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The Many Benefits of B-12

Vitamins are an essential group of substances that help with cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 vitamins that are key to the body’s development. A deficiency of these essential vitamins can lead to many problems. 

B vitamins, in particular, support cell growth, metabolism, and several tissues in the body. And of the B vitamins, B-12 (cyanocobalamin) is one of the most crucial. 

Dr. Shawn Veiseh has years of experience helping people with B-12 treatments, as well as many other medical needs. Here are some of the many benefits of vitamin B-12:

Blood health

The body needs B-12 to help produce red blood cells, which it gets through eating meats like poultry, fish, and eggs. Red blood cells provide oxygen to the tissues in the body, which is essential for living. Deficiencies in B-12 can lead to anemia, jaundice, mouth ulcers, fatigue, blurred vision, and other complications.

Child bearing health

The fetus requires B-12 to properly develop a healthy brain, spine, and nervous system. It can also help to prevent split spinal (spina bifida) and other types of birth defects in the fetus. A lack of B-12 while pregnant can lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and congenital anomalies.

Bone health

There are numerous vitamins that help with bone health, but B-12 helps with building bone cells. Low levels of this vitamin are linked with low bone density and high risks of osteoporosis in both sexes.

Brain health

B-12 also helps with preventing neuron loss which impacts memory. Studies have shown that people who maintain proper levels of B-12 have less brain atrophy over time. People at an average age of 73 were tested and found to have no thinking or memory problems. Another study links B-12 and omega 3 fatty acids to slowing the mental decline associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Skin health

B-12 also helps in cell growth, and can promote skin nail and hair health. Though a diet with good B-12 levels doesn’t require supplements to be healthier, a lack of B-12 could lead to hyperpigmentation, vitiligo, angular stomatitis (inflammation and cracking in the corners of the mouth) and other problems.

B-12 deficiency is more common as you age and is more frequent with some vegetarian diets. That said, it can impact people taking certain types of diabetes medications, heartburn medications, and people who've had surgery where the section of colon that absorbs B-12 is removed.

B-12 deficiency is highly treatable, but individual needs will require specific methods of treatment. If you think you have a B-12 deficiency, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh.

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