Your body requires appropriate amounts of Vitamin B12 to continue producing DNA, maintain a healthy metabolism, and keep the nervous system healthy. Generally, most people get this vitamin from their regular diet, but it is not the case for some. Older adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people taking certain medications, vegetarians, vegans, and people with digestive issues are some who cannot rely on food alone to fulfill the body’s minimum B12 requirements.
If you fall in any of these categories, doctors may recommend you take liquid B12 to fill the gap. If you are skeptical about taking vitamin B12 as a supplement, this article will solve all your doubts. This comprehensive article covers all the essential details you would want to know about Vitamin B12, so ensure you read until the end.
Types of Vitamin B12
A significant portion of naturally occurring Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods, like dairy products, meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, etc. But nutritional yeast and breakfast cereals are also fortified with this vitamin. Besides naturally occurring Vitamin B12, you can also find liquid B12 supplements, which are synthetically produced in laboratories using advanced chemical processes and microbes. Synthetic Vitamin B12 combines compounds like methane, cyanide, etc., and the element cobalt.
If you plan to get synthetic Vitamin B12, remember they are also called cobalamin. It is why you can find ‘cobalamin’ in most B12 supplement names. Take, for example, cyanocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, etc. Of all these commonly available Vitamin B12 supplements, cyanocobalamin is the most synthetic supplement featuring a distinct chemical composition from organic B12. The remaining mentioned Vitamin B12 is relatively identical to the natural Vitamin B12 found in food items.
How do You Know Your Body Has Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
You can determine whether you need to take Vitamin B12 supplements by looking for symptoms in your body. The body needs sufficient Vitamin B12 to carry out essential functions like producing red blood cells, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and keeping the nervous system and brain healthy. According to medical experts, Vitamin B12 levels lesser than 200 picomoles per liter (pmo/L) are considered low. You can visit a doctor for a proper Vitamin B12 deficiency test if you are experiencing any one or multiple of the following symptoms:
Numbness in feet and hand
Abnormal walking motions
Swelling of tongue
In some cases, it may take years for these symptoms to show up. If you are health conscious, you can opt for frequent body checkup tests that routinely make you aware of any vitamin deficiency existing in your body.
Why Take Vitamin B12 Supplements?
In severe malabsorption cases, people prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency may require a liquid B12 supplement to prevent deficiency and related symptoms. Additionally, it can also help with the following health benefits:
Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells. If your body has low Vitamin B12 levels, it can lead to anemia. This condition makes you feel tired and weak. In severe cases, the person can also experience heart and nervous system damage. Fortunately, it can be prevented by taking Vitamin B12 supplements to normalize blood levels.
If you feel low on energy, Vitamin B12 can help. This vitamin metabolizes food and converts it into energy. Lower B12 levels also increase the risk of anemia, which is a major cause of low energy levels. You can talk to your doctor to get a recommendation for Vitamin B12 supplements ideal for your body and the suggested dosage.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should be extra cautious about Vitamin B12 deficiency. Lack of Vitamin B12 during these phases can result in developmental delays and cognitive disabilities, low weight gain in infants, neural tube defects, etc. Although researchers are still studying how oral Vitamin B12 supplements can help prevent these side effects, has been agreed by many that taking liquid B12 supplements can improve birth outcomes.
There are a few health benefits of having Vitamin B12, but the benefits are not limited to these points. If you want your body to perform healthily, you should take enough Vitamin B12 supplements.
Ideal Dosage Information
The ideal dosage requirement should be determined based on your health conditions, so it is best to consult your doctor regarding the correct dosage information. The Vitamin B12 included in supplements from different brands varies, so checking the supplement’s composition and instructions at the back label is crucial. Although there are no official dosage guidelines, some people consider the maximum dosage limit to be 2.4 mcg. It can be 2.8 mcg for lactating mothers.
Potential Downsides of Liquid B12
Like other supplements, even Vitamin B12 comes with certain downsides or side effects. Since Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that gets excreted as urine by kidneys when high in concentration, people rarely feel any side effects. But in rare cases, people may experience the following downsides:
If you want to reduce your likelihood of experiencing any side effects, get your body tested to get the ideal dosage requirement recommended.
Should You Take Vitamin B12?
The best way to prevent B12 deficiency is by taking liquid B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 supplements are safe for consumption and effective at minimizing Vitamin B12 deficiency-related symptoms and health complications. It can help people reduce low energy levels, reduce birth complications for infants, treat anemia, etc. The market offers numerous Vitamin B12 supplement options, so ensure you ask your doctor to proceed with the best option.