Is B12 Worth the Hype?

Since Vitamin B12 is not created in the body, it can only be add from the diet or vitamin supplementation; therefore, importance is given to having  sufficient levels. While it is mainly known for its energy enhancing effects, many of its other benefits can be easily overlooked. Its other functions play a key role in a healthy and balanced lifestyle:

 1. Better Mood / Aids in Depression

According to Boston’s Medical Psychiatry Center, there is a significant association of higher vitamin B12 levels with better treatment outcome of depression, this means that b12 supplementation augments antidepressant treatments. Besides its benefits in association with the treatment of depression, b12 deficiency also can manifest itself  with psychological symptoms such as irritability, personality change and dementia. 

2. Energy Boost

B12 plays a key role in the production of hemoglobin, which transfers oxygen throughout the body to vital organs. When there is a shortage of b12, the body struggles to function with less oxygen, causing a person to become fatigued. All functions that are performed by b12 are then slowed down such as the metabolism of foods to make energy. 

3. Improved Sleep

Vitamin b12 has been shown to play a significant role in the production of melatonin and also in the regulation of the bodies natural circadian sleep-wake cycle. A deficiency of b12 can lead to disturbances in sleep patterns, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Optimal levels of B12 can help to regulate the sleep cycle.

4. Focus

One of the more serious long term effects of b12 deficiency is a sensation of numbness and tingling on the hands and feet. This sensation is due in part to the important role B12 plays in the production of Myelin. Myelin is a substance that surrounds the nerves in the body to protect and insulate them. Without enough b12 Myelin is not produced properly and instead is left in a weak and fragile state. B12 is known to aid in the production of Myelin and improve nerve connections in the brain. Better focus and less fogginess is a result.

 -Kahn, RN

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