Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Because your body is capable of storing several years' worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. Vegans are also at risk since B12 is only found in animal products. Methylcobalamin is the most active form of B12 in the body and is easily absorbed. The presence of folic acid (B9), vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin K in the body is very vital for the healthy functioning of the platelets as well as the overall body. Vitamin B12 is important for the brain and nerves, and for the production of red blood cells. Studies support the use of vitamin B12 supplements for improving symptoms of depression in people deficient in this vitamin. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. And they are both innocuous at fairly high doses, up to 40,000 IU/day for vitamin D [3] and up to 5.0 mg/day for B12 (5,000 mcg). Vitamin B12 can restore the body’s energy. One study in people with depression and low vitamin B12 levels found that those who received both antidepressants and vitamin B12 were more likely to show improved depressive symptoms, compared to those treated with antidepressants alone (12). Vitamin B12 is an important member of the B vitamin family. Talk with the doctor. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (9, 10). Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types (11). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/. Even though some plant-based milks or grains may have been fortified with vitamin B12, vegan diets are often limited in this vitamin, putting people at risk of deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults. Bones with decreased mineral density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Methionine synthase catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine to methionine [ 5, 6 ]. A diet lacking in nutrients may cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Your body absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances. However, if you think that you might be at risk, speak to your doctor. The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia. Bone Health. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. An estimated 6% of people in the US and UK aged 60 or older have vitamin B12 deficiency, while about 20% have low to normal or borderline deficient levels (29). Alzheimer’s Disease. Vitamin B12 may benefit your body in impressive ways, such as by boosting your energy, improving your memory and helping prevent heart disease. Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. Additionally, high vitamin B12 levels have been linked to better treatment outcomes and an increased probability of recovery from major depressive disorder (MDD) (14). Other studies have also shown a link between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health and osteoporosis, especially in women (6, 7, 8). Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. It is involved in many vital processes in the body, including: Producing red blood cells Keeping the nervous system healthy Vitamin B12 can decrease blood homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. Once thought of as a single element, scientists now know that vitamin B is actually a complex assortment of nutrients. Sardines. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that mainly affects your central vision. Vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell formation. Due to this larger and irregular shape, the red blood cells are unable to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at an appropriate rate, causing megaloblastic anemia (2). When vitamin B12 levels are too low, the production of red blood cells is altered, causing megaloblastic anemia. More research is needed to conclude if supplementing with this vitamin can improve memory in those without a deficiency. However, if you’re well-nourished and not deficient in this vitamin, taking a supplement is unlikely to improve your skin, nail strength or hair health (28). Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must obtain through diet or supplements. There are nine water-soluble vitamins in the human diet. Learn how to get the vitamins you need — including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K — in your…, Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or supplements. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage (3). Happiness And Health. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. The B vitamins are famous for boosting energy and benefiting the metabolism. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online, Advertising and sponsorship opportunities. But beyond that, vitamin B12 is known to help with our nervous system, blood-cell formation, digestion, and brain function, and helps prevent anemia and enhance our moods (so it also helps stave off depression, she noted). In fact, one of the most common early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy. https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/b-vitamins-secret-good-skin-health Healthy vitamin B12 levels are important for your hair, skin and nails. All rights reserved. This article reviews 7 nutrients commonly lacking in…. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. 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