Vitamin B12 for stroke recovery has a growing pool of science behind it. While each vitamin and mineral plays a critical role in our overall health, it appears that vitamin B12 might play a bigger role in neurological health than we thought. So, is it worth adding vitamin B12 to your rehab regimen? Let’s explore.
The Brain Vitamin
The way we see it, the B vitamins should be actually called Brain vitamins. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid (a B vitamin that doesn’t start with a ‘b’ – weird, we know), and B12 all play a critical role in brain health. Specifically, vitamin B12 is essential for the proper functioning and development of brain and nerve cells. Vitamin B12 also helps your body develop and maintain myelin, a protective coating around your nerve fibers that increases the speed at which impulses are conducted. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in the formation of neurotransmitters, which are essential for cognitive functions and neural protection.
Steady Your Nerves
As you can see, vitamin B12 plays a critical role in both brain and nerve health. Many studies have established clear links between vitamin B12 deficiency and nerve abnormalities. For example, vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to peripheral neuropathy (a disease of the nerves), subacute combined degeneration (a disorder of the brain, nerves, and spine), and psychiatric problems. Many of these problems are caused by damaged myelin, faulty neurotransmitters, and damaged nerves – everything that vitamin B12 plays a role in.
Brain Health, Nerve Health, and Stroke Risk
Now let’s tie everything back to stroke recovery. A stroke causes brain damage that disrupts that brain’s ability to communicate with your nerves, possibly causing impaired motor skills and other symptoms. To assist in the repair of your brain and nerves, vitamin B12 offers a host of benefits specific to stroke recovery needs. Furthermore, vitamin B12 can be used to help prevent stroke along with helping stroke recovery. Stroke survivors are at risk of recurrent stroke, so it’s important to ensure that you’re getting proper levels of vitamin B12 in your diet.
Sources of Vitamin B12
To get vitamin B12 in your diet, you need to be consuming meat and dairy products like fish, chicken, and eggs. Vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to their lack of meat and dairy intake. So if you’re not a meat-eater, then vitamin B12 supplementation is the next best thing. World’s Healthiest Foods offers a great resource for the best foods high in vitamin B12 as well as a longer explanation of how vitamin B12 is good for brain and nerve health.
And there you have it. Vitamin B12 is an excellent tool for both stroke recovery and prevention. How do you get your daily dose? Food or vitamins?