Vitamin B12 may help reduce chronic inflammation, study finds

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A recent study has revealed a noteworthy connection between vitamin B12 levels and chronic inflammation, a condition implicated in a range of serious health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The research, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, aimed to better understand how vitamin B12 affects key markers of inflammation in both humans and mice.

Vitamin B12 is crucial for many bodily functions and is particularly important for nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells.

Deficiencies can arise from poor diet—particularly in vegetarians and vegans who may not consume enough animal products—or from the body’s inability to absorb the vitamin properly. This can lead to severe complications, such as neurological disorders.

Previous research has suggested that vitamin B12 might help reduce inflammation, but the exact nature of this relationship was not well understood until now.

In their study, researchers from Spain focused on how vitamin B12 levels influence two specific inflammatory markers: interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Both markers are commonly used in clinical settings to assess inflammation and are linked with a variety of chronic diseases.

To conduct their research, the team used data from participants in PREDIMED, a large clinical trial in Spain that examines how the Mediterranean diet affects the prevention of cardiovascular disease. They analyzed the participants’ blood to measure vitamin B12 levels and the levels of IL-6 and CRP.

Their findings indicated an inverse relationship: higher levels of vitamin B12 were associated with lower levels of the inflammatory markers.

This suggests that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 could potentially help control inflammation and prevent or manage related diseases.

Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós and Inés Domínguez López, who played key roles in the study, emphasized the significance of these findings, particularly in how they could inform disease prevention and management strategies.

The results pave the way for further research into vitamin B12 as a potential therapeutic tool.

Building on these findings, the researchers plan to extend their investigations.

They intend to include more diverse groups to see if the results hold true across different sexes and ages and to explore how conditions like B12 deficiency, infections, or the aging process might interact with inflammation.

They also observed similar relationships between vitamin B12 levels and inflammation in naturally aged mice.

This aspect of the study provides a model that might help in understanding how to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly—a group particularly susceptible to both higher inflammation and lower vitamin B12 levels.

Looking ahead, the team hopes to explore how vitamin B12 supplementation could help manage high-inflammation conditions like infections, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome.

This research offers promising insights into how simple nutritional adjustments could potentially enhance health and longevity.

In summary, this study highlights the potential role of vitamin B12 in combating inflammation and supports the broader application of this nutrient in disease management and prevention.

This discovery marks an important step towards harnessing diet and nutrition to improve overall health outcomes.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

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