In our busy and stressful modern lives, it may be difficult to quickly, and comfortably go to sleep.
Our sleep issues and disturbances may have a biological component in that we have low levels of certain nutrients, hormones and/or neurotransmitters that help the body settle into a state of deep sleep.
Vitamin B12 benefits are well-known for its ability to improve your mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate.
But did you know that this essential vitamin is also closely connected to your ability to sleep?
In this article, we’ll be discussing just how Vitamin B12 benefits melatonin and your ability to fall and stay asleep.
First, let’s take a look at:
The Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common amongst certain groups of people, including:
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Older adults over the age of 50
- People who have gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss or bariatric surgery
- Individuals with Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or a similar other digestive disorder
- Individuals with pernicious anemia
- People with a long-term history of antibiotics use
- Heavy Smokers and alcoholics
- People who regularly use medications that regulate stomach acids
- Individuals with acid reflux
- People who regularly use potassium supplements
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the two main causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency are the insufficient intake of Vitamin B12 through the diet and, in the elderly, malabsorption of Vitamin B12 from food. People in any of these groups could have a diet poor in Vitamin B12, but it is especially common among vegetarians and vegans. In fact, four out of every five adults in India, which is primarily vegetarian, are Vitamin B12 deficient.
That is because, in terms of food sources, animal tissues are rich in Vitamin B12, whereas few plants have Vitamin B12.
The plants that do contain Vitamin B12 have them in analog form.
Analogs are compounds that have similar, but not identical molecular structures.
Vitamin B12 analogs actually block the uptake of the vitamin, which only increases the body’s need for it.
So what about malabsorption?
The malabsorption of vitamins of food comes from the condition called leaky gut.
Leaky gut is the result of holes or cracks developing in the intestinal lining.
These holes or cracks make it easier for bacteria and other toxins to leak through the intestines and get into the bloodstream.
Now that we know what Vitamin B12 deficiency is and how it happens:
How can you tell if you have B12 deficiency?
One of the main indicators of Vitamin B12 deficiency is feelings of fatigue and tiredness.
This is because of the crucial role that Vitamin B12 plays in the formation of red blood cells.
Lower levels of Vitamin B12 mean that fewer red blood cells will be produced, the red blood cells that are produced will be abnormally large, and they won’t last for as long as they should.
This means that the cells, tissues and organs will not receive enough oxygen, which leads to those feelings of tiredness.
Recent data has shown that 1,000 micrograms daily of oral Vitamin B12 helps reduce the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Oral administration is superior to injections because oral administration helps maintain high levels of Vitamin B12 in the blood over time.
High-dose administration of Vitamin B12 is helpful for:
- People with malabsorption
- People seeking a method of therapy to restore their decreased levels of Vitamin B12 after deficiency
- People with an increased requirement for it, such as pregnant and breastfeeding mothersIndividuals with diseases such as pernicious anemia.
The Connection Between Sleep and Vitamin B12 Benefits.
A lot of research has been done on how Vitamin B12 both directly and indirectly affects sleep.
It has been found that the vitamin works directly on the brain to help induce sleep.
Vitamin B12 benefits have been demonstrated to help patients with sleep disorders, such as insomnia, who have difficulty falling asleep.
It has also been shown to improve sleep in healthy individuals depending on the dose that is used.
But where does that come from?
Many studies have found that Vitamin B12 serves as a circadian modulator of melatonin, the “sleep hormone.”
Vitamin B12 is involved in melatonin production through its role in the methionine cycle.
The naturally occurring compound S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAMe, is one of the products of the methionine cycle.
So why is that important?
SAMe provides methyl groups in order for numerous biochemical or metabolic functions to occur in the body.
As it relates to melatonin production, SAMe helps promote the function of the enzyme acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase, or ASMT, for short, which helps convert the metabolic intermediate n-acetylserotonin into melatonin.
Melatonin has been demonstrated in numerous studies to:
- Induce sleepiness
- Help you fall asleep faster
- Stay asleep for longer
- Improve the overall quality of your sleep
- Improve alertness and concentration in the morning, and
- Treat sleep problems caused by insomnia or jet lag.
The production and release of melatonin into the bloodstream is based on the sleep-wake cycle, or a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of the brain and cycles between alertness and sleepiness.
Where does Vitamin B12 benefits factor into this?
Vitamin B12 works on the pineal gland, which is responsible for the production of melatonin.
The vitamin helps increase the production of melatonin during the nighttime hours, as well as release it earlier, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
One study published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal studied the effects of Vitamin B12 on the sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm, well-being, alertness, and concentration in healthy individuals.
The subjects were randomly assigned either cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly used type of Vitamin B12 in supplements but also the least effective.
Methylcobalamin, also known as methyl B12, is the most effective kind of cobalamin, being more efficiently stored and utilized in the body.
Methyl B12 was found to be superior to cyanocobalamin in improving daytime alertness and concentration, as well as in shortening and improving sleep in healthy individuals in a dose-dependent manner.
- A 32-year old male patient suffered from hypersomnia repeatedly over a period of 12 years. The hypersomnia episodes would last for a few days at a time, and he experienced an increased frequency of these episodes during the two years prior to treatment.
- Hypersomnia may manifest as either excessive sleepiness during the daytime, or prolonged sleep during the nighttime.
- He was administered methylcobalamin for 6 months, during which time he did not experience any hypersomnia episodes.
- After he finished treatment, there was a follow-up observation for a period of 17 months. He did not experience any hypersomnia episodes during this period of follow-up time.
- A 15-year old girl with delayed sleep phase syndrome, or DSPS, and a 17-year old boy with free-running sleep-wake rhythm, also known as hypernychthemeral syndrome, both consistently complained that they were unable to attend school, even after having tried various sleep medications.
- DSPS is marked by a sleep pattern that is delayed by 2 or more hours, making it more difficult to wake up on time in the morning.
- Hypernychthemeral syndrome is marked by the circadian rhythms that are not synchronized with the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.
- People with this condition may have slightly longer body clocks, such as 24.5 hours.
- This means sleeping 30 minutes later on the first day, an hour later on the second day, and so on and so forth.
- It makes it more difficult to sleep at night and causes daytime sleepiness.
- People with this condition may have slightly longer body clocks, such as 24.5 hours.
- Both patients showed an immediate improvement after an administration of 3 mg of methylcobalamin daily.
Neither of the two patients showed any kind of evidence of having had Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Liposomal Vitamin B12 Technology
If you’re looking for ways to keep your Vitamin B12 levels within a healthy range, then you should consider a Vitamin B12 supplement.
More specifically, you may want to consider Liposomal Vitamin B12. But what is liposomal technology anyway?
Liposomal Technology uses micro sized fluid filled liposomes to protect and deliver nutrients directly into the cells and tissues of the body. These liposomes are very similar to human cells, which makes it easier for them to be transported within the body. As a result, nutrient absorption is greatly increased, and there is less intestinal discomfort than with using standard oral supplements.
- Micro-sized encapsulation that protects against the harsh acidity of the gastrointestinal tract
- Increased delivery to cells, tissues, and organs
- Higher absorption rates and bioavailability than other standard oral supplements
- Noninvasive compared to intravenous supplementation
- Lower doses provide the same effects as high-dose standard oral supplements
- Helps put nutrients to use by the body faster
- Prevents gastrointestinal distress usually experienced with standard oral supplements
Clearly, Liposomal Vitamin B12 supplement is worthy of serious consideration for its potential benefits in boosting melatonin production for improving your overall sleep duration and quality.
Why You Should Consider a Vitamin B12 Supplement?
Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to symptoms of fatigue and tiredness.
Vitamin B12 has been observed to work directly on the pineal gland to promote the production of melatonin and help it release into the bloodstream earlier.
This helps you fall asleep on time and stay asleep during the night.
Vitamin B12 has also been demonstrated in numerous studies to help treat sleep problems and re-synchronize the sleep-wake cycle to a more normal setting.
You should take the necessary steps to keep your levels of Vitamin B12 within a healthy range to promote melatonin production.