Vitamin B12 Health Benefits

Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system (Image via Pexels)
Vitamin B12 is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system. (Image via Pexels)

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the functioning of the nervous system, DNA synthesis and production of red blood cells.

Unlike other B vitamins, this vitamin is only found in animal products or fortified foods, making it a common nutrient deficiency among vegetarians and vegans. In this article, we explore the health benefits of vitamin B12 and its sources.


Health benefits of vitamin B12

Cobalamin maintains energy levels and prevents fatigue. (Image via Pexels)
Cobalamin maintains energy levels and prevents fatigue. (Image via Pexels)

Supports nervous system function

Cobalamin is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It helps maintain the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells, allowing for quicker transmission of nerve impulses. That can help prevent neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Boosts energy level

Cobalamin is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, converting them into energy the body can use. That makes it an essential nutrient for maintaining energy level and preventing fatigue.

Supports brain function

Cobalamin is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are important for brain function. It also helps regulate mood and prevent depression, making it an important nutrient for maintaining cognitive function and emotional well-being.

Improves heart health

Cobalamin helps reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is a risk factor for heart disease. It also helps regulate cholesterol level by reducing 'bad' LDL cholesterol and increasing 'good' HDL cholesterol.

Supports bone health

Cobalamin helps regulate levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is a risk factor for osteoporosis. By reducing homocysteine levels, cobalamin can help maintain bone density and prevent fractures.


Sources of vitamin B12

Meat is a great source of cobalamin. (Image via Pexels)
Meat is a great source of cobalamin. (Image via Pexels)
  1. Fish: salmon, trout, tuna and sardines.
  2. Meat: beef, chicken and lamb.
  3. Shellfish: clams, oysters and mussels.
  4. Dairy products: milk, cheese and yogurt.
  5. Eggs
  6. Fortified foods: breakfast cereals, plant-based milk and nutritional yeast.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Cobalamin deficiency is a common health problem, especially among vegetarians and vegans.

Symptoms of deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking and memory loss. If left untreated, cobalamin deficiency can lead to neurological damage, anemia and other serious health problems.


Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that plays a variety of important roles, as mentioned above.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, it's important to ensure that you're getting enough cobalamin through fortified foods or supplements. If you suspect that you may be deficient in cobalamin, speak to your healthcare provider about getting tested and receiving treatment.

Edited by Bhargav