A study has shown a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic inflammation, the root cause of most diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

The Spanish study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, examined the effects of vitamin B12 on two inflammatory markers in humans and mice.

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More B, less inflammation

Results showed that the more vitamin B12 an individual has, the lower their inflammatory markers which researchers noted could have a direct clinical relevance and open doors to therapeutic strategies for disease prevention since chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases.

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient with roles in various physiological processes and is critical for overall health. It keeps the blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

It also helps prevent megaloblastic aneamia, a condition that makes people weak and tired, accelerates tissue repair, and protects the bones.

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Dangers of a deficiency

Suffering from a deficiency includes symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, vision problems and constipation, and if left untreated can lead to debilitating conditions such as neurological disorders and nerve damage.

A study from the University of British Columbia reported a link between micronutrient deficiencies and the gut. Results showed that deficiencies in crucial micronutrients such as vitamin B12 can make the gut more conducive to developing antibiotic resistance, which is a major global health concern.

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Prevention the best approach

Nutritional Consultant Vanessa Ascencao cautions South Africans to increase their awareness of the detrimental health effects of vitamin B12 deficiency and to take preventative measures to avoid it.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in approximately 15–28% of people and autoimmune conditions such as diabetes and Crohn’s, certain medications, strict vegetarian diets, and ageing can increase the risk.

“Support the foundations of health like nutrition, movement, stress management and sleep to ensure optimal health and to reduce the risk of illness and disease,” said Ascencao.

“Eat a balanced diet with whole fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Exclude processed food and sugar, stop smoking, exercise daily, manage stress and keep a good sleep schedule,” added Ascencao.

“Like most vitamins, B12 is not produced by the body, so choose good quality supplements with proven absorption and bioavailability such as BetterYou B12 Boost oral spray, proven to work better than pills and eliminating the need for invasive injections. It contains chromium and green tea to aid the reduction of tiredness and fatigue,” Ascencao added.