VITAMIN B12 – Importance and Health Benefits

INTRODUCTION-

Vitamins are organic compounds which mean that it contains carbon. People need in very small quantities. Most vitamins need to get from food items because the body either does not produce them or produce very small quantity. Vitamins are organic substances present in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs. Having too little of any particular vitamin may increase the risk of developing certain health issues.

Vitamins are grouped into two categories:

Fat-soluble vitamins-

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Water-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C

VITAMIN B12-

Chemical names

Vitamin B12 is commonly known as cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin etc.

Importance of vitamin B-12-

  • It plays a significant role in red blood cell (RBC) formation, neurological functions and DNA synthesis.
  • It is essential for nerve tissue health and good brain function.
  • It acts as cofactor for different enzymes that are required for DNA synthesis.
  • Vitamin B12 is water soluble.
  • Vitamin B-12 is a crucial B vitamin..

GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12-

vitamin B-12 can be found naturally in animal products  include fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, poultry,  milk and other dairy products, fortified cereals, fortified soy products, and fortified nutritional yeast. Vitamin B-12 not synthesized in plants and animals.

It is always better to maintain a balanced diet and receive healthful amounts of nutrients before active treatment is required. The symptoms of deficiency are easily avoided with a healthful diet.

The Good dietary sources of vitamin B-12 are given below:

  • Cereals
  • Fresh fruit juice such as beet root, carrot, cherry, pomegranate and apple
  • Honey
  • Eggs and fresh meat
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • fish, especially haddock and tuna
  • some nutritional yeast products
  • Some types of soya milk

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN B-12-

It is beneficial for different health problems which are mentioned below-

  1. Energy metabolism-

It helps in metabolism of energy by regulating the enzyme succinyl CoA in citric acid cycle.

  1. Brain health

It helps to maintain the brain health by maintaining the level of neurotransmitters. Deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps to maintain the level of homocystiene that plays significant role in development of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Cancer prevention

It prevents the damage of DNA. Damaged DNA results in cancer

  1. Depression-

It helps to maintain the synthesis of neurotransmitters in brain which are related to brain functions and prevents depression.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

Low level of Vitamin B-12 in your body may lead to some neurological problems and some types of anemia. Symptoms associated with deficiency of vitamin B12 are given below:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and Constipation
  • Asthma
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Blurry vision or vision loss
  • Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
  • Pallor skin

DISEASE ASSOCIATED WITH DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN B12-

  • Grave’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s disease
  • Pituitary gland
  • Amenorrhea
  • Vertigo
  • Myasthenia gravis

SIDE EFFECTS OF VITAMIN B12-

Oral vitamin B-12 is safe to take at recommended doses but Injectable vitamin B-12, which is used to treat significant deficiencies, can cause the following side effects:

  • Mild diarrhea
  • skin rash ,itching and swelling
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure early in treatment
  • vein thrombosis
  • polycythemia vera (rare, slow growing blood cancer)

CORRECT DOSE OF VITAMIN B12-

  • 0-6 months-0.4 mcg
  • 6-12 months- 0.5 mcg
  • 1-3 years- 0.9 mcg
  • 4-8 years- 1.2 mcg
  • 9-13 years-1.8 mcg
  • for 14+ years -2.4 micrograms  daily
  • for pregnant women- 2.6 mcg daily
  • for breastfeeding women- 2.8 mcg daily

Doctors may recommend that people with vegan diets take B12 supplements.