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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin B12 deficiency and depression’

Does Vitamin B12 Really Promote Weight Loss?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013



If you’re considering taking vitamin B12 supplements as part of your weight loss regimen, then you’re off to a good start. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) helps your body break down fatty acids and amino acids in boosting energy, while it also aids in digestion. Listed are some other ways that taking vitamin B12 shots or over-the-counter supplements can help you manage your weight and stick to a healthy diet.

Does Vitamin B12 Really Promote Weight Loss?

Vitamin B12 supports many important functions throughout your body, including healthy metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.

So, it’s not surprising that many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts like to use mega doses of vitamin B12 to increase energy and sustain good muscle development.

Benefits of B12 on weight loss

Here are some excellent reasons to include vitamin B12 supplementation as part of your weight loss plan:


Vitamin B12 helps your body produce plenty of healthy red blood cells which are needed to deliver oxygen to your brain, heart, digestive system, endocrine glands…everywhere. Lack of oxygen makes you feel fatigued and dizzy- which makes it difficult to keep your energy levels up while exercising.

By keeping the flow of oxygen elevated, vitamin B12 helps to enhance stamina, mental focus, and good balance- things you need to stay in the game!


Vitamin B12 aids in DNA synthesis and normal metabolic functioning- this is especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight, but have a sluggishly slow metabolism.

Vitamin B12 helps to keep the metabolic juices flowing!


Sometimes, depression and anxiety make it harder for you to stick to a weight loss program. Research shows that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 in your blood supply is one of the best ways to prevent psychological and cognitive problems that often occur with vitamin B12 deficiency.

To prevent binging on your diet, emotional eating, or other food-related disorders, it’s important to keep your mood in check by maintaining healthy vitamin B12 levels.

How much vitamin B12 is best?

To improve your efforts at weight loss, or just to maintain normal vitamin B12 levels and promote good health, experts recommend taking 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 weekly, bi-weekly, or as often as needed.

There is no upper limit established by the FDA for vitamin B12 supplementation, so it’s safe to take vitamin B12 as often as you like, with no risk for overdosing.

The best forms of vitamin B12 are those that are absorbed directly into your blood stream- vitamin B12 shots are popular, and most often recommended for people with severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

For maximum benefit, you can combine vitamin B12 injections with OTC vitamin B12 supplements. For people who have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 from their health insurance providers, this is an especially helpful tactic.

Please tell us…

Do you take vitamin B12 for weight loss, or to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency? Have you noticed a difference in energy levels?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

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Five Fat-Burning Foods Rich in Vitamin B12

The DASH Diet: Good Source of B12?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Monday, August 26th, 2013



Feeling blue? For many older adults, vitamin B12 deficiency and low vitamin B6 can cause depression, leaving you feeling down in the dumps. Before you rush off to the doctor for a new pill to ease your depression, CHECK YOUR DIET!! Here’s the scoop on B vitamins and depression in senior citizens.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are both essential nutrients for neurological health and emotional balance. As you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food naturally diminishes, leading to increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and also low vitamin B6.

Can Vitamin B12 help depression in seniors?

Study focuses on depression in older adults

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently featured a study in which it was discovered that higher intakes of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 were associated with a lower likelihood of depression in older adults.  Both vitamins B12 and B6 play critical roles in the production of neurotransmitters, or “chemical messengers” in the brain, including Serotonin, which is the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter.

Thus it makes sense that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 may be a cause or symptom of depression.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 feels good!

The subjects of the study were adults aged 65 years or older from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP). Their diets were evaluated for consumption of vitamins B12 and B6 over a period of seven years.  The incidence of depression was also noted. It appeared that for every 10 mg increase in vitamin B12, patients reported a 2% increase in overall good mood. The same effect on depression was also noted with each 10 mg increase of Vitamin B6.

Foods rich in B vitamins

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bran (rice and wheat), bananas, avocados, chicken or turkey breast, raw garlic, dried herbs and spices,  fish (such as tuna, salmon, and cod), liver, whole grains, beans, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seed (and techina).  Foods rich in vitamin B12 include fish, meat, liver, poultry, eggs and dairy.  Today many breakfast cereals are now fortified with vitamin B12 also.

Older adults at risk for B12 deficiency

Older adults tend to exhibit a higher incidence of both depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.   However, it has been noted that some adults, despite eating foods high in B-vitamins, continue to suffer a vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be related to limited stomach acidity in older people, which can prevent vitamin B12 from food from being absorbed into the body.  In other cases, the lack of intrinsic factor as we age, which impairs our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food and supplements, may be the cause of this inability to absorb Vitamin B12.

Treat vitamin B12 deficiency now!

When evaluating symptoms of depression in older adults, diagnosticians should evaluate their overall diets in order to rule out any vitamin deficiencies. Individuals aged 50 or older, especially vegetarians, will likely benefit from supplementing their diets extra vitamin B12, as well as eating fortified breakfast cereals or sprinkling nutritional yeast onto meals and snacks.

In this way older adults can simultaneously reduce the risk of depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

I Eat Healthy…So How did I Get Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

The symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are strikingly similar to other illnesses.  For this reason, it is important to become familiar with the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency in order to treat it properly.  People who are at greatest risk for this are smokers, vegans, anyone over the age of fifty, and children of vegans.  Here is a partial list of symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency:

  1. Fatigue – Suffering from a lack of energy.  Since vitamin B12 is necessary for proper blood cell formation, a lack of vitamin B12 leads to smaller blood cells, and therefore carries less oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body, leading to fatigue.
  2. Memory loss – Forgetfulness of important information.  As mentioned previously, vitamin B12 is necessary for blood cell formation.  Low levels of B12 lead to smaller blood cells, and less nutrients for the body and the brain.  In the case of someone with a severe vitamin B12 deficiency, the memory loss can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia.
  3. Depression – Feelings of sadness and worthlessness are often attributed to an underlying mental illness, and a vitamin B12 deficiency may go unnoticed.
  4. Anemia – A low red cell blood count.  A vitamin B12 deficiency leads to the creation of fewer red blood cells in the body.
  5. Vision loss – Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper formation of nerve cells in the body.  Specifically, vitamin B12 is needed for the fatty membrane surrounding the nerve cells, known as the myelin sheath.  Without this myelin sheath, the electrical signals being passed by the nerve cells go haywire in the body, with many consequences.   This loss of vision can be reversed with injections of vitamin B12.
  6. Dizziness – Poor coordination and clumsiness may be due to a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  As mentioned previously, improperly formed nerve cells cause electrical impulses to be lost in transmission.
  7. Muscle weakness –   Muscle weakness can be in the arms or legs, also due to nerve cell issues.
  8. Tingling sensation in either the hands or feet – Low levels of vitamin B12 affects nerve cell development, and loss of muscle control is a symptom of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
  9. Urinary incontinence – Also a loss of muscle control due to low levels of vitamin B12.
  10. Paralysis – A total loss of muscle control sets in when stores of vitamin B12 are depleted from the body.

As you can see, many symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily confused with symptoms of other illnesses.  If you are suffering from any of the above, you should have your blood tested for a vitamin B12 deficiency.

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