What is Vitamin B?
The B vitamins are a collection of eight essential vitamins that support overall body function. You may see the B vitamins referred to numerically or by their common names, such as folate (B9) or cobalamin (B12). Milk is a good source of several B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.
B vitamins are beneficial because they help support metabolism and contribute to the body's ability to produce energy. This article focuses on the importance of vitamin B12, its role in the body, and how to get in your diet.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
Encourages Red Blood Cell Production
Studies suggest that low levels of vitamin B12 contribute to a lack of healthy red blood cells, limiting the flow of oxygen to other tissues and organs throughout your body.
Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 in your body is essential to ensure adequate blood cells are formed to carry oxygen, avoiding negative side effects that come with vitamin B12, like fatigue and weakness.
Supports Bone Health
Vitamin B12 may play an important role in bone formation. Lower than normal bone density has been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, which may lead to increased risk for osteoporosis.
May Help to Improve Mood
Vitamin B12 acts as a cofactor, including to aid in the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. One study found that people with vitamin B12 deficiency had twice the risk of developing severe depression. Alternatively, adequate vitamin B12 levels may positively affect mood, emotions, and sleep.
May Help Reduce Risk of Age-Related Vision Loss
Research has found that maintaining normal levels of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 may help reduce age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that affects your vision.
While more research is needed, one study found that in a test of 5,000 women, supplementing with vitamin B12, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, reduced the women’s risk of developing macular degeneration.
Supports Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails
If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, your hair, skin, and nails might also suffer. Low vitamin B12 levels have been found to cause hyperpigmentation and hair changes, among other concerns.
How to Get More Vitamin B12 in Your Diet
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for people over 14. Most people can get the amount of vitamin B12 they need from their diet. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. Fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast are among the limited plant-based sources of vitamin B12.
If you’re looking to add more vitamin B12 to your diet, here are some easy, tasty recipes to try:
- For breakfast, prep a Snickerdoodle latte at home and enjoy a bowl of Pancake cereal or Mini quiche with goat cheese and asparagus.
- For lunch, smear some Homemade ricotta cheese on pieces of toast or enjoy a Spinach salad with toasted pine nuts and creamy Manchego dressing
- As a snack, sip on a refreshing Berry smoothie or nibble on some Cauliflower mac & cheese bites.
- For dinner, bake a batch of this Roasted cauliflower-broccoli pasta bake or dig into a Creamy chicken pot pie.
- As a sweet treat, enjoy some decadent Chocolate cinnamon pots de creme or cool off with a Strawberry rhubarb milkshake.
If you want to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12 to help your body thrive, don’t forget to include a2 Milk into your daily diet. It’s full of vitamin B12 and made with only A2 protein, providing you with better protein, naturally. Find it at your local grocery store today!