B12 and Energy
There is a surge in popularity for Vitamin B12 as an energy-booster in recent years. Of special note is its use to enhance performance in sports, but its consumption is also widespread among the larger population. Its efficacy has even been compared to caffeine. Unlike caffeine, it is not a drug, but an essential nutrient, and it hasn’t been associated with any toxic effects when taken in large amounts.
But how does it produce energy?
Helps in Fatty Acid Synthesis
Vitamin B12, like other vitamins, comprises many different chemical compounds reported to show the same activity inside the human body. It is also known as cyanocobalamin, which is the most common compound present in supplements. Following its successful absorption either in the mouth or in the stomach, it is directed to the liver, which stores up to 5 years’ supply of Vitamin B12, helping in the metabolism of fats and proteins.
The involvement of Vitamin B12 in the production of energy is two fold: both directly and indirectly. A group of enzymes called isomerase is responsible for extracting energy from fats and proteins, and utilizes the form of Vitamin B 12 active in the body. Without cobalamin, a blanket term for all forms of Vitamin B12, activities involving the conversion of fats and proteins into energy are significantly decreased and ultimately become absent.
Cobalamin reserves in the liver stay helpful in the synthesis of fatty acids. The fat reserves of the human body in adipose tissues are one of the sources of energy in use by the cells especially during physical exertion, the reason why rigorous exercise will use up your body fats and make you lean. Fats yield large quantities of ATP, which is produced inside the cells in the presence of Vitamin B12.
B12 Reduces Susceptibility to Fatigue
The feeling of weakness brought on by stress is directly associated with lack of energy, and chronic stress will make you more susceptible to fatigue. It has been observed that depleting levels of Vitamin B12 contributes to fatigue characteristic of anemia, and is in fact the cause of the medical condition known as pernicious anemia. Not surprisingly, this disease is reversed when cobalamin becomes available at adequate amounts to sustain normal and healthy body functions.
Promotes Mental Clarity
Remember that the capacity of the blood to circulate oxygen is dependent on the quantities of hemoglobin, which is in turn dependent on the availability of Vitamin B12. The appearance of immature erythrocytes or megaloblasts in the bloodstream is an indicator of blood-related diseases, which bring on symptoms such as muscle weakness, abnormal blood pressures, and impaired brain function.
Vitamin B12 has also been tied to depression, inasmuch as it is also involved in brain metabolic pathways influencing the brain, notably in the production of neurotransmitters. While folic acid in general takes care of the functions performed by cobalamin, Vitamin B12 deficiency remains a factor in the conditions it is linked with, and thus intake of this essential nutrient is a must.
Getting adequate amounts of B12 in the diet is essential to good health.