Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, nerve function, and the production of antibodies.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that helps keep your body healthy. It is also known as cobalamin. It is found naturally in animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common problem among people who eat a vegetarian diet. Vegans are at risk of developing a deficiency because they cannot get enough vitamin B12 from their food alone.
If you are a vegan, you should consider taking a supplement containing vitamin B12.
What Is Vitamin B12?
B vitamins are water-soluble nutrients that help to form energy within our bodies. They include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenate. These four B vitamins work together with folic acid to produce important substances called coenzymes. Coenzyme Q10 is one example of this process.
The most well-known B vitamin is probably the B complex group. This includes biotin, pyridoxal phosphate, and cyanocobalamin. Each of these has its unique role in maintaining good health. For instance, vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in helping us metabolize carbohydrates into glucose, which we can use for fuel. Pyridoxal phosphate works closely with another vitamin, folate, to ensure that all parts of our cells have what they need to grow correctly. And finally, vitamin B12 functions by making sure that proteins are completed correctly to build strong muscles and bones.
Why Do We Need Vitamin B12?
We don’t know why humans evolved to require vitamin B12. However, it’s possible that early man needed more protein than he could obtain through hunting and gathering. So eating plants may not have been sufficient to meet his needs. He might therefore have had to rely on animals for some of his nutrition. Since there was no way to store large amounts of fat, it would be helpful if everybody could synthesize protein efficiently. That means using amino acids rather than having them come directly from dietary sources like plant material. One theory suggests that this explains why we now depend upon animal flesh for our primary source of protein.
We still do not fully understand how much vitamin B12 we need each day. The recommended daily allowance varies between countries but ranges from 2 micrograms per kilogram of weight per day in Japan and Australia to 4 micrograms per kilo in Britain. Some experts believe that the RDA should be increased to 10 micrograms per kg per day. But even though scientists agree about the amount required, they disagree over whether supplements are necessary. There is little evidence that vitaminB12 levels fall below normal when adequate intakes are provided. On the contrary, many studies show that those who take high doses of vitamin B12 develop higher nutrient levels in their bloodstream.
How Can You Get Enough Vitamin B12?
You will nd vitamin B12 in fortified cereals, bread, rice, pasta, breakfast bars, juices, milkshakes, and soft drinks. You can also buy tablets and capsules containing synthetic forms of the vitamin. Most multivitamins contain small quantities of vitamin B12. If you want to ensure you’re getting plenty of the vitamin without any side effects, then look out for brands that say “fortified” or “supplemented.” Read labels carefully before buying anything.
There are two types of vitamin B12: natural and artificial. Natural vitamin B12 comes from bacteria living in the soil. Synthetic vitamin B12 is produced synthetically.
Natural vitamin B12 is absorbed better than artificially manufactured vitamin B12 because it contains an extra molecule called cobalt. When your stomach breaks down food, Co attaches itself to specific molecules such as intrinsic factors. Intrinsic factor helps transport vitamin B12 across membranes within the gut lining. Synthetic vitamin B12 does not have Co attached to it. Instead, it must first passthrough several chemical steps to become biologically active. As a result, only half of the vitamin reaches the bloodstream, making it available to work inside the cell. In addition, the inactive form of vitamin B12 cannot cross the intestinal wall back into the intestine. It stays outside the digestive tract until it dissolves in water. Once dissolved, the inactive vitamin passes right through the kidneys and is excreted in the urine.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements?
Vitamin B12 supports healthy red blood cells and nerve function. A deficiency causes anemia, fatigue, and poor memory. People taking oral contraceptives often experience symptoms similar to low levels of vitamin B12. These include tiredness and depression. Studies suggest that people who eat fish regularly get less depressed. Fish is one of the best sources of naturally occurring vitamin B12. Other foods rich in vitamins include meat, eggs, dairy products, liver, and yeast extract.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll have to supplement your diet with vitamin B12.If you don’t like eating fish, you may consider using a product known as cyanocobalamin which has been purified so that all its activity remains intact. This type of vitamin B12 is more expensive than other varieties. However, if you use this kind of vitamin B12 regularly, you won’t suffer any ill effects.
Risk Associated With Too Much Vitamin B12?
Too much vitamin B12 could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, numbness around the mouth and tongue, loss of appetite, blurred vision, skin rash, muscle weakness, confusion, breathing problems, and heart palpitations. High doses of vitamin B12 can lead to hematological abnormalities, including thrombocytopenia and megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia occurs when too much folate builds up in the body instead of vitamin B12. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans ,nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Can You Overdose on Vitamin B12?
It’s impossible to overdose on vitamin B12. Even at very high dosages, no harmful effects occur unless someone takes far more significant amounts than would typically be consumed. For example, some people claim that drinking 50ml of cod liver oil every morning gives them headaches. Cod liver oil contains high concentrations of vitamins D and K2 along with omega-three fatty acids.
As you have learned about the importance of Vitamin B12, try to include them in your diet!