Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, but unfortunately, your body cannot make it. It is abundant in the animal foods that we need to eat to make sure its levels stay healthy in the bloodstream. Vitamin B12 supplement and injection is also available to increase vitamin B12 levels.

From playing its role in red blood cell production to keeping nerve cells healthy, vitamin B12 performs several important functions in the body. That is why make sure you get it from food sources, or from supplements if your doctor has recommend them.

In this article, we have highlighted the key health benefits of vitamin B12. We have also talked about its deficiency and its symptoms.  

Vitamin B12 Tablets

What are vitamin B12 tablets?

To understand what vitamin B12 tablets are, let’s first see what vitamin B12 is.

Vitamin B12 is one of the largest vitamins in the human body. It is soluble in water and travels to the different parts of the body through the bloodstream. As it is not produced in the body, you depend on external sources like foods and supplements to have it.

As the name indicates, the key ingredient of vitamin B12 tablets is vitamin B12. These tablets are specially manufactured for people who are deficient in vitamin B12 and cannot take it from food sources. There are many brands of vitamin B12 on the internet. Make sure you choose the one that offers the highest quality products.

ICON vitamin B12 tablets have quality ingredients and no fillers. Each tablet contains 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12. These tablets are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It is reasonably priced, and there are 100 tablets in one bottle.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is having an insufficient amount of vitamin B12 in the body. It can happen when you do not get vitamin B12 through diet or if your body does not absorb it. In the UK, one in every ten persons has a vitamin B12 deficiency. [1] Your doctor will run a blood test to determine the levels of vitamin B12 and tell whether you are deficient in it or not.

Symptoms

Below are the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Having pale and dull skin.
  • Fatigue, weakness, and low energy.
  • Dizziness.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Mouth ulcers.
  • Change in the mood.
  • Blurred vision.

Scientifically proven health benefits of vitamin B12

Below are the research-based health benefits of vitamin B12. As vitamin B12 is the key ingredient of vitamin B12 tablets, therefore, taking these tablets may also show similar effects.

Involved in red blood cell formation

Red blood cells are important cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. They also take carbon dioxide from body parts to the lungs, where it is exhaled out. They are formed in the bone marrow and are transferred to the bloodstream after getting matured.

Studies have found that people suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency may have fewer red blood cells compared to healthy people. Our healthy red blood cells are round in shape, but when there is vitamin B12 deficiency, they are oval in shape and larger in size. This abnormality leads to a slower rate of red blood cell release in the bloodstream; as a result, megaloblastic anaemia occurs.

People suffering from megaloblastic anaemia have insufficient red blood cells. Common symptoms of this illness are shortness of breath, muscle weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and weakness. You can prevent this illness by maintaining levels of vitamin B12. Beef, chicken, fish, and eggs are popular natural sources of vitamin B12. Increase their intake to beat vitamin B12 deficiency. If you do not eat these foods or are too deficient in vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend you take vitamin B12 tablets. They are an efficient alternative to natural foods.

May keep the skeletal system healthy

Some studies indicate the importance of vitamin B12 for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. The bone mass density (BMD) of 2,500 plus participants (men and women) was checked in one study. The results showed that people who had low levels of vitamin B12 also had low bone mass density. [2] It depicts both may have some connection.

People who have low bone mass density are prone to fractures and bone breakage. Their bones are fragile, and minor falls etc., can lead to serious bone injuries. It may also cause osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone condition that is more common in older people. There are small pores inside the healthy bones. These pores become larger in people who have osteoporosis. As a result, bones loss their density.

Several studies also show a relationship between poor bone health, osteoporosis and low vitamin B12. [3,4] Therefore, keep your vitamin B12 level normal to maintain bone health and keep your skeletal system in good shape. You can either eat foods rich in vitamin B12 or have vitamin B12 tablets.

Maintains healthy pregnancy and prevents congenital disorder

A mother’s health and diet have a great influence on the health of a growing infant. An infant depends on the mother for all the essential nutrients, including vitamin B12, to grow and develop organs. Studies show that vitamin B12 is required for the development of the brain and spinal cord of infants. So, if he does not get sufficient vitamin B12, he may develop nervous system issues.

Studies show that if a mother has vitamin B12 deficiency, her chances of giving birth to a premature baby increases. Her chances of miscarriage are also higher. Likewise, if the infant does not acquire a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 during the first phase of pregnancy, then he may have a birth defect. [5]

One study showed that pregnant women who have vitamin B12 less than 250 mg/dL had three times more chances of giving birth to a child with a congenital disorder. Similarly, women who have vitamin B12, even less than 150 mg/dL, were five times more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects. [6]

Therefore, if you are pregnant, know that your health will define your baby’s health too. Increase the intake of vitamin B12 if you are deficient in it. If you want to take supplements, ask your doctor which vitamin B12 tablets are more suitable.

Vitamin B12 May help fight depression

Vitamin B12 may have a role in improving overall mood. Its exact reason has not been discovered so far. But it is believed that it plays a crucial role in the production and release of the serotonin hormone. Serotonin is one of the happy hormones, and it is mainly involved in generating happy feelings like pleasure etc. If you are deficient in vitamin B12, your body may fail to generate a healthy amount of serotonin, and you feel depressed.

Studies also show the relationship between depression and vitamin B12 in people who are deficient in it. In one study, researchers gave antidepressant along with vitamin B12 to depressed people. At the end of the research, they found that these patients had improved depression symptoms compared to the depressed people who took only antidepressants as a treatment. [7]

People with vitamin B12 deficiency are at a higher risk of developing depression. One study also found that vitamin B12 makes an effective treatment option and increases the chances of fighting major depressive disorder (MDD) well. [8]

If you are suffering from depression and also have a vitamin B12 deficiency, then increasing the intake of vitamin B12 might be the right option for you. Talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin B12 supplement.

Vitamin B12 May prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is an eye condition in which the centre of the vision field gets blurred. It mostly happens in old age people. Increasing the intake of vitamin B12 may help with preventing or even improving this disease.

Researchers believe that vitamin B12 decreases the level of homocysteine in the blood. It is an amino acid whose levels get elevated in people suffering from AMD. [9] Getting its levels down can help with managing the disease.

In one study, 5,000 women of age more than 40 were given a combination of vitamin B12, vitamin B8, and folic acid. It was found that the group that received these supplements for up to seven consecutive years had 34% lower chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and other similar conditions. [10]

However, more studies should be done to identify the real effectiveness of vitamin B12. If you have AMD and are considering vitamin B12 tablets, then first get your doctor’s advice.  

Vitamin B12 Tablets boosts energy in vitamin B12 deficient people

As we have mentioned, energy level reduces when you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, and you feel fatigued most of the time. Therefore, increasing the intake of vitamin B12 will recover its level in the body, and you may have more energy than before.

There is no proof that taking vitamin B12 when you do not have its deficiency will increase your energy. But studies do prove that taking the vitamin B12 supplement helps with energy in people deficient in vitamin B12. [11]

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the process of energy production, but it does not provide energy to the body. The use of vitamin B12 tablets among athletes to boost energy levels is common. However, science does not prove that it helps when you already have sufficient vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 may prevents brain atrophy

Age-related decline in brain function is inevitable. But having low vitamin B12 may speed up this process. It may prevent the loss of neurons. Neuron loss leads to memory loss. One study revealed that taking omega-3 fatty acids with vitamin B12 supplement slowed down memory loss. [12] However, more study needs to be done to understand the connection between brain atrophy and vitamin B12 concentration in the bloodstream.

Precautions for the vitamin B12 supplement

Vitamin B12 During Pregnancy

Vitamin B12 tablets are safe for pregnant as well as breastfeeding mothers if they do not take more than its recommended dose.

Sensitivity to cobalt

People who are allergic to cobalt should avoid taking a vitamin B12 supplement. Vitamin B12 has cobalt at its centre.

Polycythemia vera

It is a condition in which people have an abnormally high number of red blood cells. As vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell production, taking it may increase the blood cell number more. 

The bottom line

Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy living because it plays important roles in the body. Its deficiency can lead to anaemia and other health conditions. You must get it through natural foods or through supplements to restore its levels in the body.

References 

  1. One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient (news-medical.net)
  2. Low plasma vitamin B12 is associated with lower BMD: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study - PubMed (nih.gov)
  3. Vitamin B-12 status is associated with bone mineral content and bone mineral density in frail elderly women but not in men - PubMed (nih.gov)
  4. The relationship of homocyteine, B12 and folic acid with the bone mineral density of the femur and lumbar spine in Turkish postmenopausal women - PubMed (nih.gov)
  5. Effects of folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies during pregnancy on fetal, infant, and child development - PubMed (nih.gov)
  6. Maternal Vitamin B12 Status and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Population With High Neural Tube Defect Prevalence and No Folic Acid Fortification (nih.gov)
  7. Vitamin B12 Supplementation in Treating Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial (nih.gov)
  8. High vitamin B12 level and good treatment outcome may be associated in major depressive disorder - PubMed (nih.gov)
  9. Homocysteine and the risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis (nih.gov)
  10. Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 in Combination and Age-related Macular Degeneration in a Randomized Trial of Women (nih.gov)
  11. Association of vitamin B12 deficiency with fatigue and depression after lacunar stroke - PubMed (nih.gov)
  12. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status Enhances the Prevention of Cognitive Decline by B Vitamins in Mild Cognitive Impairment (nih.gov)