Increased energy and vitality
One of the most notable vitamin B12 benefits is a boost in energy. So if you’re feeling sluggish and you’re not sure why, a lack of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) may be to blame. This water-soluble vitamin aids in red blood cell formation, which prevents against a type of anemia that can often make people feel weak and tired, explains Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, the nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY show and author of From Junk Food to Joy Food. Get your mojo back by asking your doctor to check your B12 levels. If they are on the low side, it’s time to up your intake, she says. “Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods like fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, plus fortified foods like breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and some plant-based milks such as almond milk or soy,” says Bauer.
Improved heart health
Vitamin B12’s role in promoting heart health may get overlooked, but it’s essential, says Liz Weinandy, RD, a dietician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid work together help to reduce homocysteine, which is an amino acid “that can build up in blood and damage arterial walls, thus playing a role in heart disease,” she explains. Low B12 is one surprising heart risk—here are five other risk factors for heart disease that you may not know about.