Role Of Vitamin B12 In Human Body. Here, you will read what is Vitamin B12, benefits of Vitamin B12, nutritional requirements of Vitamin B12, food sources of Vitamin B12, medical uses of Vitamin B12, and deficiency of Vitamin B12.
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is one of the water-soluble (water-soluble) vitamins. It owes its name to the cobalt atom it contains in its structure. Vitamin B12 is essential for proper cell renewal and the production of red blood cells. It is also very important in pregnant women for the proper development of the fetus.
What Are The Roles Of Vitamin B12 In the Human Body?
Here are some of the vital roles and benefits of Vitamin B12:
-Vitamin B12 is essential for cell renewal.
-It contributes to the good condition of the skin.
-It participates in the formation of red blood cells.
-It is essential for the proper functioning of neurons (nerve cells).
-In combination with vitamin B9, it reduces the blood level of homocysteine, a compound whose excess is involved in cardiovascular disease.
-In women, during pregnancy, vitamin B12 is important for the expansion of blood volume, as well as the development of the nervous system of the fetus.
Nutritional Requirement Of Vitamin B12 Per Day:
Food Sources Of Vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in foods of animal origin like offal, seafood, meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. However, many breakfast kinds of cereal are fortified with it. Red (dulse, nori) and green (Green laver, sea lettuce) algae, spirulina (a micro-algae), are also good sources. In addition, there is a production of vitamin B12 by certain microorganisms present in the intestine (microbiota).
Quantity Of Vitamin B12 In Micrograms (µg) Per 100 g Of Food:
Medical Uses Of Vitamin B12:
In case of deficiency:
Vitamin B12 is administered in high doses, orally (in tablets) or by intramuscular injections, depending on the cause of the deficiency. After bariatric surgery, an intake of 500 µg per day is prescribed, in order to compensate for the very low assimilation.
In case of cyani poisoning, Hydroxocobalaminminmin is injected, which has the property of binding to cyanide ions and thus allows them to be eliminated in the urine.
The deficiency in vitamins B12 or B9 results in an increase in the blood level of homocysteine, a compound whose excess is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In several intervention studies, researchers have shown that supplementation with vitamins B12 and B9 (sometimes also with vitamin B6) over the long term (for example for 7 years) makes it possible to reduce the level of homocysteine but paradoxically does not decrease the number of cardiovascular diseases.
Deficiency Of Vitamin B12:
Deficiency is common in sub-Saharan Africa and in some Latin American countries, which is linked to malnutrition. In France, it is rare in the healthy population, especially since the body has at least one year of vitamin B12 reserve.
However, it can occur due to a lack of intake in vegan people. It can also be due to a lack of assimilation caused by various diseases of the digestive tract like Biermer’s anaemia, atrophic gastritis (in this case, the stomach no longer secretes enough gastric juice), chronic pancreatitis, celiac disease, etc. The deficiency of vitamin B12 is common in alcoholics, as well as in individuals undergoing bariatric surgery (in cases of obesity). The deficiency can occur in the elderly, who quite frequently suffer from atrophic gastritis.
The deficiency of Vitamin B12 also results in macrocytic anaemia (too large red blood cells), fatigue, loss of appetite, damage to peripheral nerves with loss of sensitivity and difficulty in walking, memory problems, weight loss, tingling and numbness in the limbs, constipation, and depression
Vegetarians who do not consume any foods of animal origin or fortified with vitamin B12, should take vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 supplements should be taken with meals, as they will be better absorbed. Vegan women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should therefore ensure that they get enough vitamin B12 in their diet so that their fetus does not deplete their low reserves.
The recommended dietary intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms from age 14 through adulthood. In children, the recommendations vary according to age (from 0.6 to 1.8 micrograms per day).
featured image source:harvard.edu