Vitamin B12 deficiency: Struggling to lose weight? It could be due to not enough B12

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Vitamin B12 plays a major role in a number of the body’s essential functions, including DNA synthesis and the formation of red blood cells. It also helps the body convert fats and proteins into energy and aids in the breakdown of carbohydrates. Having a B12 deficiency can lead to several ailments including an inability to lose weight. How?

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome were investigated.

The study noted: “The study enrolled 976 patients (obesity: 414, overweight: 212, and control: 351).

“Vitamin B12 level was significantly lower in patients with obesity and overweight than healthy individuals.”

The study concluded that low vitamin B12 level was associated with obesity and overweight, but not with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and gender.

“Vitamin B12 was negatively correlated only with body mass index.”

 READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The ‘strange’ sensation in your body to watch out for

One observational study from Duzce University, School of Medicine, in Turkey, reports a low level of vitamin B12 is associated with obesity.

Involving 976 patients – with 414 classified as obese; 212 overweight participants; and a control group of 351 – vitamin B12 levels were significantly lower in those with an unhealthy weight.

Conversely, additional research from Bastyr University Research Institute, in the US, found that those who took B12 supplements over a 10-year period were less heavy than those who didn’t.

The researchers concluded: “Further study is necessary before recommendations regarding these supplements can be made.”

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A recent study on US population shows that high serum vitamin B12 levels are inversely proportional to body weight, but the underlying mechanism needs further investigation.

A study in New York states that long-term supplementation with vitamin B12 can lead to less weight gain.

However, more studies are required to arrive at a conclusion.

It has been noted though that low vitamin B12 levels are observed among people with obesity issues.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 per day for anyone over the age of 14.

This recommended daily intake may also increase for those with decreased absorption.

There’s no difference in the recommended intake for men and women.

Pregnancy increases the recommended dose for women, both during the pregnancy as well as after if the mother chooses to breastfeed her child.

Most people get vitamin B-12 through their food. The vitamin is naturally present in certain animal protein-based foods, such as:

  • Shellfish
  • Meat and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk and other dairy products

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