While Vitamin B12 is trending in the states, it hasn’t attracted the same level of attention that other micronutrients or essential nutrients like iron and vitamins A and D. This lack of attention translates to a lack of urgency to address the problem of B12 deficiency in developing nations and its affects on overall health.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may seem like a first-world problem or another celebrity diet fad, but its benefits and its importance are very real. Here are five important benefits of Vitamin B12 that illustrate its importance in the health of all, as well as the effects of deficiency, and why targeted interventions are increasingly necessary.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
- Reduces the Risk of Pernicious Anemia: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many pregnant women and school children are estimated to be anemic. In the instance of Pernicious Anemia, your body is unable to generate new, healthy blood cells. Since you need B12 to produce red blood cells, getting enough Vitamin B12 enables the production of red blood cells and reduces the risk of anemia.
- Helps Maintain a Healthy Digestive System: A healthy digestive system is an important piece of overall health. Vitamin B12 is a necessary component to keep your digestive system functioning properly so that you can absorb the proper nutrients necessary to maintain health.
- Enhances Emotional and Mental Stability: Not only is Vitamin B12 good for your physical health, it is good for your mental health as well, particularly brain functioning as it serves to regulate the nervous system. Studies have linked adequate amounts of B12 to emotional stability and the reduction of anxiety and depression, as well as Alzheimer’s prevention and increased energy.
- Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Vitamin B12 reduces homocysteine levels within the body. Since increased homocysteine levels are linked to heart disease, reducing these levels helps reduce the risk of heart disease and increase cardiovascular health.
- Helps the Body Develop and Grow: One indicator of improper nutrition is stunted growth. At its basic level, Vitamin B12 helps the body grow and develop at all stages of life, thus combatting stunted growth.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
As its benefits imply, Vitamin B12 is essential to overall health. Because of this, Vitamin B12 deficiency can have a devastating impact on overall health. It can cause mental health problems such as fatigue, depression confusion and even developmental delays in children. Physically, Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in heart disease, anemia, and digestive disorders such as celiac and Crohn’s disease.
The Importance of Vitamin B12 in Developing Countries
Although the importance of Vitamin B12 should not be overlooked by anyone, attention is needed to promote its use in developing countries as an essential nutrient. This is especially true since deficiency is likely higher in developing nations.
Vitamin B12 is found in foods like eggs, milk, cheese and liver, as well as in some fish. For many, Vitamin B12 can be easily obtained through diet, in areas with high vegetarian populations or where resources are scarce, the likelihood of obtaining B12 through diet alone is all but impossible. This makes B12 deficiency a global problem that requires the same amount of attention as other essential vitamins.
Given the benefits of Vitamin B12 and the consequences of its deficiency, it’s time that we put a stop to the misconception that its only benefit is weight loss. Adequate amounts of B12 are not relegated to weight loss, but to nutrition and health. Ensuring that appropriate levels are maintained may require supplements, such as B12 Injections like these on the website http://vitamininjections.net/, which are preferable to oral supplements due to their efficiency, or may include efforts to increase access to foods containing B12.
Recognizing the importance of Vitamin B12 is critical to improving the standard of living on a global scale. Knowledge is power, and awareness is key.