Vitamin B12 – how important is it?
Vitamin B12 is one of many vitamins our bodies need to function correctly. Some of its many uses within the body include enzyme production, DNA synthesis, balancing hormones and stopping adrenal fatigue. B12 is part of the B vitamin family and is a water-soluble vitamin which is excreted from the body quickly and why you need to top up levels regularly.
A deficiency in B12 is notoriously difficult to diagnose due to its wide reaching use throughout the body and therefore low levels can affect many systems, possibly leading to serious issues. A suspected deficiency in B12 is cause to see a medical professional, however, even without a suspected deficiency, it’s still important to consider if your body is receiving enough of this essential vitamin.
What are the benefits of B12?
1. Encourages healthy skin & hair
Vitamin B12 is a major part of cell reproduction. B12 benefits your skin in so many ways; it reduces redness, inflammation, dryness and spots whilst also supporting healthy hair and nail growth. B12 is not easily digested so to bypass the stomach, you can purchase a B12 transdermal spray which penetrates the skin and goes into your bloodstream in a few seconds. For directly affected areas of skin with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, you can purchase cream with B12 in which can be very beneficial.
2. Assists with energy
B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates in to glucose (sugar that fuels our bodies) and gives us the energy to live our day-to-day lives without fatiguing. It is also said to have a positive effect on memory and brain function.
3. Aids digestion
Linked closely with increasing energy levels due to its function within the metabolism, B12 also encourages a healthy stomach and aids digestion. It promotes healthy bacteria within the stomach whilst also killing off bad bacteria; this helps to ensure food is digested correctly and the required nutrients are able to be absorbed.
4. Enhances mood
B12 is a well-known mood booster and many studies have found a clear link between low levels of B12 and depression/anxiety disorders. Keeping your B12 levels topped up by eating correctly or taking additional supplements, may help if you’re feeling low.
B12 is predominantly found in animal based products, meaning that vegans are at higher risk of becoming B12 deficient. However many vegan and vegetarian foods contain added vitamins and minerals which should go someway to counteracting the lack of animal-based B12. The highest levels are found in chicken and beef liver but if you don’t fancy that on a regular basis, salmon, herring and mackerel are also excellent sources.
A lack of B12 will usually be visible in your skin. Premature fine lines and wrinkles, dry or patchy skin and pale or red skin, are all key signs that you may need to up your B12 intake.
Niroshini use a set of specific techniques that regulate the immune and organ function and can help support the body’s use of B12. To find out more, please visit our treatment options page here: http://niroshini-acupuncture.com/treatment-options/
Thank you to Lenny K Photography for the use of this photograph.