Vitamin B12 comes from the family of Vitamin B and is also known as Cobalamin. It helps in maintaining the health of the body’s nerve and blood cells. It is also essential in the preparation of DNA during the division of cells. It acts as an energy booster for the body and hence, is known as the ″Energy Vitamin″. It is known to stimulate the body’s metabolism and therefore, is a quick remedy to fatigue. In simple words, it is an essential nutritional source required for the smooth and efficient functioning of the body. However, the question that comes to our mind is that ″Are there any benefits of Vitamin B12 for weight loss?″ The answer is ″Yes″, though not directly but Vitamin B12 does affect weight loss indirectly. We will first have a look at the side effects of a deficiency in Vitamin B12 and then the benefits that it offers in weight reduction.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficiency in vitamin B12 or even an inefficiency of the body in absorbing vitamin B12 due to old age or illness can become serious health threats. It often leads to reduced metabolism and development of health practices that promote putting on excessive weight. In extreme cases, if left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage to nerves. Some of the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are weak muscles, anxiety, depression, irritability and fatigue. On diagnosis of a lack of vitamin B12, the person is advised either to take vitamin B12 supplements or vitamin B12 injections. Supplementing the ones, who do not have a vitamin B12 deficiency, will not show any additional benefits on the energy levels, rate of metabolism, athletic performance or endurance. This means supplementation of vitamin B12 works only for those who are diagnosed with a deficiency of vitamin B12.
Healthy Weight Loss Benefits of Vitamin B12
The benefits of Vitamin B12 for weight loss is usually questioned. Indeed, it does not have a direct effect on weight loss, but it does help in weight loss indirectly by stimulating certain significant factors in weight loss. We will see what these factors and the effects of vitamin B12 on these factors to aid in weight reduction are.
- Energy Booster: Metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and proteins for the production of energy, is the primary function of vitamin B12. Its deficiency means lower energy levels for daily physical activities as well as exercise. The decrease in the activity levels leads to the gaining of excessive weight. A B12 supplement or injection, rightly known as ″The Energy Booster″, can help you restore the energy levels to normal. This acts as an excellent motivation to go back to the gym and restart your exercise program to manage your body’s weight. Thus, supplementation of B12 helps in aiding weight loss indirectly by increasing your energy levels and motivation required for a weight loss workout.
- Weight loss and Enhanced Metabolism: A low metabolism is one of the symptoms of the deficiency of B12. This often affects the efficiency of the body to burn calories from the food intake, which then gets stored in the form of fats and adds on to the body weight. B12 is known to enhance your body’s metabolism. This means an enhancement in the body’s ability to burn the calories you intake. It helps in metabolising proteins and carbohydrates, preventing them from being stored as body fats and triglyceride fats respectively. This ensures that your food consumption is metabolised rightly to generate energy and at the same time prevent them from being stored as unwanted fat.
- Improved Mood: B12 deficiency does not develop instantly; it grows slowly and gradually over some time. During the developing deficiency you don’t even realise when you slip into the mood of depression and anxiety. In such a feeling you tend to eat more to pamper and energise yourself and to get yourself out of the sense of depression. You not only eat more but eat food that is unhealthy, high in calories, and fat contents. This is usually referred to as ″Emotional Eating″. It is difficult to metabolise such food in the absence of proper exercises, which then adds on to your body weight. Hence, it is crucial to identify the B12 deficiency and treat it well in time.
These are some of the benefits of vitamin B12 for weight loss, though indirect. To avoid the unpleasant effects of B12 deficiency, it is essential to diagnose it and have it treated at the right time. Apart from the deficiency symptoms mentioned above, there are few other authentic, reliable ways to identify the deficiency. The serum or plasma levels help in identifying B12 deficiency. The methylmalonic acid levels in the body are other indicators of the B12 deficiency. To make up for the B12 deficiency, it is always good to take the B12 supplements under medical supervision. This is because there might be specific adverse effects of the B12 supplements which need to be monitored. This proves the importance of vitamin B12 nutrient for the well being and overall health of our body.