Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is responsible for a variety of functions involving your nervous system and red blood cells, among other things. Insufficient supply of vitamin B12 in your body leads to health complications such as appetite loss, constipation, fatigue, weight loss and mental disorders. Nevertheless, cases of vitamin B12 deficiency are rare in healthy people because the liver stores enough to meet daily demands.
You require vitamin B12 during metabolic processes to facilitate the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose that supplies your body with energy. These vitamins also serve as co-enzymes in the breakdown procedures of other macronutrients including fats and proteins to produce energy. The energy produced is utilized by your body to fuel functions of other physiological systems.
Your digestive system requires vitamin B12 in order to digest food and produce energy. It also stimulates the proper functioning of the enzymes in your digestive system. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause you to experience digestion complications that can lead to constipation. Shortages of this vital nutrient may also cause health problems such as pancreatic disease and stomach ulcers.
Vitamin B12 enables you to maintain healthy nerve cells by regulating the production of genetic materials. This stabilizes your nervous system and prevents problems such as stress, memory loss, confusion, numbness, tingling of toes, loss of balance and depression. Moreover, the combination of vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 generates substances that control your moods. These functions are extremely vital for your overall well being.
Vitamin B12 helps control the levels of low density lipoproteins -- or bad cholesterol -- in your body. Bad cholesterol is made up of fatty substances that disrupt the flow of blood in your body when they settle along the walls of your arteries. The elimination of bad cholesterol protects you from heart-related ailments including high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Anemia and Neuropathy
Vitamin B 12, in combination with other nutrients such as folate, is used to treat anemia -- or deficiency of red blood cells. Deficiency of vitamin B12 exposes you to megaloblastic anemia, pernicious anemia and neuropathy. Megaloblastic anemia occurs when your red blood cells transform into unusually large and disfigured sizes. Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia that is attributed to insufficient absorption of vitamin B12 in the small intestines. Neuropathy is any type of disease that distorts and incapacitates your nerves. You can prevent or treat these diseases by supplying your body with sufficient amounts of vitamin B12.