Vitamin B12 deficiency may increase risk of chronic inflammation

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A recent study has uncovered a significant connection between vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic inflammation—a condition associated with various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient vital for numerous physiological processes in the body. Deficiency can occur due to insufficient dietary intake, particularly among vegetarians and vegans, or inefficient absorption by the body.

Such deficiency can lead to complications, including neurological disorders. While previous studies have hinted at the anti-inflammatory potential of vitamin B12, the precise relationship has remained unclear.

Researchers in Spain initiated this study to investigate how vitamin B12 influences two molecules that promote inflammation in the body: interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP).

IL-6 and CRP are widely recognized markers of inflammation used in clinical practice. Elevated levels of these markers are associated with various inflammatory conditions and chronic diseases. Establishing the link between these markers and vitamin B12 levels holds promise for potential therapeutic strategies.

The study drew upon data from a subset of participants in PREDIMED, a large clinical trial in Spain focused on evaluating the impact of the Mediterranean diet on preventing cardiovascular disease.

Researchers assessed vitamin B12 serum levels and concentrations of inflammatory markers, revealing a correlation between the two.

The study found an inverse relationship, meaning that higher vitamin B12 levels were associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers.

While the study did not specifically investigate vitamin B12 deficiency, it raised important questions about the potential role of vitamin B12 in preventing unexplained symptoms linked to deficiency, such as neurological problems.

To broaden the understanding of these findings, researchers plan to expand cohorts, explore sex-specific differences, and investigate specific situations like B12 deficiency, infection, or aging in humans.

They also observed the same relationship in naturally aged mice, which could provide insights into preventing B12 deficiency in older humans.

This study sheds light on the intriguing connection between vitamin B12 and inflammation. Further research will delve into high-inflammation conditions like infection, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome.

While vitamin B12 deficiency is known to be detrimental, these findings offer the possibility of using vitamin B12 supplementation as a potential tool in disease management, marking a promising step toward improving overall health.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about This nutrient in diet can prevent inflammation in older people and findings of Diet high in protein, zinc and niacin may protect heart health during weight loss.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Paleo diet plus exercise could boost heart health in people with diabetes

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