Vitamin B12 is beneficial for the body as it helps to create healthy red blood cells and keeps the nervous system alert. It belongs to vitamin B complexation and contains cobalt, so its compounds are referred to as cobalamines. The forms of B12 that affect human metabolism are methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.
One of the benefits of B12 is the maintenance of body metabolism. In particular, it plays a vital role in the production of healthy red blood cells as well as in the proper functioning of the central nervous system.
How much vitamin B12 do we need?
The daily intake should be 2.4 micrograms for healthy adults. Women in pregnancy need 2.6 micrograms, and 2.8 milligrams per day for breastfeeding.
Vitamin B12 is unique as it is the only Group B vitamin stored in the body. Most B vitamins have limited storage, but B12 is stored in the liver. Therefore, the onset of B12 deficiency usually takes a long time to appear. People on dietary supplements do not have to worry about taking too much, as adverse effects from overdose have not been proven.
What are the good sources of Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in food of animal origin, but also in enriched cereals, multivitamins and other dietary supplements. Good sources of B12 include meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, milk as well as other dairy products.
Just because B12 is present in large quantities in animal products, therefore, vegetarians often show the possibility of B12 deficiency, but this can be prevented with appropriate supplements.
What happens when I do not get enough B12?
Deficiency in B12 usually occurs due to a health problem, such as malignant anemia. Also, people with digestive problems may be inadequate. Absorption of B12 is a multi-stage process. It requires two proteins, one produced by the salivary glands and one produced in the stomach, pancreatic enzymes and a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Any defect along the gastrointestinal tract increases the risk of B12 deficiency. For example, chronic use of antacids may change stomach ph and alter the absorption of B12. Also, gastric bypass surgery makes it possible to change the absorption of B12.
Low B12 levels can cause problems such as:
Loss of balance
Numbness or tingling at the edges
What are the findings of the latest research studies on B12. Doctors also suspect significant B12 benefits, but none have yet been proven.
Evidence suggests that B12 may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the American Heart Association has decided that the data is not strong enough to recommend the use of B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 is known to help maintain a healthy nervous system, but doctors have not been able to prove that B12 could be used to help cognitive impairment caused by dementia.
Some argue that B12 is an energy tonic, but again the scientific evidence does not support these claims.
The research have not been able to conclude whether B12 provides any significant benefit to the various types of cancer. Some support their use, while others claim they have not helped at all.
Doctors believed that people with diabetes would benefit from treatment with high doses of B-complex vitamins, both in improving kidney function and cardiovascular health, but found that high doses of vitamins caused decreased renal and cardiovascular health .
More research is needed to determine the benefits of B12 that go beyond its vital role in the proper functioning of the body.