It is pretty easy to gain back those extra pounds you have shed from a one-hour cardio workout at the gym. So one should be extra-vigilant about what kind of food one eats and how it affects the body. In most cases, unhealthy dietary choices on our part can lead to weight gain. But there can be some exceptional cases. In some cases, people who watch out for junk foods and follow healthy dietary habits still gain weight. What can be the reason behind that? Recent studies and researches point towards vitamin B12 and how it can affect the weight of the human body.
There have been many studies that are ongoing regarding the connection between vitamin B12 and weight gain. To know about the overview and benefits of vitamin B12 and whether its deficiency is linked with weight gain, read the article fully.
Vitamin B12- An Overview
Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins that the human body cannot produce by itself. It is regarded as one of the most complex vitamins of all and can be derived only from meat and other animal-derived supplements.
Vitamin B12 is also known as “cobalamin” because it contains traces of the mineral cobalt. It is a vital nutrient required for red blood cell synthesis and DNA formation in the human body. This vitamin also plays a major role in the brain and nerve cells’ function. The major sources of vitamin B12 are Beef liver, clams, tuna, salmon, yogurt, milk, etc.
Health benefits of Vitamin B12
Studies show that vitamin B12 is associated with the optimization of major organs and their proper functioning. Some of the crucial parts in your body that benefit from vitamin B12 are the brain, nerves, and blood. The benefits of vitamin B12 are plenty and some of them are provided in detail below:
- Reduce fatigue and enhance the production of red blood cells: Vitamin B12 was found mandatory for the proliferation process that takes place during red blood cell production. Vitamin b12 can increase the red blood cells in your body and can be effective in reducing fatigue as a result.
- Prevents the symptoms associated with Depression: Many studies have been published on the connection between low vitamin B12 levels and depression. Along with other B vitamins, vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of your memory and cognition. Lower levels of this vitamin can connect with an onset of depression in certain cases.
- Protect your eyes from macular degeneration: B12 vitamin has been found to have been effective in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A randomized controlled study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 elucidated the role of vitamin B12 in reducing macular degeneration.
- Improves your overall energy: Many research has suggested that vitamin B12 can accelerate the process of converting food molecules into energy. If you are experiencing fatigue, go for some vitamin B12 supplements.
- Aids in improving health during pregnancy: Vitamin B12 is suggested for pregnant women as it can be an important nutrient that affects the brain development of the child. Also, a b12 deficiency can result in conditions like anemia, reduced birth weight, and nervous defects in babies.
- Supports cognitive health: According to studies, vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in regulating your central nervous system. The lower levels of this vitamin can even cause issues such as peripheral neuropathy, memory loss, and thinking problems.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause many conditions that can lead to severe health issues like anemia and depression. Some of the symptoms of B12 deficiency are provided below:
- Constantly feeling tired: One of the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue. When your body is lower in vitamin B12 levels, the rate of red blood cell production also decreases. This affects oxygen delivery and thereby you experience fatigue.
- Discoloration of the skin or pale skin: Studies have proven that vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to discoloration of the skin which will make the skin dull and patchy. It can also lead to a condition known as hyperpigmentation, which is a condition that causes extremely dark patches on the skin.
- Mood swings and depression: People with depression and mood disorders were found to have been diagnosed with lower levels of vitamin B12.
- An inability to focus and cognitive impairment: Much research has already succeeded in finding the correlation between cognitive impairment and vitamin B12 deficiency. Along with accentuating symptoms like memory loss, a lack of this vitamin can also create a numbness and tingling experience.
- Rapid heart rates and palpitations: When your body is short of vitamin B12, there won’t be enough red blood cells. This can make your heart beat faster than normal.
B12 deficiency and weight gain: Is there a connection between the two?
Much research is on the go regarding the correlation between b12 deficiency and weight gain. A primary-care-based study published in Med Glas (Zenica) in 2013, investigated the connection between vitamin B12 and conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. A study conducted among 414 obese patients, untangle the knots that connect vitamin B12 deficiency and weight gain.
Based on the conclusion from this study, lower vitamin B12 levels were found in people with obese and overweight conditions. Another study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine detailed the association between vitamin B12 and obese children. From this study, children and adolescents with obesity were found to have lower levels of vitamin B12. From these studies and research, what we can understand is that vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in maintaining weight. Even though there are no findings on the direct attribution of vitamin B12 can cause weight gain, obese and overweight people generally lack these vitamin levels.
So a connection between the two is relevant and worth further research and analysis. Also, vitamin B12 can accelerate the functions of your metabolism and can aid in the conversion of fat into energy. So considering all these factors, you can find that vitamin B12 has a major role in maintaining your weight.
Based on the analyses above, one can conclude that vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin that can support various functions in the human body. As one of the complex vitamins, the human body cannot produce B12 on its own. So one needs to increase the intake of meat and dietary products to gain a sufficient amount of vitamin B12. Many studies and researches are on the go regarding whether a deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to weight gain.
Even though vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to many other conditions, weight gain was not properly researched. Still, some studies validate the claim that lower levels of vitamin B12 can lead to weight gain. Such an analysis was made after researching obese patients and as a result, they were found to have lesser levels of vitamin B12 in their bodies. Still, this doesn’t mean that vitamin B12 can help with weight loss. So much research has to be made regarding the connections between vitamin B12 and weight gain and one has to wait for more accurate findings and analysis as a result of this endeavor.