Vitamin B12 Benefits and Weight Loss

November 12, 2012

Vitamin B12 Benefits and Weight Loss

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a little vitamin that does a lot of work in your body. Among its many jobs includes:

  • Making red blood cells

  • Keep hair follicles healthy

  • Keep skin healthy

  • Helping the central nervous system function

  • Helps body to burn off calories

Vitamin B12 benefits include helping you to maintain your energy levels through making red blood cells. Why are red blood cells so important? Because they carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When red blood cells get to oxygen-deprived areas of the body, they can release oxygen molecules into bodily tissues.

Vitamin B Deficiency

People with abnormally low energy levels or anemia may need to get their vitamin B12 levels checked for a deficiency. Two reasons for developing a deficiency is by not eating enough foods with vitamin B12 or being unable to properly digest vitamin B12. People suffering from alcoholism often suffer from this deficiency as they eat less and drink more. People with severe digestive disorders such as atrophic gastritis have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 and may become anemic.

Dosage

It takes a surprisingly little amount of this vitamin in order to get all of the vitamin B12 benefits. Adults need only 1 microgram or one millionth of a gram per day. Pregnant or nursing mothers need 1.5 micrograms. Children under 18 only need about 0.2 micrograms.

Although there are nutritional supplements and injections that include this crucial vitamin, they can differ in quality and so are not the most reliable way to get vitamin B12 benefits. The best sources of vitamin B12 are from foods such as eggs, meat, fish, shellfish and dairy products. This can be a problem for vegans that cannot eat any food product made from animals. But many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins, including vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast powder, used as a condiment, also contains vitamin B12. Some nuts like pecans, walnuts and Brazil nuts also contains vitamin B12.

What About Weight Loss Vitamin B12 Benefits?

There have been many news reports about vitamin B12 injections helping celebrities lose weight. But weight loss is not one of vitamin B12 benefits according to respected medical and nutritional institutions. Many people do believe that vitamin B12 helps boost their metabolisms, or helps their body burn calories faster, so they continue to take shots or mega doses of pills.

It’s very hard to overdose on vitamin B12. It dissolves in water and so any excess is usually flushed away in a person’s urine. The liver can store vitamin B12 up to one year, according to Oregon State University. A person would have to take huge daily doses in order to experience side effects of too much vitamin B12. These side effects are:

  • Diarrhea

  • Swelling in many parts of the body, mouth or places on the skin

  • Hives or rashes on the skin

  • Suddenly itchy skin

  • Problems breathing

  • Deep vein thrombosis, or forming of a dangerous blood clot in the leg.

If experiencing these symptoms, stop taking vitamin B12 and contact a doctor immediately.

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