Bone Loss Checked By Vitamin
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Older women prone to brittle bone disease may now heave a sigh of relief. Because a new study published in the March issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that vitamin B12 would thwart rapid bone loss among aged women. “Till date, this vitamin has been hailed for producing red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system,” said Dr. Katie Stone who led the research team at the University of California, San Francisco. “But our findings suggest that it may also benefit bone health.”
The research team studied the effects of vitamin B12 on 83 women over the age of 64. The team looked at fractures caused by osteoporosis (thinning of bones). The study subjects’ blood samples and hip bone density were closely monitored. At first, they were monitored for two years. After that, the researchers studied the subjects for another six years. The study results showed that women with lowest levels of vitamin B12 experienced rapid bone loss and suffered more fractures. On the other hand, women with higher levels of vitamin B12 had reduced bone loss and were less prone to fractures.
“While deficiencies in vitamin B12 are uncommon among younger women, many older women suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency,” explained Stone. “Our research shows that the women with lowest levels of vitamin B12 are at an increased risk for bone loss in their hips, which could lead to fractures.” According to Stone and her colleagues, simple dietary supplements of vitamin B12 or multivitamins may slow the rates of bone loss, reducing the risk of bone injury.
5 Other Benefits of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 taken with other B vitamins and vitamin A is very good at maintaining normal vision and preventing cataracts (damage to the lens of the eyes that lead to cloudy vision).
Blood levels of vitamin B12 are often low in people with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). In HIV infection, levels of vitamin B12 should be followed over time and B12 injections may be considered if levels get too low, especially if such patients have symptoms of B12 deficiency.
Population based studies of postmenopausal women suggest that low vitamin B12 levels in the blood may be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.
Studies suggest that vitamin B12 supplements may improve sperm counts and sperm mobility. Further studies are needed to best understand how this can help men with a low sperm count or poor sperm quality.
It is especially important for people who have sustained serious burns to obtain adequate amounts of nutrients in their daily diet. When skin is burned, a substantial percentage of micronutrients may be lost. Many studies suggest that a multivitamin including vitamin B12 and other vitamins may aid in the recovery process.
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The above article was originally published in ‘KnowHOW’, the weekly science and technology section of ‘The Telegraph’