Most people associate Vitamin B12 with vegetarians and simply with those who always feel tired. But, what’s really the truth about this vitamin? Does B12 give you energy? Here are the facts you need to know!
What is Vitamin B12?
An essential B vitamin, Vitamin B12 (sometimes called Cobalamin), is one of the 8 B vitamins that works by converting foods into glucose, which then produces the energy your body crucially needs. It is highly imperative for the proper functioning of the human brain, nerve, and tissue, as well as for the production of red blood cells. Hence, keeping your DNA healthy. It also helps to detoxify the insides of your body.
Since it is water-soluble, it can easily dissolve and quickly travel throughout the bloodstream.
Does B12 give you energy?
With adequate consumption, B12 is guaranteed to keep the natural energy of your body functioning right. Though, keep in mind that it is not stimulants like coffee. Doctors and health buffs suggest taking Vitamin B12 if you’re feeling tired or rundown.
Its benefits are tremendous, which include increasing energy, preventing heart disease, and improving memory. It’s even crucial towards achieving a healthy pregnancy as studies show that the nervous system and brain of a fetus require enough levels of B12 to develop right. Thus, preventing major birth defects.
Moreover, it supports healthy skin, nails, and hair, reduces the risk of macular degeneration, prevents osteoporosis, and supports bone health.
Can you only have a dose if you’re deficient in a vitamin?
Well, B12 works that way, so yes. Let’s say you are not a shortage of vitamin B12. You still wouldn’t instantly wake up and feel completely energized – regardless of the number of supplements you take. There is no clinical evidence claiming that the vitamin can make your body more energetic if you already have enough of it. That’s why it is only recommended for people who lack B12.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms
How would you know if you need Vit B12 to rule your body? Here are the key determinants:
- Loss of appetite
- Brain fog
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Weak immune system
- Digestive problems
- Megaloblastic anemia
- Nerve issues (e.g., numbness)
Vegetarian diets, intestine inflammation, and MTHFR gene mutations are some common causes of B12 deficiency. Older adults, people who have had gastrointestinal surgery, and those who take a proton pump (chronic heartburn) or metformin (blood sugar control) are also at risk of vitamin deficiency.
How much B12 should I take per day for energy?
Teens and adults over fourteen years old are recommended to consume 2.4 micrograms of the vitamin every day. Lactating and pregnant women can also have their own intake – a dosage of 2.8 micrograms for lactating mothers while 2.6 micrograms for pregnant.
However, it’s still important to talk with your physician before starting to consume supplements. Mainly because mild side effects may likely to occur, such as rosacea or acne, those with kidney disease are prohibited from taking this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 Dosage for Seniors
Older adults are most likely to be vitamin-deficient. This is because their digestive system is no longer capable of producing much acid as they age, as have mentioned earlier. The ability of your body to produce B12 is, therefore, minimized.
So, does it mean seniors need more Vit B12?
It will now depend on your age. Again, the suggested daily allowance for adults is 2.4 micrograms. You can request a B12 serum level from your healthcare professional to determine the exact dosage you need. In some cases, doctors prescribe 1000 micrograms of intramuscular injections if there’s a problem in the intestine or stomach of a patient intervening with absorption.
On the other hand, supplements ranging from 1000 to 2000 micrograms/day is prescribed. Whether an oral supplement or shot is the best choice merely depends on your ability to adhere to the medication schedule.
Can you get B12 naturally from food?
Meats, poultry and eggs, fish, shellfish, fortified cereals, and dairy products (e.g., cheese, milk) are some of the good sources of Vit B12. In fact, it’s generally best to get vitamins from whole foods. But since our bodies find it harder to absorb B12 from different food sources as our age adds up, doctors often recommend supplements and fortified foods. These alternatives are specifically ideal for vegans.
Vitamin B12 is the most structurally complex; the biggest vitamin that can be found naturally in animal products like eggs, dairy products, fish, and meat. Though, you can also obtain it in supplement form. How much amount should you take varies from a person?
While experts haven’t found any evidence showing that high dosage consumption is dangerous, mild side effects are possible to experience. Hence, make sure to consult a professional first along with practicing proper, healthy eating to get most of the vitamin.