Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. It is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products. Although it is generally not present naturally in plant foods, many cereals and grain products are fortified with the vitamin. It is often recommended that vegans take a vitamin B12 supplement.
When the body has adequate vitamin B12, the following benefits may result:
- High energy levels- B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates in usable glucose providing the body with energy.
- Decreased memory loss- B12 plays a major role in nerve health and neurotransmitter signaling.
- Happier moods and more focus- B12 is necessary for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. It is necessary for the production of SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) which is crucial for neurological function, dealing with stress and mood regulation.
- Healthier heart- B12 helps to reduce elevated homocysteine levels, which is now considered a major risk factor for heart disease. In addition, it may help to lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- Glowing skin and hair and strong nails- B12 plays a major part in cell reproduction and helps to decrease inflammation.
- Better digestion- B12 is required for the breakdown of foods in the stomach and for the production of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Decreased risk of anemia- B12 is involved in the production red blood cells and maintain a healthy level throughout the body.