Can low intake of Vitamin B12 lead to weight gain?


Our unhealthy dietary choices are often considered responsible for weight gain. We know that the result of having too much fatty, junk and processed food is visible on our waistline. So, the first thing we generally do to maintain a healthy weight is to make tweaks in our food choices. But people can gain weight even when they are eating healthy. It is linked to underlying health conditions like hypothyroidism. But besides these two factors, there is one more thing that is believed to be linked with weight gain- Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Importance of Vitamin B 12

Vitamin B12 has a distinct role to play in our body and cannot be replaced by any other nutrient. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in several body functions. It helps to create DNA, red blood cells and even aid in the proper functioning of your nervous system. All these factors make vitamin B12 an essential nutrient for the body.

How common is Vitamin B12 deficiency Even though it is a vital nutrient, a large number of people across the globe are deficient in vitamin B12. The problem is common in people following a vegetarian and vegan diet. That’s because B12 is found in animal-based food products. Vegetarians have limited sources of vitamin B12 like dairy products and fortified foods. The RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 μg/day.

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency

The daily requirement of vitamin B12 is little. When we consume extra vitamin B12 our body stores it in the liver. A small amount of vitamin B12 is lost through urine, stool and sweat. Our body uses the stored vitamin slowly. So, it takes almost a year of insufficient intake of vitamin B12 to cause any side effects. But when a person is vitamin B12 deficient, it can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitation, mood swings and loss of concentration. Another addition to this list is weight gain.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and weight gain

There are a few studies that suggest that vitamin B12 deficiency can be linked to weight gain. As per a study, people with excess weight or obesity appear to have lower vitamin B12 level than people with normal BMI.

Vitamin B12 is also an essential mineral required for metabolising protein and fat which is believed to have some impact on our weight. However, experts’ opinion is still divided on whether increasing the vitamin B12 intakes can lead to speedy weight loss or not.

What is important for weight loss

Having a well-balanced diet is vital for weight loss. Along with this exercising, sleep pattern and another lifestyle habit may play a role. It is yet unclear if insufficient intake of Vitamin B12 can lead to weight gain or not, yet it would be advised to have a nutrient-rich diet. Nutrients have an important role to play in keeping us healthy and fit.


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