Achieving and maintaining weight loss can be a challenging task. It is estimated that 45 million adult Americans set a goal to lose weight every year. To help them lose weight, people spend $33 million on weight loss products.
Often, only a few people achieve their goal of losing weight, and many waste their money on products that don’t seem to work. However, you might not need to spend money on a product to lose weight and may need to up your intake of a specific vitamin.
But, weight loss can be aided by what vitamin? Research has found that vitamin B12 provides weight loss to those who increase their intake.
To lose weight, how much and how often should you take it? Keep reading to discover everything you need about B12 and weight loss.
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Vitamin B12: What Is It?
There’s a reason why scientists preach to the American population to increase their vitamin B12 intake. This vitamin plays a significant role in every part of your bodily functions.
For example, it is needed to help repair your red blood cells when damaged. It is also essential for DNA synthesis.
In addition, B12 is considered a water-soluble vitamin containing different compounds that help with human metabolism. Two of these compounds are methylcobalamin and deoxyadenosylcobalamin. These compounds help break down fat and protein to turn into energy.
Lastly, B12 also helps strengthen your nervous system and enhance your brain’s performance in memory. In addition, it helps boost your immune receptor’s performance when viruses and infections attack the body. As you can see, the B12 vitamin is essential in keeping you healthy and strong.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Vitamin B12?
If you don’t receive enough vitamin B12, then it’s a chance you can develop anemia. This is a condition where your body struggles to produce enough red blood cells, causing the count to stay low.
As the red blood cells stay low, your body will struggle to transfer enough nutrients. This often leads to severe health conditions such as stomach cancer or neurological issues. Lastly, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to the inability to lose weight and keep it off for good.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
A low level of vitamin B12 will present itself in several ways. Below is how you will know if you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Frequent headaches
- Weight gain
- Poor balance
- Mood changes
- Pale skin
- Itchy skin
- Low appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
- Memory loss
- Heart palpitations
Vitamin B12 deficiency does not always lead to anemia, and you may not experience all these symptoms. Instead, most people may only experience chronic fatigue or frequent headaches from B12 deficiency.
Related: The Benefits of Vitamin B-12
What Foods Provide the Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is often presented in food that provides protein as it is bound to it. After eating, protein is broken down in the stomach, and the hydrochloric acid and gastric protease release B12 into the bloodstream.
Vitamin B12 is found in most animal and dairy products, such as fish, milk, eggs, and poultry. However, you often will not find the vitamin in plant-based foods. This is why most vegans and vegetarians need to take vitamin B12 supplements.
Although, some vegan products do contain vitamin B12 as it is added to them to help their intake. When B12 is added to food products, it skips the separation step and free form within the body. If you’re thinking about becoming vegan or vegetarian, consult a dietitian to find ways to continue receiving vitamin B12 into your system.
Vitamin B12 and Weight Loss: What’s the Connection?
Research shows that individuals who do not receive enough vitamin B12 have a much higher chance of becoming obese. One study shows that 976 participants had a lower level of vitamin B and a higher risk of obesity.
This has to do with the body’s inability to convert fat into energy. The lower your intake of the vitamin, the less ability your body has to cover fat into energy.
Another study provided a link between obesity in children and a lower intake of vitamin B. Those who did not receive enough were associated with a much higher risk for obesity.
Of course, there are other contributing factors to obesity in these studies. However, there’s an important link between higher obesity risk and the lack of vitamin B intake.
How Much B12 Do You Need To Help You Lose Weight?
The National Institutes of Health recommends following their guidelines when taking vitamins. For B12, it is recommended to take a daily dose of 2.4 mcg for adults. Most people receive this amount of intake if they follow a healthy diet.
Even if you’re using vitamin B12 to help you lose weight, it is best not to overdo it as there are side effects of upping the dosage. For example, you may experience nausea, cold symptoms, and diarrhea. Before taking more than the recommended amount, consult a professional and discuss the dosage in detail.
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Is It Worth Getting B12 Shots?
If you’re suffering from deficiency or anemia, you may be able to receive B12 shots. A trained medical professional injects vitamin B12 into your muscle, allowing it to flow into your bloodstream. As a result, it is quicker to obtain the vitamin and helps skip the breakdown process. This provides much faster and noticeable results.
Allow B12 Supplements To Help You Lose Weight and Keep It Off
If you’re unable to lose weight or keep it off, you may need to increase your vitamin B12. Research shows there’s a connection between B12 and weight loss. This vitamin is essential to converting fat into energy; if you don’t receive enough, you may struggle to lose weight.
You can receive more vitamin B12 by changing your diet, taking a pill, or receiving B12 shots. Before taking a pill or doing B12 shots, consider changing your diet to see if it works. If not, consult a professional to receive B12 through pill forms or shots.