Vitamin B12 plays an important role not only in nerve function, blood formation and DNA synthesis, but also in cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration. Vitamin B12 also appears to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
A research team led by Dr. Manuel Serrano from IRB Barcelona analyzed the influence of vitamin B12 on inflammation and the vitamin’s role in cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration. The corresponding studies were published in the “Journal of the Science of Food an Agriculture” and in the specialist magazine “Nature Metabolism”.
Vitamin B12 important for health
It has long been known that vitamin B12 has a significant impact on our health. The micronutrient is considered to be essential for nerve function, the production of red blood cells and the facilitation of DNA synthesis, the researchers explain.
However, as experts show in two new studies, vitamin B12 also plays an essential role in other important processes.
Using 136 human samples from a population with a high cardiovascular risk, the researchers were able to demonstrate that people with higher levels of vitamin B12 in their blood have lower levels of the inflammatory markers interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein.
Subsequent studies on naturally aged mice confirmed the connection. According to the researchers, the observed reduction in inflammatory markers is a key factor in the potential health benefits of vitamin B12. Conversely, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be associated with chronic inflammation.
Supports tissue regeneration
In the second study, the team led by Dr. Serrano investigated the influence of vitamin B12 on cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration. The researchers were able to demonstrate in mice that cellular reprogramming requires large amounts of vitamin B12.
Therefore, the lack of vitamin B12 becomes a limiting factor that delays and impairs some aspects of the reprogramming process, the team explains. However, a simple nutritional supplement with vitamin B12 significantly increased the efficiency of reprogramming in the mice.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: recognize signs and prevent irreversible damage
- Nutrition: Why the body needs vitamin B12
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: who is at risk and what should be taken into account?
Effective against inflammatory bowel disease?
Furthermore, the researchers were able to demonstrate in a mouse model of ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) that the intestinal cells that initiate repair go through a process that is similar to cellular reprogramming and also benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation.
Vitamin B12 supplementation could potentially be helpful for people with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, say the experts.
“Our research uncovers a critical role for vitamin B12 in cellular reprogramming and tissue repair. These findings are promising for regenerative medicine and could benefit patients through improved nutrition,” adds Dr. Serrano. (fp)