Vitamin B12 is often highlighted for its role in the prevention of pernicious anaemia, DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation and most important of all energy production. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the central nervous system through its role in synthesising myelin. Vitamin B12 has a unique absorption mechanism which is mostly found in animal foods.
There may be a few natural sources of vitamin B12 but the levels are nowhere close enough to the required levels for optimum functioning of the body. Vegans face the issue of B12 deficiency which may lead to in severe cases permanent damage of the nerve endings and dementia. This has led many conscious vegans to seek other sources of vitamin B12 and found their answer in vitamin B12 supplements.
A great vitamin B12 supplement is the Vitamin B12 (Vegan)by Body by Nature. Vitamin B12 playing such an important role in protecting our nervous system means that if our body’s B12 levels start running low we risk the danger of permanent damage. Some of this damage may occur as deafness, blindness and dementia. Tingling hands and feet are some early warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some vegans may be sceptical about introducing the Vitamin B12 (Vegan)into their diet as they have been led to believe it is not an important nutrient. Deficiency leads to widespread signs and symptoms including; pale skin, loss of appetite, impaired vision, sleep disturbance, lower immunity and many more. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be as a result of reasons including dietary preferences, age, digestive integrity and the use of certain medications.
Importance of B12 in the Diet
Through eating fortified foods and supplementation vegan diets can satisfy their consumers’ vitamin B12 needs. As a pill, the absorption of B12 in the body is poor, for proper absorption sublingual tablets are used. These tablets are designed to dissolve under your tongue enabling B12 to be absorbed through the capillaries in the mouth. Here we will discuss some of the key roles of vitamin B12 and the consequences of lacking it:
- Prevention of Anaemia and Red Blood Cell Formation – Low levels of B12 in the body lead to a decrease in the production of red blood cells. This, in turn, lowers the amount of oxygen circulating in the body. Red blood cells formed in a case of vitamin B12 deficiency are larger and irregular in shape making them incapable of moving from the bone marrow into the bloodstream
- Prevents some Major Birth Defects – For a healthy pregnancy, vitamin B12 is crucial. Sufficient B12 levels in the mother are needed by the foetus‘s nervous system and brain. Deficiency of this crucial nutrient may lead to birth defects. Pregnant women are advised to include a Vitamin B12 supplement into their diet without vitamin C.
- Lower Risk of Macular Degeneration – this is an eye disease that affects mainly the central vision. Adequate levels of vitamin B12 prevent the risk of old age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for several important body functions and introducing a vitamin B12 supplement into a diet may benefit an individual’s health in several ways. Supplements are a simple way to obtain adequate levels of B12 in case one has a condition affecting its absorption.