Vitamin B 12 is like the rest of the B complex family water soluble. Although unique among water soluble vitamins because it can be stored in the body ; it can take take up to three years to deplete your supply. B 12 is effective even in small doses. Commonly known as the “red vitamin” also cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the commercially available form of vitamin B 12 used in vitamin pills.
The only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. B 12 is not well assimilated through the stomach and it needs to be combined with calcium during absorption to properly benefit the body.
A diet low in B 1 and high in folic acid (such as vegetarian diet) often hides a vitamin B 12 deficiency.
A properly functioning thyroid gland helps B 12 absorption.
Function of vitamin B 12
B 12 forms and regenerates red blood cells, thereby preventing anemia. It helps break down the amino acid homocysteine, lowering the risk of heart disease. B 12 promotes growth and increases appetite in children. It increases energy and protects your brain from shrinking with age. It helps slow macular degeneration and is an aid in alleviating depression, it also helps prevent and effectively treat canker sores. Helps maintain healthy nervous system. Helps properly utilize fats, carbohydrates and protein. B 12 relieves irritability improves concentration, memory and balance.
Small amounts (80 mcg) of B 12 help strengthen bones and aid in prevention of osteoporosis. Because B 12 is not absorbed well through the stomach it is recommended to use the sublingual form of the vitamin, or the time release form – accompanied by sorbitol, so that it can be assimilated in the small intestine. If you are vegan or vegetarian who has excluded eggs and dairy products from your diet, then you need B 12 supplementation.
If you are heavy drinker B 12 is an important supplement to you. Combined with folic acid B 12 can be a most effective revitaliser.
Surprisingly, heavy protein consumers may also need extra amounts of this vitamin, which works synergistically with almost all other B vitamins as well as vitamins A, E and C.
The ability to absorb B 12 declines with age, it’s recommended that adults over fifty obtain the RDA for this vitamin from supplements or fortified foods. Women may find B 12 helpful as a part of a B complex during and just prior to menstruation.
Foods rich in vitamin B12
Animal products are rich in B 12 like liver, beef, pork, eggs, milk, cheese and fish. Here is full list of foods high in B 12.
Supplements are available in a variety of strengths from 50 mcg to 10.000 mcg.
Doctors routinely give B 12 injections if there is a severe indication of deficiency or extreme fatigue, this method might be the supplementation that’s called for. Daily dosages most often used are 5-100 mcg
Signs of deficiency
Lack of B 12 can cause pernicious anemia and neurological disorders.
Symptoms of B 12 deficiency might take more than five years to appear after body stores have been depleted. In the human diet, vitamin B 12 is supplied primarily by animal products, since plant foods (with minor exceptions) don’t contain it.
Signs of excess
According to Earl Mindell’s New vitamin bible there have been no cases reported of vitamin B 12 toxicity, even on megadose regiments.
Recommended daily dosage
Adults 2 mcg
Pregnant 2.2 mcg
Nursing mothers 2.6 mcg
Recommended intakes for all age groups , RDA sheet.