Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that our bodies require to function properly, but our bodies are not capable of producing it naturally. B12 can be introduced into our system via animal products, oral supplements or injections, and has a number of health benefits, including:
Promoting red blood cell formation
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in helping the body produce red blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been proven to cause a reduction in the number of red blood cells in the body and prevent them from developing properly.
Normal, healthy red blood cells are characterised by their round and small shape, but low vitamin B12 levels can cause red blood cells to grow into a large oval shape. This can prevent them from travelling quickly from the bone marrow into the bloodstream to carry oxygen around the body, resulting in a condition known as megaloblastic anaemia. Vitamin B12 injections are often prescribed to treat the symptoms of this condition.
Helps to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
Vitamin B12’s vital role in the production of cells means that the body requires an adequate level of this vitamin to promote the growth of healthy nails, skin and hair. Low levels of vitamin B12 have been found to lead to a number of dermatological symptoms, such as nail discolouration, hyperpigmentation, vitiligo (sporadic loss of skin colour), hair changes and angular stomatitis (cracked and inflamed mouth corners). Vitamin B12 supplements have been proven to improve these dermatological symptoms in patients with sub-optimal levels of vitamin B12.
May reduce the risk of birth defects
Optimal levels of B12 are crucial to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Research shows that sufficient levels of B12 are required for a fetus’s nervous system and brain to develop properly. In the early stages of pregnancy, vitamin B12 deficiency has the potential to increase the risk of fetuses developing issues such as neural tube defects and, in some cases, can even lead to miscarriage or premature labour. Health professionals recommend that pregnant women should take daily supplements of vitamin B12 throughout the duration of their pregnancy.
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of vitamin B12 injections, book a free consultation with our medical professionals at MedSkin Clinic today.