Pros & Cons of B12
Vitamin B-12 is vitamin that your body cannot synthesize and therefore one that you must obtain through food. You can get your day’s supply of vitamin B-12 by eating a chicken breast, a hard-boiled egg and a cup of plain low-fat yogurt, or a cup of raisin bran with a cup of milk mixed in. This vitamin is also water-soluble and several years' worth of the vitamin is stored in your liver.
Vitamin B-12 plays an important part in maintaining the proper functioning of your brain, nerves, blood cells and other parts of your body, MedlinePlus.com reports. This vitamin is used for treating vitamin B-12 deficiencies and pernicious anemia, a condition that makes it difficult for your intestinal tract to absorb vitamin B-12. When taken with folic acid and vitamin B6, vitamin B-12 is also effective in treating hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition that increases risk to your veins and arteries. Taking viatmin B-12 along with folic acid and vitamin B6 may also help you avoid getting an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.
- Vitamin B-12 plays an important part in maintaining the proper functioning of your brain, nerves, blood cells and other parts of your body, MedlinePlus.com reports.
- When taken with folic acid and vitamin B6, vitamin B-12 is also effective in treating hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition that increases risk to your veins and arteries.
Dangers of Deficiency
Can Vitamin B-6 Help You Lose Weight?
Consuming vitamin B-12 prevents a harmful deficiency. About 15 percent of adults who are 65 years old or older suffer from a deficiency of vitamin B-12, according to an article in the March 1, 2003 issue of "American Family Physician." Low B-12 levels can affect your ability to make healthy red blood cells, causing anemia. If the deficiency continues, it will negatively affect your nervous system and cause nerve damage. This damage, which can be permanent, causes changes in your sense of touch, tingling in your hands and feet, and can even affect cognitive function and change your personality.
- Consuming vitamin B-12 prevents a harmful deficiency.
- Low B-12 levels can affect your ability to make healthy red blood cells, causing anemia.
Possible Drawbacks and Risks
If you are allergic to cobalt or cobalamin, another name for vitamin B-12, you should avoid taking this vitamin, cautions MedlinePlus.com. You should also avoid taking vitamin B-12 if you suffer from the hereditary eye disease called Leher’s disease, because the vitamin could harm the optic nerve seriously, which could lead to blindness. Aside from the two cases mentioned above, an overdose of vitamin B-12 is not expected to cause any serious harm to you, Drugs.com reports. Still, should you experience any chest pain, swelling, unusual warmth, redness, or pain in an arm or leg, or feeling short of breath even with mild exertion or rapid weight gain, see a doctor immediately.
- If you are allergic to cobalt or cobalamin, another name for vitamin B-12, you should avoid taking this vitamin, cautions MedlinePlus.com.
- Aside from the two cases mentioned above, an overdose of vitamin B-12 is not expected to cause any serious harm to you, Drugs.com reports.
Sources and Requirements
Vitamin B6 & Numb or Tingling Feet
Adult women and men need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 each day. Vitamin B-12 naturally occurs in foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk and milk products, MedlinePlus.com reports. While non-animal food sources of this vitamin exist, they are considered unreliable. Those who need vitamin B-12 to treat medical conditions or people who do not consume animal products may get the vitamin in the form of supplements.
- Adult women and men need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 each day.
- Those who need vitamin B-12 to treat medical conditions or people who do not consume animal products may get the vitamin in the form of supplements.
Can Vitamin B-6 Help You Lose Weight?
Vitamin B6 & Numb or Tingling Feet
What Are Side Effects of Vitamin B12 Tablets?
B12 Levels in Skim Milk
Vitamin D Deficiency & Blurred Vision
Does Vitamin B12 Make You Lose Weight?
Vitamins Necessary for Alcoholics
What Is Rapid Weight Gain?
What Vitamins Do Mangoes Have?
Vitamins & Minerals That Eliminate Under-Eye Circles
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B-12
- Drugs.com: Vitamin B-12
- American Family Physician: Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
- MedlinePlus.com: Vitamin B-12
- Holick MF, Gordon CM. Patient Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96(7):1-2. doi:10.1210/jcem.96.7.zeg33a
- Sunyecz JA. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(4):827-836. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s3552
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.11.1174
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, et al. Optimal vitamin D status for colorectal cancer prevention: a quantitative meta analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32(3):210-216. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.11.004
- Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85(6):1586-1591. doi:10.1093/ajcn/85.6.1586
- Prentice RL, Pettinger MB, Jackson RD, et al. Health risks and benefits from calcium and vitamin D supplementation: Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial and cohort study. Osteoporos Int. 2013;24(2):567-580. doi:10.1007/s00198-012-2224-2
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1255-1260. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094
- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78
- Carrillo AE, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, et al. Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults. Clin Nutr. 2013;32(3):375-381. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014
- Marcinowska-Suchowierska E, Kupisz-Urbańska M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Płudowski P, Jones G. Vitamin D Toxicity-A Clinical Perspective. Front Endocrinol. 2018;9:550. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00550
- Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, et al. The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(1):53-58. doi:10.1210/jc.2010-2704
- Bouillon R, Van Schoor NM, Gielen E, et al. Optimal vitamin D status: a critical analysis on the basis of evidence-based medicine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(8):E1283-E1304. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-1195
- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
- Taksler GB, Cutler DM, Giovannucci E, Keating NL. Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(3):379-391. doi:10.1017/S1368980014000457
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(7):1911-1930. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-0385
- Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:1129-40.
- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
- Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA, Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:384-90.
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
- Heaney, Robert P. “The Vitamin D Requirement in Health and Disease.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 97 (2005):13-9.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
Joseph Pritchard graduated from Our Lady of Fatima Medical School with a medical degree. He has spent almost a decade studying humanity. Dr. Pritchard writes as a San Francisco biology expert for a prominent website and thoroughly enjoys sharing the knowledge he has accumulated.