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admin | Office Exercises | 29.03.2014
What Is Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is necessary as a coenzyme in several chemical reactions in the body.
Food Sources Of Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is missing in plant sources, so it has to be got only through animal sources. Functions Of Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is tagged to a glycoprotein called intrinsic factor secreted by stomach, which facilitates its absorption in intestine. Vitamin B12 acts as a coenzyme in the formation of red blood cells (including hemoglobin) and amino acid methionine (necessary for formation of many substances like proteins, lipids, hormones, DNA and RNA), for entry of certain amino acids into metabolic pathway (Krebs cycle) yielding energy from carbohydrates, and helps in formation of choline, an intermediate product in the synthesis of a neurotransmitter acetylcholine that helps in transmission of signals across the nerves. It is also involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid whose increased levels are thought to be causative of many diseases. Deficiency Symptoms Of  Vitamin B12 (Vitamin B12 Deficiency) Deficiency of vitamin B12 can occur due to inadequate intake, impaired absorption or inadequate utilization of the vitamin: dietary deficiency, abnormal factors related to stomach, pernicious anemia, intestinal factors, congenital absence of transcobalamin II.
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition leading to atrophy of cells in stomach, thus impairing production of intrinsic factor, and hence affecting absorption of the vitamin. Bacterial overgrowth in intestines can lead to competition for vitamin B12, and hence its deficiency.
Inadequate utilization of vitamin B12 occurs in the inborn deficit of transcobalamin II as the vitamin is usually transported to all the cells of the body, bound to it. Vitamin B12 deficiency manifests as megaloblastic anemia (an anemia in which red blood cells are large).
Neurological symptoms due to vitamin B12 deficiency, like sensory disturbances, difficulty in maintaining balance, confusion, dementia, memory loss, can occur even in the absence of anemia and need to be addressed quickly to prevent irreversible damage. The symptoms of the deficiency in infants are megaloblastic anemia, failure to thrive, disorders of movement, delays in achieving developmental milestones.
The treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency is with intramuscular injections of 5 doses of 1000 micrograms of hydroxycobalamin, 2 to 3 days apart.
Overdosage Of  Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 shows no toxicity even if it is consumed in excess through food or vitamin supplements. Vitamin B12 injections should not be stored in neither humid places like kitchen and bathroom cabinets nor in refrigerator. If you’re wondering how you can get more B12 into your life, see our list of foods containing Vitamin B-12. Absorption of Vitamin B12 from gastrointestinal tract is dependent on intrinsic factor secreted by stomach’s mucosal lining.  The body stores about 2–3 mg of the vitamin, principally in liver, so it would take about 2 years before deficiency symptoms develop due to deficient intake or absorption, because the daily loss is only about 1 to 2 micrograms.
It is transported in blood, bound to another glycoprotein called transcobalamin II (TCII), to tissues including bone marrow. Vitamin B12 has also been used as a performance enhancer in sports like athletics because of the role it plays in generation of energy through metabolism in the body. Dietary deficiency usually occurs in vegetarians because of the lack of vitamin B12 in plant sources, and also rarely in nonvegetarians due to inadequate intake, though the body stores can ward off deficiency symptoms for almost 2 years. Inflammation of intestine like Crohn’s disease, resection of part of intestine can lead to inadequate absorption of the vitamin.


People with fish tapeworm (a parasite) infestation can also develop the deficiency as the absorption of the vitamin is impaired in this condition. Megaloblastic anemia symptoms are malaise, fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, sore mouth, weight loss, tingling and numbness in hands as well as feet, loss of appetite, grey hair, altered pigmentation of skin, impotence, poor memory, personality changes, depression, hallucinations, visual disturbance including altered color vision, and even heart failure.
Since vitamin B12 is required for the metabolism of homocysteine, its deficiency can lead to elevated levels of homocysteine that can cause heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Iron deficiency can occur during the initial weeks of therapy, so it needs to be corrected. It is the only B vitamin missing in vegetables, and is found exclusively in animal products. It is important to distinguish deficiency due intestinal problems from that due to pernicious anemia as the treatment is different in both conditions. The cancers it has been associated with helping include prostate, lung, breast, and colon cancer.
Symptoms may improve within 48 hours and peaking at a week, but some neurological symptoms may take 6 months to 1 year to resolve, and long-standing neurological damage may not show improvement. These are some of the most common and most deadly cancers out there, so it’s worth checking out all of your vitamin levels, including Vitamin B12 to see where you stand and what you’re lacking in.Protects Against Heart Disease- Overall, heart diseases of all types is the number on killer of Americans, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to make sure that your Vitamin B12 levels are in proper order. They have been shown to help the cardiovascular system in general, and a deficiency is often seen in those with heart problems. Since your heart is one of your most vital organs, it’s important to take good care of it, and while one specific vitamin won’t be a miracle answer, it can help in a comprehensive approach. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s or are worried about coming down with it in your later years, it’s a great idea to start eating more foods that contain ample amounts of this B vitamin.
Along with the other B Vitamins, B12 is known for it’s ability to keep you alert and feeling energized. Luckily it’s somewhat rare to run a shortage on this vitamin, so in all likelihood you’re good.Reduces Depression- Many vitamins including Vitamin D have been said to help with depression, and Vitamin B-12 is no different. This is such an important reason to make sure that all of your vitamins are at optimal levels.
Only your doctor can let you know for sure, and it’s a relatively quick and easy process to have done. That way you’ll know exactly which vitamins you need more of, and which ones you’re OK on, instead of playing the guessing game.Helps Metabolize Proteins- One of the main features of Vitamin B-12 is that it plays an active role in protein metabolism, which trickles over into several areas of the body. You might not notice these benefits when you are fine on your levels of B12, and you may not even be able to perceive a decline if you start to run low. For while these processes are important, they don’t show visible signs of depletion until after several years.Around the BodyGood for Brain Health- In addition to helping stave off and treat Alzheimer’s, Vitamin B12 also provides healthy benefits for the brain, and helps prevent what is known as “brain shrinkage” which can lead to conditions like dementia when you’re older. In the here and now it can help you to feel less mentally fatigued and on top of your game.Good for the Digestive System- Vitamin B-12 assists the digestive system in its proper functioning, and you’ll notice that if you don’t get enough of it you are more prone to constipation and a sluggish digestive system.
Since backed up digestion can lead to general toxicity in the body, it’s important to keep things moving at a steady pace.


That’s why you’ll want to eat foods that are both high in fiber and that also contain the right mix of vitamins.Promotes Healthy Skin- Vitamin B-12 provides great benefit to the skin, helping to repair skin cells and keep your skin looking its best. Getting the right mix of B vitamins can help conditions ranging from dryness and redness to acne and other blemishes. It’s simply something you don’t want to run low on if you want your skin to be radiate and clear.Makes Hair Healthier- Vitamin B12 is often added to hair products because of its ability to add shine and a healthy look. That way your hair will naturally grow out as if you had used a topical treatment containing Vitamin B-12.
Try eating more eggs, chicken, and various seafood as a way to have higher levels of B12, without having to buy expensive hair products.Good for the Nails- In addition to being good for the skin and hair, you may also notice an improvement in your nail health.
But if you’ve been complaining about the way your nails look, or that they’re not strong enough, you might benefit from checking your B12 intake and see if it could be improved.Heart HealthHelps with Cholesterol- By helping to keep your cholesterol levels down, Vitamin B12 may be able to reduce your need for cholesterol lowering drugs. If your doctor has told you that you’re low on this nutrient, they may have also given you a list of foods that contain extra amounts of B12 for you to start eating more of.
If they didn’t, we’ve got you covered with our own list of Vitamin B12-rich foods.Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure- High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments for baby boomers, and is one that often requires medication in order to treat. This is because it’s somewhat hard to control your blood pressure just by willing yourself to do so. But having the right amounts of Vitamin B-12 can get your body to start responding on a physiological level, so you don’t have to think about lowering your blood pressure, it just happens naturally because your body has what it needs.Helps Prevent Strokes- By helping to keep your arteries clear of excess cholesterol, Vitamin B-12 will help you to avoid getting a stroke. If your family has a history of strokes, this is one vitamin you don’t want to miss out on. It also provides general benefits to the entire cardiovascular system, so it’s great for overall heart health. Consider eating more foods with Vitamin B-12 and also don’t neglect your other essential vitamins like D, A, and C. It’s always good to treat your vitamins as a collective, and make sure that you have all of your bases covered.
It might sound overwhelming since there are so many essential vitamins, and you may be tempted to just pop a multivitamin like Centrum and think that you’re fine. But the best way to know that all of your levels are where they should be is to eat a healthy balanced diet of foods that are nutrient dense. It’s not as hard as it sounds, you just simply start replacing low-nutrient foods for high ones, one by one, and soon you’ll have transitioned to this new way of eating.Not getting enough Vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 also benefits a lot in pregnancy to both mother and child.ReplyLeave a comment Click here to cancel reply.



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