Vitamin B12 General Information
Description of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin because it contains a metal ion (cobalt). This makes it more complex and vitamin longest of all. The only vitamin can be synthesized by bacteria and is therefore in animal products. There are two types of forms of vitamin B12 in the body.
Functions of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 contributes to the formation of blood cells and bone marrow metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and genetic material production. It also plays a major role in mechanisms in nervous and cardiovascular and DNA synthesis. Deficiency of this vitamin causes anemia, fatigue, irritability, depression, shortness of breath, difficulty walking, memory loss, mood swings, disorientation, dementia and constipation. This can affect 10-15% of people over 60. This is a result of malfunction of the stomach, pancreas and small intestine in the elderly, causing a decrease in the absorption of vitamins.
Vitamin B12 in food
Vitamin B12 is mainly present in animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, seafood and less milk and dairy products. Cereals may be fortified with this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 supplement
Vitamin B12 is recommended for people with digestive problems, such as anemia, fatigue or mental or nervous problems. Because of its role in DNA synthesis, Vitamin B12 plays an important role in cancer prevention. This is a topic that is currently under investigation.
Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 with folate and olate, plays an important role in the prevention of accumulation of homocysteine, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The medicinal gastric acid inhibitors can reduce intake of vitamin B12 in foods. The medication to treat high cholesterol can cause similar problems. Nitrous oxide used as an anesthetic in the elderly may result in decreased absorption of vitamin B12. Large doses of folate may act as a mask for B12 deficiencies observed, resulting in the individual risk of irreversible neurological damage.
Vegetarians may suffer from great deficiencies of vitamin B12, as it is located primarily in animal products. The risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency is higher for people with AIDS and alcoholism. Toxicity of Vitamin B12 is rare, but one should take precautions and read the labels, because a form of the vitamin (eg cyanocobalamin) can strengthen eye conditions.