Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is required by our bodies for many reasons:
- Helps in the production of Red Blood Cells. In some cases of anemia, vitamin B12 is administered in order to help increase production of red blood cells, therefore increasing capacity to carry hemoglobin.
- Optimize Energy levels. Vitamin B12 may help to optimize energy levels.
- Improves Brain and neurological health. Alzheimer’s, Dementia, neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, anxiety/depression, nerve pain, and so much more related to our brains and cognition may be improved with B12, if you are deficient.
- Cardiovascular health. Vitamin B12 may help to improve flow in coronary blood vessels, may help in management of diabetes and may also help to reduce already high levels of homocysteine (a marker for heart health).
- Eye health. Vitamin B12 may help with dry eyes and macular degeneration.
- Skin health. Vitamin B12 may be beneficial in eczema and psoriasis.
- Oral Canker sores. May be due to a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
There are a variety of forms of Vitamin B12. Here are a few:
- Cyanocobalamin (not as commonly used)
Sometimes, we may be deficient in Vitamin B12 either because we are not getting adequate levels from foods or maybe because our bodies are not adequately absorbing B12 in the intestines. Excessive alcohol consumption, being vegetarian (and not getting enough B12 from food) and during pregnancy are examples where B12 may be deficient.
Testing your B12 levels is the best way to determine if you have a B12 deficiency. There are some cases in which B12 should NOT be administered. Ensure that you see your primary health care provider to test and assess your levels, your health history and any other details, so that you receive the appropriate form and dose of Vitamin B12 suited to your needs.
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