Vitamin B12 – small dose, big effect
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a water-soluble Vitamin that can be exactly like other vitamins the body is not self – made, but about food, such as herring or liver. Vitamin B12 is especially important for our nervous system, but also has a protective effect on our cardiovascular System. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 occurs in Europe only rarely, and only Vegans who take no animal food, have an increased risk.
As Vitamin B12 acts
Our body needs only small amounts of Vitamin B12, but the Vitamin is involved in many important processes in the organism. It takes, among other things, influence on the cell growth, and cell division and is required for the formation of red blood cells.
In addition, Vitamin B12 is also important for our nervous system is of crucial importance, because it is the formation of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers, is involved. Also important is Vitamin B12 for our brain. Scientists suspect that in people with a Vitamin B12 deficiency the risk of developing a disease later in dementia, is significantly increased. Likewise, should increase in these individuals, the probability that there is a reduction in brain mass.
Finally, Vitamin B12 is said to have a protective effect for the cardiovascular System: It converts namely the amino acid homocysteine, which can have a harmful impact on the heart and the circulation, in the amino methionine acid. Due to this conversion of Vitamin B12 helps to prevent disorders such as atherosclerosis.
Vitamin B12: The Daily Requirement
The daily dose of Vitamin B12 is only three micrograms, which is significantly lower than other vitamins. In pregnant women the need is slightly higher, it amounts to approximately four micro-grams.
The daily requirement of Vitamin B12, for example, by the consumption of the following food covered:
- 5 Grams Of Liver
- 25 Grams Of Herring
- 90 Grams Of Pollock
- 100 Grams Of Beef
- 100 Grams Of Salmon
- 150 Grams Of Cheese
- 3 eggs
- 500 Milliliters Of Whole Milk
A glance at the list of foods that have a high Vitamin B12 content makes it clear that Vitamin B12 is found in notable quantities only in animal foods. That’s why vegetarians, but especially Vegans, do not see that there is a lack of Vitamin B12. The risk of a defect, you can prevent this by taking Vitamin B12 tablets.
In addition to animal foods in very small quantities in Vitamin B12 are also contained in plant foods, which are bacterial are fermented. These include foods such as Sauerkraut.
Lack of Vitamin B12
Since Vitamin B12 has a very long half-life, developed a Vitamin B12 deficiency is very slow. The intake of Vitamin B12 is completely stopped, can live off the body for approximately two to three years of the in the liver, landscaped reserves, then the deficiency makes itself felt. In addition to the liver, Vitamin B12 is stored in the brain, heart and skeletal muscle.
The cause of a Vitamin B12 deficiency may be due to the fact that the body through the food leads to low levels of Vitamin B12. Much more frequently, however, it is the case that the absorption in the gastro-intestinal disturbed tract. Vitamins can normally be directly from the intestines into the body, Vitamin B12 is, however, a protein, a Transport – the so-called Intrinsic factor – required.
Often, the production of this Intrinsic factor is disrupted by the gastric cells in the elderly, since in them very often gastric mucosal atrophy is present. In addition, the production of the factor but also due to chronic gastric mucosa inflammation of the skin, drugs such as omeprazole, which inhibit the production of stomach acid, and severe inflammation of the intestine, such as Crohn’s affects Crohn’s negative.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Too little Vitamin B12 is taken, or the present lot can not be recycled, this can lead to anemia, which is referred to in professional circles also known as pernicious anemia. The anemia is accompanied by symptoms such as pallor, problems with concentration and fatigue.
In addition, it may come with a Vitamin B12 deficiency also to loss of sensation in the feet and the hands. These are sensations to disturbances in the Central nervous system caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency, due. The same applies to any memory impairment that can develop as dementia.
Other symptoms that may be caused by a Vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Gastro-intestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation
- Burning sensation of the tongue
- Increased Susceptibility To Infection
- Malfunctions in the spinal cord (funicular Myelosis)
Overdose of Vitamin B12
An Overdose of Vitamin B12 is normally not possible, since Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and excess Vitamin B12 is excreted via the kidneys.
Vitamin B12 is used for therapeutic purposes, and an injection administered, an Overdose is possible, however, this is usually without consequences. Only in rare cases, it can come as a result of the Overdose, to local allergic reactions and acne-like symptoms.