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Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss


Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment. 


Vitamin B12 supplements are often prescribed for people suffering from obesity and who want quick weight loss. It is also purported that vitamin B12 consumption also helps improve energy, combats fatigue, speeds up metabolism, and optimizes body functions.

Various studies have been conducted on the effects of vitamin B12 on weight loss and they showed conflicting results. This article gives detail on the evidence on whether vitamin B12 help loses weight or not.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin essential for various body functions. This vitamin possesses a mineral called cobalt, this is the reason compounds containing vitamin B12 are called cobalamin. There are various forms of vitamin B12 including deoxyadenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin which are active in human metabolism.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the synthesis of DNA and red blood cell production, and beneficial for brain health, heart function, and boosting energy levels. [1]

Vitamin B12 is found in various animal foods and is also added to some fortified products. People who are suffering from digestive problems, and eating vegetarian diets only are more likely to develop Vitamin B12 deficiencies and require it as a supplement. [2]

Is Vitamin B12 Effective for Weight Loss?

Obesity is a common condition affecting millions of people and pose the body at risk of various diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and breathing problems. It is usually caused by high consumption of calories and lack of exercise and is a leading cause of life-threatening diseases.

Following a healthy lifestyle including eating habits and exercise will prevent excessive weight gain. Vitamin B12 is commonly prescribed as a remedy for weight loss. There is little research on the weight loss effects of vitamin B12 in humans, however, studies showed that it can affect metabolism and body fat.

A review study revealed that vitamin B12 affects fat metabolism and deficiency of this vitamin is associated with deposition of fat and weight gain. [3]

Another study in pregnant mice revealed that vitamin B12 deficiency resulted in an increased percentage of body fat and cholesterol levels. [4]

An animal study showed that administration of vitamin B12 in rats resulted in reduced weight gain and increased various enzymes which speed up metabolism. [5]

There is a need for high-quality studies determining the mechanism by which vitamin B12 affects weight loss and fat metabolism.

Vitamin B12 and Obesity

Various evidence showed that vitamin B12 deficiencies may lead to obesity and weight control problems. The body’s circulatory and respiratory systems are involved in the aerobic exercise which leads to a significant fat loss. In case of vitamin B12 deficiency, these systems are affected and exercise does not produce the required results. Moreover, easy fatigue does not permit the person to perform exercise effectively.

A disturbance in the body’s natural balance slows down metabolism leading to the conservation of fat stores and burning limited calories in a day. A study of 976 people revealed that decreased vitamin B12 levels are associated with a higher risk of obesity and weight gain. [6]

Another study on 256 children revealed that individuals with low vitamin B12 levels are more likely to have a high body mass index. [7]

More human studies are needed to determine the effects of vitamin B12 on weight loss and obesity.

Other Benefits

In addition to weight loss, vitamin B12 is greatly associated with a broad spectrum of benefits.

This essential vitamin is necessary for preventing adrenal fatigue and helps in the optimal functioning of adrenal glands.

It takes part in metabolic reactions in the body including enzyme production, hormonal balance, and DNA synthesis and protection.

Vitamin B12 can boost energy levels and fight chronic fatigue. [8]

Studies showed that this water-soluble vitamin can improve nerve health, regulate neurotransmitter signaling and improve cognitive function. Owing to the neuroprotective activities, vitamin B12 prevents degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and reduces memory loss. [9]

According to a study, vitamin B12 when given with folate resulted in improving neurological functions and relieving stress and depression. [10]

There is some evidence showing that supplementing with vitamin B12 causes a significant reduction in high homocysteine levels, decrease in cholesterol levels, and lowered blood pressure which protects the heart from chronic diseases. [11]

It is also beneficial for skin, nails, and hair health preventing the skin from damage and hair breakage. [12]

 Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur either due to low intake or absorption problems. Many people cannot produce hydrochloric acid in their stomachs sufficient enough to absorb vitamin B12. Individuals suffering from other health conditions like pernicious anemia, chron disease, celiac disease, and gastrointestinal surgery cannot absorb this vitamin. People eating only a vegetarian diet and refraining from animal products are tended to be suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to megaloblastic anemia in which red blood cells are low in number and larger in size. [13]

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to various symptoms including fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, nausea, palpitations, and loss of memory. Low levels of vitamin B12 do not always result in megaloblastic anemia, some people only experience fatigue. [14]

In some people, this deficiency does not cause weight gain and only results in low energy levels making them difficult to be active and energetic.

People suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency are recommended to take oral vitamin B12 supplements to increase its levels in the blood. [15]

Diets Rich in Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in various animal foods including eggs, milk, meat, poultry, fish, and milk products. A number of fortified products like breakfast cereals, and plant-based milk including soy, hemp milk, and almond milk contain added vitamin b12. [16]

Vitamin B12 supplements are found in tablets, capsules, injections, liquids, and lozenges, it is also found in some multivitamins.

People who refrain from animal products and are on a vegetarian diet are at greater risk of developing this vitamin deficiency and need this vitamin in supplements form.

Bottom line

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin soluble in water and plays a significant role in various processes of the body. It helps in RBCs production, DNA synthesis, heart, and brain health, and boosts energy levels.

Research showed that consumption of adequate quantities of vitamin B12 may help fat metabolism and reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity.

In order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, you need to improve your vitamin B12 intake either through diet or in supplement form.

Here you can check out Vorst’s supplement Melatonin 10mg with B12.