Fatigue is a common symptom that many people experience, and it can range from mild to severe, affecting a person's quality of life. Feeling tired, lethargic, or lacking energy can make it difficult to complete daily tasks such as work, housework, and exercise. It can also have an effect on a person's mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being.
There are numerous reasons why a person may feel tired. It could be caused by a lack of sleep, physical exertion, stress, or a medical condition. One cause of fatigue could be a lack of essential nutrients such as Vitamin B12. When a person is vitamin B12 deficient, their body is unable to produce enough red blood cells, which can result in anemia. Fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath are all symptoms of anemia.
Other symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to anemia, include pale skin, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, difficulty walking or balancing, and memory problems. Some people may also feel depressed, anxious, or irritable. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in older people, vegans, and vegetarians, whose diets may be deficient in this nutrient.
Vitamin B12 deficiency must be addressed because it can lead to long-term health complications such as nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders. To avoid the onset of these symptoms, it is critical to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in the body.
Vitamin B12 was discovered in the early twentieth century, when pernicious anemia was a common disease. The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to George Whipple, George Minot, and William Murphy in 1926 for their discovery of a cure for pernicious anemia, which was later identified as Vitamin B12. Numerous studies have been conducted since then to better understand the role of Vitamin B12 in overall health.
How it works
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for cellular processes in the body. It is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, DNA, and nerve cells. To support these critical processes, vitamin B12 collaborates with other B vitamins, including folic acid.
One of Vitamin B12's primary functions is to aid in the conversion of food into energy. Food is broken down into its basic components when we eat it, which include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These components are then metabolized to produce adenosine triphosphate energy (ATP). Vitamin B12 aids in the metabolization of fats and proteins by facilitating their breakdown into usable forms.
Vitamin B12 is also required for DNA synthesis. DNA is the genetic material that makes up our cells, and it is necessary for our bodies' growth, development, and proper functioning. Vitamin B12 aids in the replication and repair of DNA, ensuring that our cells continue to function properly.
Vitamin B12 is also required for proper nervous system function. It is required for the production of myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers and allows them to effectively transmit signals. Nerve signals can be disrupted if myelin levels are low, resulting in symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Studies and Results
Several studies have been conducted to investigate the role of Vitamin B12 in energy maintenance and fatigue reduction. These studies included a variety of populations, including older adults, people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and healthy people. In general, these studies have shown that taking Vitamin B12 supplements can boost energy and reduce fatigue.
One study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at how Vitamin B12 supplementation affected cognitive function and fatigue in older adults. The study included 100 elderly people with low vitamin B12 levels. For 24 weeks, the participants were randomly assigned to either a placebo or 1,000 mcg of Vitamin B12. When compared to the placebo group, the Vitamin B12 group showed significant improvements in cognitive function and reduced fatigue.
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at how Vitamin B12 supplementation affected energy levels and depression in older adults. The study included 159 elderly people who were deficient in Vitamin B12. For 12 weeks, the participants were randomly assigned to either a placebo or 500 mcg of Vitamin B12. When compared to the placebo group, the Vitamin B12 group showed significant improvements in energy levels and a reduction in depressive symptoms.
The effects of Vitamin B12 supplementation on fatigue in people with chronic fatigue syndrome were investigated in a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Six studies with a total of 374 participants were included in the analysis. When compared to a placebo, Vitamin B12 supplementation reduced fatigue scores.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. However, some people may require higher doses, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, vegetarians, and older adults. Vitamin B12 is found in animal-based foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. Vegetarians and vegans can obtain Vitamin B12 from fortified cereals, soy products, and supplements.
Vitamin B12 is a necessary nutrient that aids in the maintenance of your body's energy levels and overall health. It aids in the production of red blood cells and DNA, as well as the overall health of your nervous system and cognitive function. Vitamin B12 supplementation has been shown in recent studies to significantly reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. The daily recommended dose of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms, but some people may need higher doses. Incorporating Vitamin B12-rich foods and supplements into your diet can help you reclaim your vitality and fight fatigue.
Sharabi, A., & Cohen, E. (2015). The relationship between cobalamin, cortisol, and fatigue in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, 2, 1-6.
Moorthy, D., Peter, I., Scott, T. M., Parnell, L. D., Lai, C. Q., Crott, J. W., Ordovas, J. M., & Selhub, J. (2015). Status of vitamins B-12 and B-6 but not of folate, homocysteine, and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C