What is Vitamin B12?
Cobalamin, more commonly known as vitamin B12, is a substance that has many important applications throughout your body. It is necessary for proper metabolism, aids in developing the brain and prevents brain shrinkage, and is also needed to keep your nervous system protected and functioning.
Vitamin B12 is most commonly found naturally in animal products, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. It is also artificially added to some foods, typically fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamin B12 is water soluble, so it is especially easy for your body to remove any excess in the case that you acquire too much B12 at any one time. However, your liver is also capable of storing vitamin B12 for long periods of time, so the vitamin rarely goes to waste.
Why Supplement With B12?
B12 supplements are most often used to treat conditions that are associated with B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia is one of the most common conditions that B12 supplements are used to treat, though there are numerous other potential uses for vitamin B12.
Your brain and nervous system rely heavily on vitamin B12, and supplementing may improved your mental functions, such as memory and concentration, while simultaneously reducing the risk of brain damage from malnutrition. Without adequate levels of B12, your nervous system may not function properly, and the risk of brain shrinkage increases significantly. In addition to this, improved B12 levels may lower the risk of suffering from depression or anxiety, and may even offer some help in achieving a healthy sleep cycle.
However, B12 is needed for much more than just your mental health. Your body also makes use of B12 for metabolism and energy production, and is often used to promote weight loss. Having enough B12 is an important part of weight loss program, as B12 is needed to provide you with energy and proper metabolism. Additionally, B12 may bolster the immune system and help you resist disease.