How Vitamin B12 Supports The Immune System
Vitamin B12 and folic acid are both vital for immune function. Both are necessary for producing a sufficient number of red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. If you have a folate deficiency and/or vitamin B12 deficiency, your immune system may start to falter, and your body will struggle to ward off pathogens. Red blood cells are crucial immune cells which are part of your bodys immune response so its important to ensure theyre able to form and function correctly.
A lack of vitamin B12 in your diet or through supplements can lead to pernicious anaemia. Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack stomach cells, thus inhibiting the bodys ability to absorb vitamin B12. Although the cause of this condition is unknown, supplements can help with the symptoms of pernicious anaemia.
As you can see, vitamin B12 is a key vitamin for helping to maintain a healthy immune system and maintaining levels of both vitamin B12 and folic acid will help to prevent conditions such as pernicious anaemia and folate deficiency.
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Are Vitamins Good For Your Immune System
When in contact with bacteria or viruses, your immune system works tirelessly to combat each of these obstacles.
Many factors influence your immune system: your genetic makeup, age, health status, and stress level.
A healthy immune system is highly dependent on diet. Modern Western diets are high in sugar, salt, and fat, and are contributing to the rise in chronic disease worldwide.
To stay healthy and strong, your body needs nutrients. However, its not as simple as taking a multivitamin every morning to support your immune system. To be most effective for your immunity, you must make far-reaching and lasting changes to your diet.
Address your vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Thus, there are micronutrients that contribute to your bodys defenses: it strengthens its physical barriers, increases the production of antibodies and improve communication between cells.
How To Take It
As with all medicines, check with a health care provider before giving riboflavin supplements to a child.
Daily recommendations for dietary riboflavin are as follows.
- Men, 19 years and older: 1.3 mg
- Women, 19 years and older: 1.1 mg
- Pregnant women: 1.4 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 1.6 mg
Riboflavin is best absorbed when taken between meals.
People who do not eat a balanced diet every day may benefit from taking a multivitamin and mineral complex.
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Folate And Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin found in many foods. The manmade form of folate is called folic acid.
Folate is also known as folacin and vitamin B9.
- the body form healthy red blood cells
- reduce the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies
A lack of folate could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.
Vitamin B High Foods Foods For Vitamin B
B1 Rice, Beans, Peanuts, Whole Grains, Pork
B2 Milk, Liver, Mushrooms, Wild Rice, Legumes, Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
B3 Beef Liver, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Rice, Cereals, Potatoes
B5 Liver, Some Cereals, Chicken, Tuna, Sunflower Seeds, Eggs, Mushrooms
B6 Chickpeas, Tuna, Liver, Chicken, Salmon, Cereals, Bananas
B7 Liver, Pork Chops, Eggs, Salmon, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Sweet Potatoes
B9 Liver, Spinach, Black-eyed peas, Cereal, Rice, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts
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How To Boost Your Vitamin B
While a vitamin B complex is often a good option for maintaining adequate levels of B vitamins, additional approaches may be helpful, including:
- Take a vitamin D3 vitamin along with the vitamin B complex
- Add more fruits and vegetables into your diet, including fibrous foods and foods with antioxidants such as cucumbers, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and berries
- Consider adopting a plant-based diet and eating foods high in B12
- Increase your water intake, aiming for half your body weight in ounces
- Exercise regularly, which can include brisk outdoor walks
- Get routine blood work to monitor your levels
What many people dont know is that B12 can be produced in the gut, is thought to be involved in the regulation of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, and is potentially influential in the gut-brain connection.
Daily Recommendations For Vitamin B
Many B-complex supplements contain about 100% of the RDA of each of the eight B vitamins.
However, some contain very high levels of certain B vitamins. Before taking a high-dose supplement, talk with a doctor.
The following are RDAs for each of the B vitamins, in milligrams or micrograms , according to The National Institutes of Health . Older adults may require higher dosages of some B vitamins.
|Vitamin B3 or dietary equivalents||16 mg|
|Vitamin B9 or dietary equivalents||400 mcg|
Vitamin B-complex supplements may help with certain health problems. If a person has any of the conditions listed below, they may benefit from taking a supplement that contains B vitamins:
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Can Probiotics Help The Immune System
Many have touted probiotics, or âgood bacteria,â as another natural way to boost immunity. We know that they play a key role in helping maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, and new research supports the idea that they have beneficial effects on immunity.
For example, one study from 2020 â carried out, it must be noted, by a company that produces probiotics â found that probiotic use may reduce the incidence and duration of upper respiratory infections.
The authors call for more research to establish a relationship between probiotics and the immune system.
Many people are taking one or a combination of supplements to prevent or treat COVID-19. But there is not enough data to support the use of any vitamin, herb, or other supplement to treat or prevent this illness.
Research does suggest that supplementation with vitamins and minerals can be a low-cost way to support optimal immune function.
Even supplementation with vitamins C and D above the current RDAs may be beneficial to the immune system, as long as dosages stay below the recommended safety limits.
Many supplements can interact with medications and other supplements. And combining different supplements can also lead to very high amounts of certain nutrients in the body, which can have potentially severe side effects.
Probiotics are safe for
Produces Red Blood Cells
Some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, play an essential role in the formation of red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen to every part of the body, and when there’s a vitamin B12 deficiency, the body will struggle to produce enough red blood cells, often leading to anemia.
Vitamins B2 and B9 are also needed for red blood cell production and growth. While vitamin B5 plays a role in red blood cell production, it also helps reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. And vitamin B6, which is required for more than 100 different enzyme reactions in the body, aids in the formation of hemoglobin, which also allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood.
B vitamins involved: B2, B5, B6, B9, B12
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How Should I Take Thiamine
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Injectable thiamine is injected into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Do not use the injectable medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
The recommended dietary allowance of thiamine increases with age. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. You may also consult the National Academy of Sciences “Dietary Reference Intake” or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Dietary Reference Intake” listings for more information.
Thiamine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat or avoid to help control your condition.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Choosing The Right Supplement
Look for vitamin B supplements that have been tested and approved by an independent third party.
Look for certifications from:
- The National Sanitation Foundation
- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention
Keep in mind that these certifications dont guarantee safety or effectiveness for everyone. Thats why you should always ask your doctor before adding a supplement to your daily routine.
What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise
You should be able to get the amount of niacin you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take niacin supplements, do not take too much as this might be harmful.
Taking 17mg or less of nicotinic acid supplements a day, or 500mg or less of nicotinamide supplements a day, is unlikely to cause any harm.
Excessive Folic Acid Intake
Although folic acid is generally considered non-toxic, excessive intakes above 1,000mcg per day over a period of time can lead to malaise, irritability and intestinal dysfunction. The main risk with excessive folate intake is that it can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so its best to consume these 2 vitamins within the recommended amounts.
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May Improve Mood And Symptoms Of Depression
Vitamin B12 may improve your mood.
The effect of vitamin B12 on mood is not yet fully understood. However, this vitamin plays a vital role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood.
Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood.
Studies support the use of vitamin B12 supplements for improving symptoms of depression in people deficient in this vitamin.
One study in people with depression and low vitamin B12 levels found that those who received both antidepressants and vitamin B12 were more likely to show improved depressive symptoms, compared to those treated with antidepressants alone (
Additionally, high vitamin B12 levels have been linked to better treatment outcomes and an increased probability of recovery from major depressive disorder .
Though vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood and depression in people with a deficiency, research does not currently suggest that they have the same effect in those with normal B12 levels.
Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency.
Vitamin B: Top 6 Benefits And How To Get More In Your Diet
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, only a fraction of U.S. adults currently gets the recommended daily intake of all B vitamins from their diets alone. What does vitamin B do to your body, and why is it risky to be deficient in one or more of them?
Vitamin B actually refers to more than one vitamin, since there are eight different B vitamins in total. If you take a supplement that contains all eight of the B vitamins, this is referred to as a vitamin B complex or B complex formula.
B vitamins are most valued for their ability to help turn other nutrients into energy, maintain a healthy metabolism, and for supporting nerve function, liver function, skin health, eye health and fetal growth/development during pregnancy.
What puts someone at risk for vitamin B deficiency? Youre more likely to lack B vitamins in your diet if you avoid eating foods that are high in protein , leafy green vegetables, seeds and legumes/beans. If this sounds like you, its essential to up your vitamin B intake in order to prevent health problems, such as chronic fatigue, anemia, mood disorders, weakness, poor memory and more.
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Vitamin B Complex Benefits For Women
Everyone needs all the B vitamins, but women should pay special attention to folate, B6, and B12. These are particularly important if youre preggo or breastfeeding. Vitamin B complex supports healthy fetus growth and development.
It may also make your monthly cycle more manageable. A 2011 study found that thiamin and riboflavin intake from food could reduce PMS symptoms. Some research also suggests vitamin B6 supplements can help alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS.
What Is Thiamine
Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine. Vitamin B1 is found in foods such as cereals, whole grains, meat, nuts, beans, and peas. Vitamin B1 is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates from foods into products needed by the body.
Thiamine taken by mouth is available without a prescription. Injectable thiamine must be given by a healthcare professional.
Thiamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What To Look For
In the United States, dietary supplements are not held to the same rigorous testing standards as pharmaceutical drugs. This means that the quality of supplements, like vitamin B complex, may vary from one brand to the next and you can find many different brands of vitamin B supplements at drug stores, grocery stores, health food shops, and online.
When shopping for B vitamins, look for brands that have been tested by an independent certification organization, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia , ConsumerLab, or NSF International. This can help to ensure quality.
Vitamin B supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of reach of children.
Helpful Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System And Fight Off Disease
How can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
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May Prevent And Treat Anemia By Aiding Hemoglobin Production
Due to its role in hemoglobin production, vitamin B6 may be helpful in preventing and treating anemia caused by deficiency .
Hemoglobin is a protein that delivers oxygen to your cells. When you have low hemoglobin, your cells dont get enough oxygen. As a result, you may develop anemia and feel weak or tired.
Studies have linked low levels of vitamin B6 with anemia, especially in pregnant women and women of childbearing age .
However, vitamin B6 deficiency is thought to be rare in most healthy adults, so there is limited research on using B6 to treat anemia.
A case study in a 72-year-old woman with anemia due to low B6 found that treatment with the most active form of vitamin B6 improved symptoms .
Another study found that taking 75 mg of vitamin B6 daily during pregnancy decreased symptoms of anemia in 56 pregnant women who were unresponsive to treatment with iron .
More research is needed to understand the effectiveness of vitamin B6 in treating anemia in populations other than those at increased risk for B vitamin deficiency, such as pregnant women and older adults
Summary Not getting enough vitamin B6 can lead to low hemoglobin and anemia, so supplementing with this vitamin may prevent or treat these issues.
What Vitamins Can Help Prevent Covid
Because COVID-19 comes with cold and flu-like symptoms, Vitamins B, C and D, as well as zinc may be helpful in boosting your immune system and fighting the illness in the same way they can help you get over a cold or flu.
Generally, vitamin C can help you fight a cold faster or ease your cold symptoms if you were taking it prior to getting sick. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help reduce inflammationand lung inflammation is a severe symptom of COVID-19, which can lead to respiratory distress or even death. So if youre still healthy, it doesnt hurt to start taking vitamin C now.
The primary function of vitamin D is to help your body maintain optimal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous, which you can get through exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays, or through supplements and the foods you eat.
Getting enough vitamin D can also protect you from respiratory infection. Vitamin D supplementation significantly decreases the chance of respiratory tract infections, based on clinical studies published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics.
B Complex vitamins
Vitamin B6 is essential to keeping your immune system in top condition. Be sure to get enough vitamin B as a supplement, as part of your daily diet or in a multivitamin.
Zinc has also been found to help produce and activate T-cells , which trigger the body to respond to infections, according to the NIH.
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B3 For Energy And The Body
If mushrooms or avocado are on the menu, so is a big dose of B3. Vitamin B3 or niacin gained popularity in the medical field for the treatment of cholesterol. Yet, niacin helps with revving metabolism and stimulating blood flow, much like B5. Vitamin B3 also improves sexual health and energy, giving a boost in the bedroom!