An introduction to vitamin B12 and vitamin D3

Many people know the importance of vitamins B and D, but not everyone knows that these actually have different forms. Various vitamin types might not be found in the same sources so there is a chance that you are not getting all the necessary nutrients since you are just getting one form of it. Vitamins B12 and D3, also known as cobalamin and cholecalciferol respectively, are specific forms of nutrients that the body needs.

There are many types of B vitamins and one of the most important among them is vitamin B12. Like other forms of vitamin B, cobalamin is water-soluble and can travel through the bloodstream. It plays an important role in the different brain functions, such as memory, focus, and concentration. Moreover, it also stimulates the production of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that boost mood. The body also needs vitamin B12 to produce millions of red blood cells every minute. Its benefits on the blood are not just limited to production since cobalamin also regulates blood levels of homocysteine, an altered form of adenosine that increases the risk of heart disease. People can get their daily dose of vitamin B12 from animal products like beef, pork, chicken, lamb, fish, dairy, and eggs.

Vitamin D has two major types, D2 and D3. Between them, vitamin D3 has better quality and is two to three times more active than the other form. When introduced to the body, cholecalciferol transforms into a hormone that promotes calcium and phosphorous absorption from food. Calcium is crucial for bone development and growth, as well as hormone production. Vitamin D3 also gives the immune system a boost, improves memory and mood, and prevents cancer. The body can produce this nutrient but it needs to be exposed to sunlight for it to do so. For those who can’t get enough sunlight, there are also some foods that naturally contain vitamin D3, which include beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and fatty fish.

Vitamin B12 and vitamin D3 deficiencies

The body needs vitamins B12 and D3 for it to function properly. Not getting enough of these can significantly affect a person’s health. Unfortunately, many people overlook the importance of these vitamins so they often fail to supply the body with sufficient amounts of them. To know if you have deficiencies in these vitamins, there are many signs and symptoms that you can look out for.

Since sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal products, most vegetarians and vegans do not get enough of it. People who are deficient in this vitamin are at risk of getting anemia, intestinal problems, nerve damage, and mood swings. There are different signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency to look out for, including:

  • Anemia
  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and depression
  • Pale skin
  • Poor memory
  • Weight loss and poor appetite

Low levels of vitamin D3 are commonly observed in people who don’t have time to go out while the sun is still out. People who do not get enough of this nutrient have a higher risk of developing dementia, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and heart disease. Signs and symptoms of vitamin D3 deficiency include the following:

  • Body ache
  • Depression
  • Excessive perspiration on the scalp
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness

Vitamins D3 and B12 are crucial to different body functions and insufficient amounts of these will put the body at risk of many health problems.  (Related: Supplement your diet with vitamin D3 to have a healthier heart and cardiovascular system.)

For more articles about the different vitamins needed by the body, visit

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