Vitamin B12 may help reduce inflammation, study finds

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A recent study has illuminated a significant relationship between vitamin B12 levels and chronic inflammation, a culprit behind several severe health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the research provides a deeper understanding of how vitamin B12 interacts with inflammation markers in both humans and mice.

Vitamin B12 is essential for various bodily functions, such as nerve function, DNA production, and the formation of red blood cells.

However, deficiencies in this vital nutrient can occur due to dietary gaps—particularly in vegetarians and vegans who may lack sufficient intake of animal products—or from an inability of the body to absorb the vitamin effectively. Such deficiencies can lead to serious neurological disorders.

Prior research hinted at vitamin B12’s role in reducing inflammation, but the specifics of this relationship were unclear until now.

Researchers in Spain explored how vitamin B12 levels affect interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), two inflammatory markers commonly used to evaluate inflammation in clinical settings. These markers are associated with a range of chronic diseases.

The team drew data from participants of PREDIMED, a major clinical trial in Spain that investigates the impact of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease prevention.

They analyzed blood samples from these participants to measure both vitamin B12 and the levels of IL-6 and CRP.

Their analysis revealed an inverse relationship: higher vitamin B12 levels corresponded to lower levels of these inflammatory markers.

This finding suggests that maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin B12 could help manage inflammation and thus prevent or treat related diseases.

Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós and Inés Domínguez López, lead researchers in the study, highlighted the importance of these findings, noting their potential to shape strategies for disease prevention and management.

The study opens the door for further exploration of vitamin B12 as a possible therapeutic agent.

The researchers plan to expand their investigations to include more diverse demographic groups to validate if these findings are consistent across different genders and ages.

They also aim to examine how factors like B12 deficiency, infections, or aging might influence inflammation.

Interestingly, the study also noted similar relationships between vitamin B12 and inflammation in naturally aged mice, providing a model to potentially prevent B12 deficiency in older adults—a group particularly vulnerable to both elevated inflammation and reduced vitamin B12 levels.

Future research will also look into how vitamin B12 supplementation might aid in managing conditions associated with high inflammation, such as infections, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome.

This research offers promising insights into how simple nutritional interventions could significantly improve health and longevity.

In conclusion, the study underscores the potential role of vitamin B12 in combating inflammation and supports its broader application in disease management and prevention, marking a crucial step toward leveraging diet and nutrition to enhance overall health outcomes.

If you care about inflammation, please read studies about the big cause of inflammation in common bowel disease, and vitamin B may help fight COVID-19 and reduce inflammation.

For more health information, please see recent studies about new way to halt excessive inflammation, and results showing foods that could cause inflammation.

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