The Health Hazards Of Vitamin B12 Deficiencies, And How Supplements Can Help Restore Energy Levels

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In an energy-thirsty society, people are constantly searching for a cure for fatigue. Vitamin b12, known as "cobalamin," is an imperative substance for high energy levels, but many people do not consume an adequate amount of it. 

Why is Vitamin B12 Important?

The human body needs vitamin b12 in order to create new red blood cells, maintain healthy nerve tissue, and absorb folic acid. When a person does not receive enough of this vitamin over an extended period of time, severe health problems can result. The most common condition, appropriately dubbed "vitamin b12 deficiency," can be life threatening. Some of the health problems associated with b12 deficiency include:

  • Anemia: The body cannot produce enough red blood cells if it is denied vitamin b12. Anemia develops as a result of this low red blood cell count, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, easy bruising, confusion, dizziness, and overall weakness. 
  • Brain Shrinkage: Without cobalamin, the body cannot maintain proper brain functions. This causes a decrease in cognitive functioning and memory loss, particularly in people over the age of 65.

Why are Low Levels of B12 Linked to Fatigue?

Low levels of vitamin b12 can significantly decrease a person's energy levels. The deficiency need not be chronic to cause energy loss; even a temporary drop in b12 levels can result in a lack of energy. The vitamins themselves do not provide energy, but they do release energy from ingested foods for the body to use. 

In an age of fast food, processed and refined meals, and restricted diets (like veganism), more people than ever are feeling fatigued as a result of inadequate b12 consumption. Certain health conditions, like Crohn's disease and digestive disorders, will also deplete a person's b12 levels despite good eating habits. If a person eats a well-balanced, healthy diet, maintaining adequate b12 levels should not be an issue. Yet, unhealthy eating habits and diets significantly lacking in meats will not provide the body with enough b12 to maintain effective energy levels. 

Supplementing Low B12 Levels Artificially

If a person is incapable of consuming adequate amounts of vitamin b12, or cannot effectively process it after consuming it, then b12 supplements might be the answer. The most common way to supplement low b12 levels is though a daily multivitamin. Other options include b12-enhanced beverages and foods, b12 supplemental tabs, and even b12 injections. For people officially diagnosed with vitamin b12 deficiency, injections can even be covered by many insurance plans. 

Determining whether b12 supplements will increase energy levels can be challenging because many other factors might be causing the fatigue. This vitamin is water-soluble, so the body will simply get rid of any unused b12 vitamins; thus, if the body is not truly deficient, then purchasing b12 supplements may do nothing more than drain the wallet. Without a diagnosis, the best thing to do (next to a diet change) is to first experiment with b12 capsules or a multivitamin; these can be found at companies like Nature's Energy. These options are much cheaper than b12 injections, so if the root of the energy loss is not a b12 deficiency, the mistake will not be a costly one.