Article originally written for the HighT Blog Vitamin B12 is one of eight members of the B vitamin family. It is also water-soluble, which means it is carried to the body’s tissues and not stored in the fat. B12 is found in many foods including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. However, consuming enough B12 in diet alone may not be enough to prevent deficiency. ARE YOU DEFICIENT? It may be difficult to determine if you are experiencing a deficiency in Vitamin B12 due to the wide-reaching effect it can have on the body. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may need more Vitamin B12 in your diet. Fatigue Joint pain Poor memory Mood changes such as depression or anxiety Muscle weakness Low blood pressure Shakiness A serious deficiency may cause long-term dementia, memory loss, pernicious anemia or megaloblastic anemia. 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE TAKING A VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT Most people aren’t severely deficient but would experience many benefits from taking a supplement to increase B12 levels. Check out these 5 reasons you should be taking a B12 supplement. BOOSTS MOOD Vitamin B12 has been studied extensively and seems to reduce mood disorders, such as depression. People suffering from depression are often low in VitaminB12 and folate. B12 assists with the production of neurotransmitters in conjunction with a compound called SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine). This allows the body to breakdown several mood chemicals such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. Without enough Vitamin B12, mental health conditions may arise. IMPROVES MEMORY AND NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION Vitamin B12 is also used to improve memory and neurological function. Often those suffering from Alzheimer’s are treated with a B12 supplement. Deficiency can also make focusing difficult and increase the risk of attention disorders. HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR B12 is also well-known for its ability to strengthen hair and nails. It improves skin by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation, and acne. It is often used as a treatment for psoriasis by applying it directly to the skin. Vitamin B12 also reduces hair breakage. IMPROVES ENERGY LEVELS Vitamin B12 helps convert carbohydrates into glucose the body can use. This benefits your metabolism because glucose is a form of energy. If you are experiencing fatigue, it may be due to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. HELPS WITH HEART HEALTH B Vitamins in combination with fish oil, if used daily, helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some studies suggest that it also helps reduce the risk of strokes in some people. Many supplements, both men’s and women’s, contain Vitamin B12 and you should always consult your physician before starting a supplementation regimen.