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How does vitamin B12 help to keep my bones healthy?

Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact relationship between vitamin B12 and bone health. Vitamin B12 is involved in the synthesis of DNA, which is the genetic material found in all cells in the body, including bone cells. Vitamin B12 is also essential to the formation of red blood cells, which are formed in the bone marrow. Some research suggests that B12 may be involved in the function of the cells that build bone.

Deficiencies of vitamin B12 can cause anemia, a condition in which your body does not have enough red blood cells or the oxygen they carry, causing you to feel weak, tired and frail. Research from Tufts University suggests that people who have low blood levels of vitamin B12 also score lower on bone mineral density tests than people with higher levels of vitamin B12. People who are deficient due to pernicious anemia have a greater risk of bone fractures.

Although more study is needed, it's possible that taking vitamin B12 supplements may help prevent osteoporosis (the brittle-bone disease) in some people. Talk to your doctor about whether vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.