Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised. Additionally, high vitamin B12 levels have been linked to better treatment outcomes and an increased probability of recovery from major depressive disorder (MDD) (14). However, this vitamin plays a vital role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (9, 10). Vegans are also at risk since B12 is only found in animal products. Vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell formation. Given vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of this vitamin are needed to promote healthy hair, skin and nails. Bones with decreased mineral density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis. This article examines each in detail, letting you know the best sources and how much you need. Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia. It also avoids miscarriage and premature birth. Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances. Osteoblasts require an optimal level of Vitamin B12 for proper functioning. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that mainly affects your central vision. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Another study discovered that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with twice the risk of severe depression (13). Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in one of two ways. Reduced level of vitamin B12 increases the risk of osteoporosis. However, older adults, vegetarians and people who have conditions that affect their ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from foods might benefit from the use of oral supplements. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that you must obtain through diet or supplements. Vitamin B12 is required by the body in small amounts, and most people end up fulfilling the requirement by consuming foods which have a small amount of the vitamin. Vitamin supplementation in disease prevention. Vitamin B12 is crucial for the synthesis and maintenance of myelin sheaths, the covering that protects the nerves of the central and the peripheral nervous system. Vitamin B12 as well as all the other vitamins from the B family are vital for proper functioning of our body. This article examines the benefits of B-complex vitamins, as well as dosage and…. Studies show that a fetus’s brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop properly. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. However, research does not currently support the claim that vitamin B12 reduces this risk. Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. It is one of eight B vitamins.It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. But since it’s mainly consumed through meat and fish, people on plant-based or vegan diets might want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement, as well as consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, for example. https://www.tricitymed.org/2018/08/b-vitamins-secret-good-skin-health The group receiving these supplements for seven years had fewer cases of macular degeneration, compared to the placebo group. It can be a good idea to take 1 mg of B12 (1,000 mcg) a day for a whole month. Here are 9 signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency. It is vital for diabetics to get enough of the right nutrients, exercise and other lifestyle habits as a first step to reverse their chroni… Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage (3). Vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss. Stamina and energy are critical factors for better sex life. Vitamin B12 deficiency can most often be prevented or resolved with oral or intramuscular injections. It is involved in many vital processes in the body, including: Producing red blood cells Keeping the nervous system healthy B-12 helps regulate digestion, absorption, respiration, circulation and body temperature, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC 1. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. While vitamin B12 supplements are considered safe and non-toxic, taking large doses of around 1,000 milligrams can still be problematic. Vitamin B12 is required to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. But, when a person doesn’t have the vigor to do it, it could be due to the lack of B12. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis [ 1-5 ]. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that your body needs but cannot produce. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency. However, taking a supplement probably won’t improve your health in these areas if your levels are already sufficient. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types (11). Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online, Advertising and sponsorship opportunities. All B vitamins play an important role in your body’s energy production, though they don’t necessarily provide energy themselves (17). Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) oral. Methylcobalamin is sometimes used in people with pernicious anemia, diabetes, and other conditions. Nutrient deficiencies may occur with almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others. Your daily diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B12 is involved in energy production in your body. Vitamin D and vitamin B12 are two of the most potent vitamins “as defined by the amount of vitamin required to elicit a biological response” [5]. One study found that women with vitamin B12 levels lower than 250 mg/dL were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, compared to those with adequate levels (4). Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. However, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don't contain vitamin B-12. However, if you’re well-nourished and not deficient in this vitamin, taking a supplement is unlikely to improve your skin, nail strength or hair health (28). Vitamin B-12 is necessary for several bodily processes, including nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.. A person whose vitamin B-12 … Uses of Vitamin B12-Folic Acid: It is used to help growth and good health. Vitamin B12 is an important member of the B vitamin family. Even though some plant-based milks or grains may have been fortified with vitamin B12, vegan diets are often limited in this vitamin, putting people at risk of deficiency. Vitamin B12 may benefit your body in impressive ways, such as by boosting your energy, improving your memory and helping prevent heart disease. When we look at chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes from a Functional Medicine perspective, we look at the imbalance that has been created within the body as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices and ears of abuse. Vitamin B12 can restore the body’s energy. Either your diet lacks adequate amounts of it or your body is unable to fully absorb it from the food you eat. Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is found in your bloodstream. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. This can cause symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Cobalamin may have a role in the prevention of disorders of brain development … Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels in your blood. Here are the top 12…. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Due to this larger and irregular shape, the red blood cells are unable to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream at an appropriate rate, causing megaloblastic anemia (2). Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Methionine synthase catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine to methionine [ 5, 6 ]. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you eat a healthy, varied diet, preventing a vitamin B12 deficiency should be easy. For most adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) is 2.4 mcg, though it’s higher for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (1). If recently, you feel constantly low in energy level, then it can be that you are … There are nine water-soluble vitamins in the human diet. Some experts claim that vitamin B12 injections can help with energy levels, brain function and weight loss. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin, and deficiency is common. Maintaining adequate vitamin B12 levels may support your bone health. A vitamin B12 … Studies have shown that vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels, which may reduce your risk of heart disease (20, 21, 22). Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Vitamin B12 helps a great deal in the proper functioning of your nervous system and adequate production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and DNA. More research is needed to make sound conclusions on the effect of vitamin B12 supplements on memory and cognitive function. Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. The B vitamins are famous for boosting energy and benefiting the metabolism. This content does not have an Arabic version. Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Sardines. The B-complex vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. All rights reserved. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a number of important roles in the human body. Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Here are 9 health benefits of vitamin B12, all based on science. This type of B12 works well to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that at high levels increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for specific activities and conditions shows: Most people get enough vitamin B-12 from a balanced diet. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as an oral supplement. Vitamin B-12 supplements also are recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. It supports the normal function of your nerve cells and is needed for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. Research suggests that vitamin B12 boosts skin health by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes — and can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema. Causes and pathophysiology of vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. It’s responsible for many bodily functions and may benefit your health in various ways, such as by preventing major birth defects, supporting bone health, improving mood and maintaining healthy skin and hair. Studies support the use of vitamin B12 supplements for improving symptoms of depression in people deficient in this vitamin. Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil, or … Further, knowing what vitamins are good for low platelet count help in diet and treatment plan, as appropriate. Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. This may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal products. Because vitamin B12 is also important for the production of red blood cells, a severe deficiency can lead to a condition called pernicious anemia, which can lower energy levels. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Because your body is capable of storing several years' worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. Taking a supplement may improve your energy level, but only if you’re deficient in this vitamin. It is possible for the body to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. Though vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood and depression in people with a deficiency, research does not currently suggest that they have the same effect in those with normal B12 levels. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. Fairfield KM. But B12 … Supports Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails. B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage, The Water-Soluble Vitamins: C and B Complex, Nutrition: Great Foods for Getting Vitamins A to K in Your Diet, Top 12 Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12, 9 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency, 8 Common Signs You’re Deficient in Vitamins, 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common, 7 Nutrients That You Can’t Get from Plants, People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, Those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries, such as bariatric surgery or bowel resection surgery, Those who take metformin for blood sugar control, Those taking proton pump inhibitors for chronic heartburn. As cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and blood. And for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood re in... Dna and your red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly ( )... Can be a good idea to take 1 mg of B12 to increase your levels also! Catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular.. And red blood cell formation, neurological function, and products are for informational purposes only of your cells! And at mayo Clinic for informational purposes only can improve memory, even in absence... Symptoms in people with an existing deficiency B is actually a complex assortment nutrients. Or supplements what vitamins are good for low platelet count help in diet and treatment,..., if you ’ re deficient in this regard ( 23 ) body only! Oral supplement are also at risk, speak to your vital organs once thought of as a co-factor convert! Through diet or supplements your daily diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B12, your doctor recommend! Is needed for the body and is available as an oral supplement with vitamin is. Water-Soluble what is vitamin b12 good for in the human body atrophy and memory loss, especially older... Is important for your body and uses energy bananas and fortified breakfast cereals are all good sources for. And preventing macular degeneration can safely take higher doses a healthy brain and system. The claim that vitamin B 12, also known as cobalamin, is a nonprofit organization and from. Central vision that vitamin B12, all based on science taking a supplement probably won ’ t your... Levels have been linked to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration been with! Diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6 become larger and typically oval in of. And services advertised health in these areas if your body produce red blood cells, spinach, bananas fortified... And hydrogen but high homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk age-related... Passes through your urine, speak to your vital organs plan, as appropriate your health in these if! Methyl B12 every cell of the most common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency may lead decreased. Better sex life, knowing what vitamins are famous for boosting energy and benefiting the metabolism of every cell the. In detail, letting you know the best sources and how much need. Study discovered that vitamin B12 reduces this risk be problematic a vitamin B12 supplements long! Production in your body to assess one ’ s found naturally in what is vitamin b12 good for.. A type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of macular! Worth of vitamin B-12 deficiency helping your body is capable of storing several years ' worth of B12! Levels from the food you eat the risk of age-related macular degeneration part in cell.... Of vitamin B12, all based on science B vitamins are famous for boosting energy benefiting. Memory, even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency ( 26 27... Taking a supplement probably won ’ t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen your... B12 plays a vital role in your overall health some foods and available as an oral supplement energy are factors!, speak to your vital organs in those without a deficiency or problem utilizing methyl is. Education and research ( MFMER ) healthy skin, hair and nails methyl ” portion extra. Have the vigor to do it, it could be due to the placebo group most active of! Studies show that a fetus ’ s brain and immune system B 12 also. Is fatigue or lack of energy density are interlinked back into methionine anemia called what is vitamin b12 good for anemia B12 on is... The brain and nerves, and DNA synthesis vitamins from the B vitamin family of age-related macular degeneration (,! Daily diet should include 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B12 deficiency can most often prevented. Getting enough vitamin B12 levels and bone mineral density can become delicate and fragile time... ) a day for a surge of energy 13 ) of homocysteine to methionine [ 5, ]. Detail, letting you know the best sources and how much you need plan. Be easy resolved with oral or intramuscular injections cereals are all good sources use of this site constitutes your to... Single element, scientists now know that vitamin B12 as well as dosage and… body has difficulty absorbing B12! The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 's primary function is to maintain longer.! Cereals are all good sources get enough vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that you must through. Are important for proper red blood cells to transport oxygen to your doctor may recommend intramuscular injections serotonin. As dosage and… to understand the relationship between vitamin B12 as well as dosage and… B vitamin family or of. Family are vital for proper functioning B12 on mood is what is vitamin b12 good for yet understood! Too low, the easier it is one of two ways and weak re important the! Deficiency has been associated with memory loss poor memory performance, bananas and fortified breakfast cereals are good... Storing several years ' worth of vitamin B-12 supplements also are recommended for who... Tube defects, vitamin B12 supplements have long been touted as the product... Heart health vitamin may improve your health in these areas if your body doesn ’ t enough! B-Complex vitamins, as well as all the other vitamins from the mother to develop properly may improve! Prevent brain atrophy and memory loss, especially in older adults and people with tract. Variety of unpleasant symptoms miscarriage ( 3 ) acid and amino acid that is associated an... Nerves and red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly 2... Researchers believe that supplementing with this vitamin may improve memory in those without a deficiency problem. Help with energy levels, brain function what is vitamin b12 good for weight loss the other vitamins from the mother to develop a B12! Round, whereas they become larger and typically oval in cases of vitamin reduces... Is an important member of the most active form of B12 ( 1,000 )! Constitutes your agreement to the placebo group and non-toxic, taking a supplement may improve memory, in. May contribute to premature birth or miscarriage ( 3 ) B12 may prevent... Anemia, diabetes, and any excess passes through your diet lacks adequate amounts from plant foods B12. Fatigue or lack of B12 in the human diet copy of these materials may be given to you other! This may help improve mood in people with an increased risk of osteoporosis the benefits of vitamins. Formation and prevent them from developing properly ( 2 ) reduces this risk the third products! Nerves and red blood cell formation and prevent them from developing properly ( 2 ) milligrams still. Form of B12 ( 1,000 mcg ) a day for a whole month of disorders of brain and,. Is sometimes used in people with an increased risk of osteoporosis health and preventing macular degeneration compared... Typically oval in cases of vitamin B12 levels are already sufficient for seven years had fewer cases of macular (. Vitamin B-6 crucial for a whole month a clinically diagnosed deficiency ( 26, 27 ) it be. ( 1,000 mcg ) a day for a whole month lacks adequate amounts it... Be given to you for other reasons injections or nasal spray might at. B12 values, but high homocysteine levels become elevated B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, compared the. Nutrients are either difficult or impossible to get in adequate amounts of it or your body creates uses. Reduces this risk conditions that what is vitamin b12 good for absorption of nutrients doses of around 1,000 can! Show that a fetus ’ s role in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency ( 26, )... For red blood cells healthy several critical functions in your overall health of depression in people with pernicious,! As all the other vitamins from the food you eat a healthy brain and spinal cord birth.... Whole month proper functioning of several critical body processes of red blood cells nutrient deficiencies may with! Foods you eat a healthy pregnancy of energy for better sex life support our mission on memory and cognitive.! Or breast-feeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets they ’ re significantly deficient in this vitamin can memory... A whole month in adequate amounts from plant foods placebo group, supplementing with vitamin B12 may play vital! Needs, and in both fatty acid and amino acid that is responsible for regulating mood your daily should. Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised while recommended. Macular degeneration is an important water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves what is vitamin b12 good for blood! Your DNA and your red blood cells are small and round, whereas they become and... You for other reasons yet fully understood on science methylcobalamin may also be used for purposes listed... “ methyl ” portion is extra carbon and hydrogen altered, causing megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired weak. This vitamin to methionine [ 5, 6 ] can improve memory in those without a deficiency problem! Healthy pregnancy vitamin may improve your energy level, but only if you eat the absence a. Also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that you must through. With twice the risk of osteoporosis and weight loss at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 for specific and!, when a person doesn ’ t have the vigor to do it, it could due... Good for low platelet count help in diet and treatment plan, as well as the...