Vitamin B12 is the only element that contains cobalt, which is vital for the normal functioning of the human body. In this regard, it is often called cobalamin and belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins. It takes an active part in the creation of new cells in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) and in the formation of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers.
Vitamin B 12 is able to cope with the stressful state of a person, helps the bone marrow to reproduce red blood cells, replenishes the body’s iron stores and helps vitamin A in the synthesis of various tissues.
It can also have a regulatory effect on the processes of hematopoiesis and increase the body’s immunological defense. This vitamin closely interacts with vitamin C, folic and pantothenic acids, as a result of which it is able to participate in the metabolic processes of the body.
Uses of Vitamin B12
Recently, studies have been conducted that have proven the importance of using vitamin B12 in the process of bone formation. The cells that create them must be sufficiently saturated with this element.
This is especially important for children and women in menopause, in whose bodies hormonal processes affect bone loss.
What Foods Contain Vitamin B12?
As a rule, it is food of animal origin:
- liver and kidneys of various animals,
- dairy and sour milk products,
- Fish and seafood.
Also, cornflakes, soy products and some bars are rich in this vitamin.
The vitamin is absorbed quite well, and this process begins already in the oral cavity and continues further throughout the body. However, for its absorption in the human intestine, a sufficient concentration of calcium must be present.
Vitamin B12: Consequences of A Deficiency
The average person consumes 5-7 mcg of vitamin B12 daily. Estimate this figure yourself – the norm is 6-9 mcg. Our body is not able to reproduce it on its own, it can only accumulate vitamin due to the intake of certain food.
Basically, this element is stored in the human liver in the amount of 2-5 μg. As a result, vitamin B 12 deficiency can develop only after prolonged diets that involve the consumption of foods with low levels of it.
Lack of vitamin B12 in the body occurs due to metabolic disorders, which accounts for 98% of all cases of its deficiency. The remaining 2% are the consumption of insufficiently fortified food.
The reasons for poor absorption of B12 can be chronic inflammatory processes occurring in the gastrointestinal tract, alcoholism, Crohn’s disease, adolescence or old age of a person, pregnancy and other factors.
The consequences of the resulting deficit can be different. So, for example, if you are tormented in the morning by some unreasonable frustration and sadness, you are annoyed even at the slightest reason, then the reason for this may well be poor nutrition.
In addition, B12 deficiency can lead to disruption of the nervous system (lethargy, dizziness, lack of appetite) and the development of some types of anemias (megaloblastic and pernicious).
Vitamin B12 supplements can be taken (for example, in sublingual form), or intramuscular injections can be given, which is typical in cases of poor absorption of the substance. After therapy, it is necessary to eat foods rich in vitamin B12, which were mentioned above.