If there is one thing that has an impact on your health and the way you feel and look, it is the food that you consume. The food that you eat on a regular basis supplies the body with the energy that it requires for staying active and healthy throughout the day. However, it is not just the carbohydrates, fat and protein that you need from food but also micronutrients like minerals and vitamins. Minerals and vitamins are not just a nice-to-have part of one’s regular diet but they are actually of great importance for life. Minerals and vitamins are what help the human body in carrying out chemical reactions needed for physical and mental health.
How are B Vitamins Important for the Body?
The cells in the body do not have the ability of producing vitamins except vitamin D which is easily produced by certain skin cells. That is why individuals need to get vitamins from the diet that they take on a regular basis. However, vitamins can also be obtained from the good bacteria that stay in the human gut. Among the trillions of bacteria accommodating the intestinal tract, there are some that produce vitamin B. The bacteria in the gut specifically produce three major B vitamins and they are vitamin B12, folate and biotin. It is this vitamin family that is involved in the procedure of energy metabolism. In the absence of B vitamins, the human body is not able to extract required energy from the proteins and the carbohydrates that it gets from food.
The Risks of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The people who are deficient in folate and vitamin B12 are at an increased risk of suffering from anemia where the red blood cells get very large. Vitamin B12 helps in keeping the nerves functioning in the proper manner by assisting in the maintenance of the myelin sheath that covers the nerves. Vitamin B12 also makes way for rapid conduction of the nerve impulse. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in neurological and brain symptoms including numbness, brain fog, problems with brain balance, tingling and permanent damage of the brain nerve resulting in the death of an individual. Vegetarians are at an increased risk of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. This is due to the fact that vitamin B12 is mainly found in products derived from animals and is not found in plant-based foods.
Gut Bacteria and Vitamin K
Probiotic bacteria in the gut also have the capability of making vitamin K which is required by the body for clotting. People who suffer from the deficiency of vitamin K are at an increased risk of bleeding to death resulting from a minor injury or cut. Vitamin K is available in two forms namely vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is required for maintaining the health of the bones and for preventing coronary artery disease. Vitamin K1 can be availed by having leafy green vegetables. However, vitamin K2 is not found in foods. Vitamin K2 is best derived from probiotic gut bacteria.