Vitamin B12 and magnesium are essential nutrients that play important roles in keeping you healthy and providing you with energy. Vitamin B12 comes from animal sources, while magnesium is found in vegetable sources. Eating a well-balanced diet that contains both animal protein and fresh vegetables should provide enough vitamin B12 and magnesium in your diet. Vitamin B12 supplements are available in pill, sublingual and injectable form. Magnesium supplements are found in pill or liquid form.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient found primarily in red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products. It is not found naturally in vegetable sources, but often cereals will be fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential to the health of your nerves and blood cells and in the creation of your cells’ DNA. The daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 is very small: The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends only 2.4 mcg for adults. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may need to add vitamin B12 supplements to your diet to ensure you get enough of this vital nutrient.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficiency of vitamin B12 in your diet may predispose you to tiredness and anemia. Other symptoms include constipation, a loss of appetite and weight loss and a sore mouth or tongue. Because vitamin B12 is essential to nerve health, a shortage of this nutrient may show up as tingling or numbness, and severe deficiencies may even result in nervous system damage. Mental problems associated with vitamin B12 deficiency include confusion, memory problems and depression.
Magnesium is essential to your health and is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. More than half of that is found in your skeleton, while the rest is found in your cells and a very small amount, about 1 percent, is found in your blood. Magnesium is involved in many of your body’s functions, including regulating your heartbeat and blood sugar levels, stabilizing blood pressure and producing energy. Get plenty of magnesium in your diet by eating green leafy vegetables, grains and legumes, but if you use magnesium supplements select those that have the highest level of bioavailability, such as magnesium chloride or magnesium lactate.
Magnesium and Disease Prevention
Because magnesium is involved in so many chemical interactions in your body, it’s little wonder that researchers study the mineral for its disease prevention properties. Current research includes the effect of diets that are high in magnesium on blood pressure, but since those diets include other minerals it is often difficult to determine magnesium’s direct effects. Magnesium may also be involved in diabetes, since it helps your body to metabolize carbohydrates. Type 2 diabetics often have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Magnesium’s role in cardiovascular health and osteoporosis are also under study.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People with chronic fatigue syndrome are left so tired that they are unable to perform daily chores. Rest doesn’t help their symptoms, which may include extreme fatigue, low-grade fever and chills, muscle and joint pain, headaches and a sore throat. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, while the causes of chronic fatigue are unknown, researchers suspect a viral cause or an immune-system response to some stimulus. In addition to drug therapy, patients suffering from CFS are told to take magnesium supplements and vitamin B12. Magnesium has shown some promise as an energy booster. Vitamin B12 injections are recommended over pills because it’s easier for your body to absorb the vitamin that way.