17th November 2014 By Dr. Edward F. Group Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Vitamin B-12 is one of the more discussed vitamins and for good reason. It is important for your health overall as it helps several organs and systems in your body function properly, including the brain, the nervous and skeletal systems, DNA replication and energy creation processes.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12.
1. Supports Cardiovascular Health
You’ve probably heard that B-12 is good for cardiovascular health. The way that works is this…
Homocysteine is a protein that naturally forms as a byproduct of your body’s processes. When it builds up, it can corrode and inflame arteries and blood vessels, placing strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin B-12 helps converts homocysteine to methionine, a protein the body uses for positive, essential activities.
2. Supports Energy Levels
One of the positive, essential activities that methionine is involved with is cellular energy creation.
3. Promotes Normal DNA and RNA Replication
Your body’s genetic material, DNA and RNA, need vitamin B-12 and folate (Vitamin B9) to replicate correctly. Without it, genetic material can be damaged and lead to mutations. Some speculation has even risen that low B-12 levels are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
4. Protects the Nervous System
In addition to converting homocysteine, the methylcobalamin form of B-12 encourages the formation of a protective covering for nerve cells called myelin. This covering protects nerve cells from free radicals and toxins which may be in the blood stream.
5. Protects the Brain, Too
The methylcobalamin form of B12 circulates in the blood stream and can cross the blood-brain barrier to support brain cells just as it protects nerve cells. In one study, 77 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease had significantly lower vitamin B12 levels than individuals in the control group.  Other symptoms of low B12 levels include numbness in the hands and feet, memory loss, and disorientation.
6. Encourages a Balanced Mood
Vitamin B-12 plays a role in the creation of serotonin, a chemical that influences brain function and overall mood. In one study researchers examined the effect of B-12 on the brains of diabetic patients who experienced mood imbalances. The diabetic patients with normal levels of B-12 enjoyed better cognitive performance and lower incidence of depression compared to B-12 deficient patients. 
7. Essential for Fetal Development
High homocysteine levels in pregnant mothers directly impact fetal growth. Since adequate B-12 contributes to normal homocysteine levels, it can support fetal development. 
8. Supports Bone Health
Homocysteine appears to have an impact on skeletal health, too. In recent study 50 patients suffering from osteoporosis were compared to 50 patients with normal bone density levels. Tests showed the osteoporosis patients had high levels of homocysteine and substantially lower levels of vitamin B-12, as well as folate and vitamin B6. 
Getting Enough B-12
As essential as B-12 is, it can be tricky to get enough in your diet. Foods that contain B-12 include red meat, organ meats like kidneys and liver, eggs, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood — definitely a problem for vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, many people, especially adults over 50, have trouble absorbing B-12. Commonly prescribed drugs can also cause nutritionally deficiencies, including Vitamin B-12, which have been linked to many health conditions.
One way to fill the gaps between your nutrient intake and nutrient requirements is to supplement. For B-12 supplementation, I like VeganSafe B-12. It contains natural and most bioavailable forms of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in an easily absorbed liquid formula.
– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
 Kim H, Lee KJ. Serum homocysteine levels are correlated with behavioral and psychological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014 Oct 3;10:1887-96. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S68980. eCollection 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25336954
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