Consuming vitamins on a daily basis plays a vital part in maintaining your health and helping the metabolic processes in your body. In particular, Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) an important water-soluble vitamin, helps make your DNA and your red blood cells. It also helps maintain the proper functioning of your nervous system. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in weight loss as well! Your body does not naturally make vitamin B12 so you must get your B12 intake from animal-based foods or supplements. Because humans don’t store this vitamin for a long period of time it is important to have a daily intake of food rich in Vitamin B12 such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy products.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are certain factors that can cause someone to be more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency even if their daily intake is high. Age makes it more difficult to absorb B12 so if you don’t make sure you are consuming enough animal products and supplements that contain vitamin B12 you might suffer from a deficiency. If you have anemia, auto immune disorders, atrophic gastritis or any conditions that affect your small intestine it will be more difficult to absorb B12 putting you at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency as well.
Vegans and vegetarians are at high risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency because the foods that contain B12 are animal products such as milk, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. It is extremely important for vegans and vegetarians (who don’t eat enough eggs or dairy products) to use vitamin B12 supplements. B12 supplements often come in the form of a pill or a spray and help consumers meet their minimum daily B12 intake!
Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Weight Gain
You can pay a visit to your primary care physician and ask to have your blood tested to see what your current vitamin B12 levels are and get a vitamin B12 deficiency diagnosis. There are many signs and symptoms that are associated with vitamin B12 deficiencies. If you have any of these symptoms you can try increasing your B12 intake with a supplement to see if the problem persists.
- Fatigue, weakness or lightheadedness: Everyone gets tired once in a while, but many people suffer from chronic fatigue and associate it with lack of sleep. There are many reasons you might experience weakness or lightheadedness but a vitamin B12 deficiency is a common factor.
- Anemia: According to Harvard Health anemia can be caused by a lack of vitamin B12 intake or an inability to absorb B12 from food. Symptoms of anemia can include fatigue, shortness of breath, migraines and an increased heart and breathing rate.
- Pale or jaundiced skin: By pale skin we don’t mean that you spent a few too little days in the sun this summer. If your skin is much paler than normal, has a yellowy tint, or if you have a yellowish tinge in your eyes then you might have jaundice. According to Pub Med this can be associated with a lack of vitamin B12 because a deficiency causes problems with your body’s red blood cell production.
- Stress, anxiety and depression: Mental health issues are a huge concern and can be devastating to the person suffering from stress, anxiety and depression and their families. Studies show a correlation between B12 levels and a patient’s ability to halt mental health symptoms. In particular, patients with high levels of vitamin B12 were able to overcome stress and anxiety faster than those with low levels or deficiencies.
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight: Gaining weight is frustrating for men and women of all ages. Consuming efficient levels of vitamin B12 can increase your metabolism helping you lose the extra pounds. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 places stress on the body making it harder to be active and even perform day-to-day tasks. This can reduce your ability to lose weight.
Vitamin B12 Weight Loss
Does b12 help you lose weight? As we mentioned above a Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause weight gain or make it difficult to lose weight. It also plays an essential role in energy metabolism in the body. You might be asking yourself can vitamin B12 help me lose weight? The answer is yes, for a few reasons that we will explain below.
B12 Increases Metabolism
Vitamin B12 is beneficial for many metabolic processes in your body including the metabolism of proteins and fats. B12 helps your body break down the fats and proteins you consume on a daily basis resulting in a more-thorough utilization of the food that you eat. If you have low levels of B12 it will be more difficult for your body to go through this process which can result in weight gain. That being said, a high metabolism is important in weight loss and vitamin B12 is an essential factor in metabolism.
B12 Increases Energy
You might be wondering how a boost in energy is associated with weight loss, but it is! If you do not have sufficient energy levels it can be it difficult to get out of bed let alone maintain the proper fitness routine it takes to lose weight. Many people report that they don’t make it to the gym on a weekly basis due to fatigue. Fatigue is associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency and B12 is proven to increase energy levels. If you need more energy to perform your cardio and fitness routine, try increasing your vitamin B12 intake!
B12 Decreases Stress and Anxiety
According to the Obesity Society stress and anxiety are associated with higher levels of obesity. Suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency places stress on your body which reduces your ability to lose weight. Increasing your B12 intake can reduces anxiety and stress, making it easier for you to exercise and lose weight.
How Much B12 Should I Take?
According to WebMD you should consume a minimum amount of Vitamin B12 per day. The amount varies by age and weight. Read the chart below to see what your minimum B12 intake should be, per day, according to your age.
- Infants up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
- Babies age 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- Children age 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
- Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
- Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
- Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
If you are wondering, “how much B12 you should I take for weight loss?” the chart above gives you a minimum amount to get through diet & supplementation.
Be aware of any health issues that you suffer from that might make it more difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B12. Also keep in mind that with all supplements, only a percentage is absorbed by the body into the blood stream (we do sublingual spray formulas because the absorption is much higher, and they allow you to custom-tailor the dosage to your needs, goals, and body type!).
In order to boost your energy levels and experience weight loss we suggest using a vitamin B12 supplement along with a diet that is rich in B12 such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy products. If you are vegan or vegetarian it is extremely important to add a B12 supplement to your daily regime.