Vitamin B12 is involved in red blood cell formation. When vitamin B12 levels are too low, the production of red blood cells is altered, causing megaloblastic anemia.
Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. They’re important for the prevention of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
Vitamin B12 may play a vital role in your bone health. Low blood levels of this vitamin have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels in your blood. This may help prevent the development of age-related muscular degeneration.
Vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss. More research is needed to conclude if supplementing with this vitamin can improve memory in those without a deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is involved in energy production in your body. Taking a supplement may improve your energy level, but only if you’re deficient in this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 can decrease blood homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, research does not currently support the claim that vitamin B12 reduces this risk.
Healthy vitamin B12 levels are important for your hair, skin and nails. However, taking a supplement probably won’t improve your health in these areas if your levels are already sufficient.