Vitamin B12 What Is It & How It Can Help You


Vitamin B12: What is it?

B12 vitamin, known as cobalamin, belongs to the Vitamin B family and is a necessary component to help in generating energy from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. B12 vitamin is required for cell metabolism. With its deficiency, a loss in body organ function can occur.

B12 is required by the body to maintain the health of nerve and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also needed to produce DNA.

How the Body Produces B12

Vitamin B12 is produced when HCL reacts with protein during digestion. After its release, it combines with IF or intrinsic factor and then absorbs into blood. Naturally, it is found in animal’s meat, milk, fish and poultry. Breakfast fortified cereals also contain good amounts of vitamin B12.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is a member of the B Complex family. Green vegetables contain folic acid abundance, but many diets today do not contain folic acid. Folic acid is required in a coenzyme reaction to synthesize DNA to produce new cells. It also helps to convert

B12 vitamin into a coenzyme.

Folic acid also helps in amino acid and sugar utilization, which promotes healthy skin, helps keep a healthy GI tract, lowers homocysteine levels, and protects chromosomes from genetic damage.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

B12 deficiency has several symptoms, which include weakness, fatigue, nausea, gas, constipation, weight loss, and loss of appetite. This deficiency may even cause nervous changes such as tingling in hands and numbness. A person deficient in B12 may not be able to keep body balance, may have memory loss, depression, or soreness in mouth.

Who Needs Vitamin B12?

B12 absorption is reduced in people with a low thyroid function due to loss of this vitamin. People who have some types of stomach disorder have risk of developing this deficiency. Lead, mercury, and other types of poisoning can also reduce the amount of B12 absorption. Aging people usually have a decrease in B12 absorption, which is why it is important for them to supplement it. Alcoholics are also deficient in the B12 Vitamin. It is usually suggested that pregnant and nursing women take extra amounts of B12 and folic acid.

Vegetarians do not eat proteins from milk, eggs, fish, or meat. These products are full of B12 and without them vegetarians can become deficient in this B12. Vegetarians may not know if they have a deficiency because it takes a long while for the body’s B12 to deplete. Infants of vegetarian women may show severe lack of neural development due to a lack of B12. Fortified cereals are their only source for this vitamin so they should consider taking a B12 supplement.

Large Servings of Folic Acid Hides B12 Deficiency

Anemia is caused by the deficiency of B12. Folic acid can help anemia but unfortunately it fails to help a B12 deficiency. B12 deficiencies can cause permanent nerve damage. Large servings of folic acid can hide the deficiency of B12 so usage folic acid must not exceed 1,000 micrograms.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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