Vitamin B12 is a safe, reliable and inexpensive vitamin. For health-conscious individuals, a regular intake of a prescribed amount of vitamin B12 is a key element for preserving a balance in the human body. B12 can be obtained from food sources or can be taken in the form of supplements orally or via injections.
In combination with other B-group vitamins, vitamin B12 ensures the smooth functioning of vital life processes of the human body. It is important for maintaining a healthy nervous system and DNA production. Vitamin B12 helps to regulate the formation of red blood cells in the body. Other benefits of vitamin B12 include its role in maintaining and increasing energy levels in the human body.
Vitamin B12 is highly beneficial in various forms. Methylcobalamin, the coenzyme form of vitamin B12 is a body-friendly version, which means that no metabolic steps are required for its ingestion and it can be used it in its normal form. It is available as a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue or by injection through a muscle or fatty tissue (because the digestive system might modify this molecule). Through these methods, vitamin B12 can directly penetrate the bloodstream and yield numerous benefits. Hydroxocobalamin is another form of vitamin B12 that has been recognized as an effective cure for cyanide poisoning.
Research studies reveal a clear, inverse correlation between homocysteine (an amino acid found in the human body) levels and vitamin B12 levels. Blocking the formation of homocysteine leads to endothelial dysfunction (a narrowing of the arteries) and is a precursor of atherosclerosis; vitamin B12 helps to curb atherosclerosis. A supplement of vitamin B12 also augments the efficiency of folic acid’s capacity to lower homocysteine levels. Researchers are of the opinion that in conjunction with folic acid, an adequate dose of vitamin B12 helps to counter heart diseases and thrombosis. The synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound involved in immune function and mood, depends on the association of folate and vitamin B12.
Studies indicate that absorption of Vitamin B12 decreases with an increase in age. Hence, an increased intake of vitamin B12 is extremely useful for adults above fifty. The recommended form of intake is in supplement form, since elderly people absorb this form better than food forms of vitamin B12. A supplementation of vitamin B12 aids in the cognitive function and heals neurological impairment within this group.
In most cases, vitamin B12 should be taken in conjunction with a folic acid supplement and a B-Complex vitamin. The good news is that while an intake of vitamin B12 facilitates functions necessary for everyday existence, an extra dose causes no harm but instead could be stored for future use.