Are you suffering from low energy and fatigue? Are you no longer motivated to hit the gym? Do you complain about low mood, recurrent infections, sleep problems, poor concentration & memory? Well, if you do experience some of these symptoms it is possible they are the result of Vitamin B12 deficiency. While there can be more causes of fatigue and other mentioned above problems, we’re going to dig a little deeper and look at how the deficiency of one nutrient, in particular vitamin B12, can lead to fatigue and low vitality. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble and most structurally complicated vitamin. It is absolutely critical for good mental and physical health. Its deficiency can be associated with anaemia, poor memory and dementia, tiredness, mental fogginess, weak immunity, mood swings, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, depression, neurological pain, spasticity of muscles and other problems. Unfortunately, due to many different factors, the number of people with low Vitamin B12 levels is growing especially among elderly, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians. However, since medications, antibiotics, antacid drugs, laxatives stimulants, chlorine, fluoride, lack of probiotic bacteria, and other factors lead to low blood levels of Vitamin B12 its deficiency may involve all age groups.
Critical for healthy brain function & nervous system
Vitamin B12 is critical in the protection and repair of the nerve cells. Its deficiency, which is often masked by folic acid, may lead to neurological damage and trigger symptoms of various diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), depression, psychosis, or Parkinson’s disease. Low blood levels of this vitamin can also lead to peripheral nerve damage, especially in people with high blood sugar levels and those who are on statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Essential for healthy fertility and pregnancy
Studies have noted a link between Vitamin B12 deficiency and abnormal oestrogen levels that may interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg leading to infertility. Vitamin B12 deficiency may also cause failure to successfully carry a baby full-term as lack of this vitamin can lead to neural tube defects in pregnancy. Pregnancy can drastically worsen a pre-existing B12 deficiency because this vitamin is transferred to the growing foetus throughout pregnancy.
Promotes healthy sleep
Vitamin B12 is reported to help people who have problems falling asleep as its deficiency can be one of the key causes of sleep problems. The research indicated that as a result of taking B12 supplementation total length of sleep decreases while restorativeness of sleep increases. It is also important to know that many people who are B12 deficient never get into deep sleep, although they may have enough of shallow, non-restorative sleep.
Other key benefits
Vitamin B12 helps maintain strong hair and prevents premature grey hair. It helps to keep our cardiovascular system on track by maintaining normal homocysteine levels reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. It supports brain function, immune system, energy production and metabolism helping to burn fat and carbohydrates more efficiently. Research indicates that Vitamin B12 also helps prevent uterine lesions.
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH