Therapeutic Uses for B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient for many different parts of the body. It assists in the metabolizing of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, is involved in forming neurotransmitters, and is integral to the makeup of DNA, which is the genetic material of cells. It's a fundamental nutrient that each and every person needs in their diet. In addition to all of vitamin B12's benefits for the body, there are actual therapeutic uses for vitamin B12.

Heart Disease

Vitamin B12 may be used as a therapeutic treatment for prevention of heart disease. It works by reducing the level of an amino acid called homocysteine. This amino acid contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. Per Jeffrey A. Tice, M.D., in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002, the evidence for beneficial effects of vitamin B12 on heart disease is much higher than other supplements promoted for heart disease prevention.

Alzheimer's Disease

Vitamin B12 is sometimes taken to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease. Some patients that suffer from Alzheimer's could actually be suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency. If vitamin B12 is consumed in therapeutic doses, which depends on the needs of the individual, it can have real benefits to the neurological system.

Depression

Vitamin B12 has long been touted as important in regulating brain chemicals that treat and prevent depression. It also regulates mood and overall feelings of well being. The reason that vitamin B12 has such a powerful impact on depression is that it can activate BH4, a compound that activates the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters regulate mood.

Reproductive Health

Vitamin B12 can be used to treat reproductive health issues, particularly infertility. It may be used therapeutically to treat both men and women. As it plays a role in cellular replication, high doses of vitamin B12 can boost sperm count in men. For women who suffer from infertility, taking vitamin B12 may allow them to conceive by increasing the development of new tissue and also by inducing ovulation.