10 Surprising Ways Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Entire Body

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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 host of NBC’s new show Health + Happiness, 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 milk (like almond milk and soy milk).”

(Related: Is This Vitamin The Secret To Aging Well?)

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Asian Female doctor listen to elderly patient's heart with Stethoscope

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 a protein that can build up in blood and damage arterial walls, thus playing a role in heart disease,” she explains. When B12 is low, it can’t do its job effectively, which means your heart is at risk.

(Related: Why Aren’t Women More Worried About Heart Disease?)

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