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What is vitamin B12 used for?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
B12 is one of eight B vitamins, all of which help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which produces energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly. All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them, and therefore considered a safe non-toxic supplement.

Vitamin B12 is an especially important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells, and it helps in the production of DNA. Vitamin B12 also works closely with vitamin B9, also called folate or folic acid, to help make red blood cells and to help iron work better in the body. Folate and B12 work together to produce S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound involved in immune function and mood.

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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.