ward off anemia that could put undue strain on the heart. Furthermore, B12 works in tandem with other B vitamins to keep homocysteine levels in the blood in check, as high levels are associated with heart disease. Since the trick to a joyful heart is a healthy one, maintaining sufficient B12 levels is a significant step toward overall well-being.
- B12 Helps Strengthen Bones
Vitamin B12 is often associated with nerve health and red blood cell production but is a silent champion when it comes to bone health. Did you know that it helps in the production of osteoblasts, the cells that are the building blocks of our bones? A lack of Vitamin B12 can hinder the effective functioning of these osteoblasts, leading to a decrease in bone strength. Hence, ensuring a sufficient intake of Vitamin B12 is not just beneficial, but required for the maintenance of strong, healthy bones.
- B12 deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia
What do you know about Pernicious anemia, a condition that affects your blood cells? It interferes with the stomach's ability to produce intrinsic factor, a protein that helps the body absorb vitamin B12 from food. Pernicious anemia is believed to be more common in people with northern European or African ancestry. It can cause vitamin B12 deficiency if not treated with vitamin B12 injections or supplements such as the BGV Vitamin B12. In cases of anemia, other supplements such as Iron Gummies are also highly recommended.
- Your B12 levels can be affected by your gut health
Did you know that certain conditions affecting the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or a tapeworm infection, could potentially disrupt your absorption of vitamin B12? If you're dealing with intestinal issues, the Gut Health Essentials would be a great ally. This supplement is intended to improve your gut health and your body's ability to absorb vitamin B12. It contains probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and other natural components that work together to improve your digestive health.
- If you think B12 deficiency only happens with vegans and vegetarians, you're wrong
One of the most common myths is that only vegans and vegetarians are at risk of B12 deficiency. However, anyone can be deficient in B12, especially older adults, people with gastrointestinal disorders, and those who take certain medications. Another myth is that taking too much B12 is dangerous. Because B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, your body will excrete any excess. However, you should still follow the recommended intake – too much B12 may cause some side effects, such as acne, headache, nausea, or anxiety.
- B12 can also be found in plant-based foods
As a veggie lover, you might be wondering how to maintain adequate levels of B12, since it is mainly found in animal products. Fortunately, there are some vegetarian and vegan sources of vitamin B12 that you can include in your diet. These include fortified foods, such as cereals, plant milk, tofu, and nutritional yeast, which have added vitamin B12. Some other plant-based sources are seaweed, algae, and shiitake mushrooms. So, even with a green plate, you can keep your B12 levels soaring high.
- You can take a test to see your B12 levels
A deficiency or an excess of vitamin B12 can cause various symptoms and complications. This is why you need to determine your B12 levels by taking a test. The normal levels usually range from 200 to 900 picograms per milliliter. If you want to take a vitamin B12 test, you have two options: you can get a blood test from your doctor or order a home urine test online. A blood test is more accurate and reliable, but it requires a clinic visit and a needle prick. A urine test is more convenient and painless, but it may not be as precise and consistent. Taking a vitamin B12 test will help you find out whether you need to adjust your diet, take supplements, or seek medical treatment.
2 Days To Christmas: Vitamin B12 Deficiency Risks
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition that can affect anyone, but some people may have a higher risk than others. According to research, Black people, especially those of African and Caribbean descent, may have genetic factors that impair the absorption and utilization of vitamin B12 from the food they eat. As Black women, we may be more prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, because we often consume less vitamin B12 in our diet, have higher rates of pernicious anemia, and need more vitamin B12 during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency because it can cause serious health problems.
- This holiday season, keep your B12 levels in mind
The Christmas period is known for its abundance of delicacies, and this can lead us to overindulge in meals that are not always healthy. However, we need to keep in mind that our dietary choices have significant effects on our physical and emotional well-being. To stay alert and focused during the festive period, it’s beneficial to opt for B12-rich foods and supplements that nourish both your body and mind.
Therefore, as we decorate the halls and jingle all the way this Christmas, remember to fill our plates with B12-rich foods as well. After all, the best present we can give to ourselves is good health choices. Do not forget to order supplements from Black Girl Vitamins this holiday. Also, share the goodness of BGV vitamin B12 with your loved ones this Christmas.
Reviewed by Bryanne N. Standifer-barrett, MD