Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin. Unable to be produced by the body, vitamin B12 is commonly incorporated into people’s diets from sources like meat, fish, and dairy products, or in the form of a supplement.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 is known to be a nutrient that supports healthy hair, skin and nails, but it also has benefits for other parts of your body:
- Supports heart health, encourages the formation of red blood cells, and helps prevent anemia
- Prevents brain and spinal cord birth defects
- Supports bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis
- Supports eye health and prevents macular degeneration
- Improves mood
- Supports brain health and prevents the loss of neurons
Does Vitamin B12 Boost Energy?
Another commonly assumed benefit of vitamin B12 is its energy boosting properties. While one of the most common warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is a lack of energy, adding extra B12 to your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a supercharged energy boost. If your B12 levels are low, however, taking a supplement or upping your intake of vitamin B12-rich foods can help bring you back up to normal levels.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B12
Maintaining optimal levels of vitamin B12 is essential to your body’s daily functions and overall health. You can work it into your diet by filling your plate with ingredients like these natural sources of vitamin B12!
Meat and Eggs
- Lamb liver
- Lamb kidneys
- Veal kidneys
- Egg yolks
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Fortified plant-based milk
Keep in mind that most fortified sources of vitamin B12 will be the synthetic form, which is far from ideal. Read on to find out why!
Vitamin B12 Supplements
For vegetarians, vegans and those who simply don’t like to eat a lot of meat, supplements are a good way to ensure their B12 levels stay high enough. Whether you take it in the form of a pill or as a vitamin B12 shot, be sure to choose a source that uses the methylated form of the vitamin.
Methylcobalamin (as opposed to cyanocobalamin) is more bioavailable and is therefore more easily and efficiently absorbed into the body. Methylated vitamin B12 is non-negotiable for those with some form of the MTHFR mutation, a condition present in more than 50% of people that can lead to high levels of homocysteine and low levels of vitamins in the blood. Vitamin B12 is safe to be taken orally, intravenously and topically.
Essential Vitamins in a Snap
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