Vitamin B12, as are all the B Vitamins, is water soluble. That means that if the body has too much, it will be excreted through the kidneys and out through the urinary tract.
Our body cannot produce B vitamins, and so it must obtain them from food sources. Where do we get Vitamin B12?
The only dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal products and bacteria: meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk and nutritional yeast.
Vitamin B12’s role in the operations of our bodies is diverse —it helps maintain the nervous system, red blood cells, and energy metabolism. It also helps maintain proper functioning of our brains, hearts, livers, and kidneys and is a building block of DNA.
Vitamin B12 nourishes the outer covering of our nerves called the myelin sheathe, promoting healthy conduction of energy throughout the entire nervous system. By protecting our nerve cells, B12 indirectly influences our ability to see, hear, think, and move . B12 aids in the normal formation of the substance that keeps life flowing within: the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies.
B12, a red crystalline compound (sometimes called “the red vitamin”), also helps metabolize iron, carbohydrates, and fats and is needed for proper digestion and absorption of other nutrients from food. By aiding the formation of the powerful chemical signal in our brains acetylcholine, Vitamin B12 supports memory and learning capabilities as well.
Acetylcholine (often abbreviated ACh) is an organic, polyatomic ion that acts as a neurotransmitter in both the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS) in humans and other organisms. Acetylcholine is one of many neurotransmitters in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the only neurotransmitter used in the motor division of the somatic nervous system (sensory neurons use glutamate and various peptides at their synapses). Acetylcholine is also the principal neurotransmitter in all autonomic ganglia. Reference: WIKIPEDIA
In cardiac tissue acetylcholine neurotransmission has an inhibitory effect, which lowers heart rate. However, acetylcholine also behaves as an excitatory neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions in skeletal muscle
B12 boosts our metabolism. It helps digest our food faster and burn more calories. The more calories we burn, the fewer calories we store as fat. If we increase our exercise level, we can boost our metabolism even more.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. A mild deficiency may cause only mild, if any, symptoms. But as the anemia worsens it may causes symptoms such as:
- weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
- rapid heartbeat and breathing
- pale skin
- sore tongue
- easy bruising or bleeding, including bleeding gums
- stomach upset and weight loss
- diarrhea or constipation
If the deficiency is not corrected, it can damage the nerve cells. If this happens, vitamin B12 deficiency effects may include:
- tingling or numbness in fingers and toes
- difficulty walking
- mood changes or depression
- memory loss, disorientation, and dementia
Like my Father before me and many other people, my body does not have the ability to hold onto and get enough B Vitamins. As a child, I suffered from anemia and constipation. As an adult, the constipation followed me as well as I was constantly tired and even depressed. I could not figure out why. When I found out about the deficiency my Dad had, I did some research and found that ALL my symptoms could be from lack of B Vitamins, especially Vitamin B12. I now use some products from The AIM Companies, AIM BarleyLife Xtra, AIM LeafGreens and AIM Peak Endurance. I find that after I started using these products, my enegry level went way up…I feel GREAT!
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