Does Vitamin B12 Really Aid in Weight Loss?
B-Complex Vitamins - They're All Important
Vitamin B12, one of the B-complex vitamins necessary for the proper function of our bodies, is also known as cobalamin. All eight of the B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is then burned as fuel in order to produce energy. The B vitamins help the body metabolize fats and protein and they are necessary for healthy hair, skin, eyes, and liver. Most of us know that B-complex is also important to nerve function.
Vitamin B12 Has Special Functions
Vitamin B12 is linked to some of the vitally important jobs within the body, such as aiding in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic coding material. Red blood cell formation is regulated by B12 and B9, and both of these B vitamins work with B6 to control amino acid homocysteine levels which are associated with heart function.
Known as the energy vitamin, B12 really does give a boost to energy levels and it also speeds up the metabolism. It may be this factor that causes people to associate vitamin B12 with weight loss. People suffering with vitamin B12 deficiency usually find themselves depleted and exhausted. A shot of B12 administered directly into the muscle remedies the tiredness and also affects weight loss - although weight loss is not the intended purpose.
Along with the added energy derived from a vitamin B12 shot, a side benefit is that when energy levels are increased people are more inclined to maintain a healthy diet and are often motivated to increase their physical activities and exercise more regularly. Vitamin B12 also helps fend off depression and fights stress, both of which can be attendant with weight gain. Before undergoing Vitamin B12 injections, a consultation with a physician is recommended since there are also risks associated with pre-existing conditions that can be adversely affected by large doses of B12.
Helping Your Body Through Diet
Vitamin B12 deficiency can become a serious threat to your health. Insufficient amounts of the vitamin can cause nerve damage as well as other side effects. If you are starting a weight loss program it is important to ensure it is well balanced so you are receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients you need for a healthy body. The only reliable sources of B12 are from animals and include eggs, fish, meat, poultry and milk and dairy products. If you are a vegetarian or eating a vegan diet, you may need to get your B12 from a supplement.