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Why does our body need vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. It is one of the eight B vitamins and is necessary for maintaining healthy nerve cells, producing DNA and RNA, and creating red blood cells. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin B12 is unique because it contains cobalt, a mineral that gives it its name.

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the human body, particularly affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. The body absorbs vitamin B12 in the stomach with the help of a protein called intrinsic factor. This complex then travels to the intestines, where vitamin B12 is absorbed into the bloodstream.

What is it used for?

Vitamin B12 is crucial for several key functions in the body. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Without sufficient B12, red blood cells become large and irregularly shaped, leading to a condition known as megaloblastic anemia. This condition can cause fatigue, weakness, and other health issues. Additionally, vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining the health of nerve cells and helps in the production of myelin, the protective coating around nerves. It also supports brain health and cognitive function, playing a role in mood regulation and memory.

Benefits of vitamin B12

The benefits of vitamin B12 are wide-ranging and include:

  1. Energy production: Vitamin B12 helps convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses for energy. This makes it an essential vitamin for preventing fatigue and boosting overall energy levels.
  2. Brain health: Adequate levels of vitamin B12 support brain health and cognitive function, reducing the risk of brain atrophy and memory loss, particularly in older adults.
  3. Heart health: B12 helps lower homocysteine levels, a protein associated with an increased risk of heart disease. By managing these levels, B12 contributes to cardiovascular health.
  4. Mood regulation: Vitamin B12 plays a role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. A deficiency in B12 can lead to increased risks of depression and mood disorders.
  5. Healthy skin, hair, and nails: B12 is essential for cell production, which means it supports the health of skin, hair, and nails. It helps in the regeneration and repair of cells, contributing to a healthier appearance.

Where is vitamin B12 found?

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. For vegetarians and vegans, fortified foods such as plant-based milk, breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast can provide B12. Some mushrooms and algae also contain small amounts of B12. Additionally, B12 supplements are available for those who have difficulty getting enough through diet alone.

What happens with diets low in vitamin B12?

A diet low in vitamin B12 can lead to a deficiency, which has various adverse effects on health. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms might include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue.

Long-term B12 deficiency can lead to severe neurological and psychiatric problems if not addressed. Since B12 is not produced by the body and must be consumed regularly, individuals following strict vegetarian or vegan diets are at higher risk of deficiency and may require supplements or fortified foods to meet their needs.

Hair & Nails by Matcha & CO: Supporting health with vitamin B12

Matcha & CO's Hair & Nails supplement is designed to promote the health of hair and nails by incorporating essential nutrients, including vitamin B12. Given the role of vitamin B12 in cell production and health, its inclusion in Hair & Nails supplements helps ensure that the body has the necessary components to maintain strong and healthy hair and nails.

Properties and benefits of Hair & Nails by Matcha & CO

  1. Enhanced hair growth: Vitamin B12 in the supplement supports the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. This can enhance hair growth and prevent hair loss.
  2. Stronger nails: Adequate levels of B12 contribute to the strength and resilience of nails. A deficiency can lead to brittle and weak nails, so ensuring sufficient intake is crucial for nail health.
  3. Overall cellular health: By promoting healthy cell production and function, vitamin B12 helps maintain the overall health of the skin, hair, and nails. This leads to a more vibrant appearance and reduced signs of aging.

Incorporating Hair & Nails by Matcha & CO into a daily regimen can help address the specific needs related to B12 deficiency, especially for individuals who may have dietary restrictions that limit their intake of this essential vitamin. The supplement provides a convenient and effective way to ensure that the body receives the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy hair and nails, contributing to overall well-being.

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