Monday, October 3, 2011

Health Benefits of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 Sources and Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin was identified as the nutritional factor in the liver, in 1948; and was said to prevent pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12, along with folic acid plays a pivotal part in many of the body’s processes, including synthesis of DNA.

Vitamin B12 Benefits

Vitamin B12 is necessary in very small quantities. The RDA for the vitamin is 2 micrograms.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Adequate intake of the vitamin ca help stave off degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases and Parkinson's Disease.
  • The vitamin is also essential to prevent anemia.
Eggs are a great source
of Vitamin B12
  • The nutrient plays an important role in the working of most of the biological processes.
Sources of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 Foods
Vitamin B12 is found in significant quantities only in animal foods. The richest sources of the vitamin are: liver, eggs, fish, kidney, meat, chicken, oysters and cheese.

Tempeh (fermented soy) and cow's milk are excellent sources for vegans (strict vegetarians), depending up on the medium on which it is grown.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very commonly seen in vegans, pregnant women and in the elderly. It is imperative to identify the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and rectify it immediately.

What’s more, vitamin B12 reactivates folic acid, consequently, a deficiency of vitamin B12 results in folic acid deficiency as well; more so, if the folic acid levels are marginal.

Vitamin B 12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency is seen as:
  • The deficiency results in impaired nerve functioning, demonstrated as ‘pins and needles’ sensation or tingling numbness and a burning feeling in the feet.
  • The mental functioning gets impaired as well. Common symptoms include: depression, confusion, delirium and development of Alzheimer’s.
  • Anemia is another very common manifestation; it is seen as: giddiness, headache, fatigue and breathlessness.
  • The tongue becomes red and smooth. Vitamin B12 defiency is associated with apathus ulcers in the mouth.
Milk is an important
source of Vitamin B12
for Vegens
  • Diarrhea may also be a presenting feature.
Vitamin B12 Supplements
Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for vegans. Tempeh and brewer’s yeast does provide some amount of the vitamin; however, studies say that the vitamin B12 in these foods is not is the form that meets the body’s requirements. The vitamin may be taken in the form of tablets, pills or injections. Vitamin B12 injections are used for the management of depression and anxiety among individuals.

Vitamin B 12 Overdose: Vitamin B 12 Toxicity
If you think you could be suffering from a deficiency of the vitamin, you may embark on vitamin B12 supplementation a regular basis. Before embarking on an extreme plan, first get yourself investigated. The most frightening aspect of vitamin B12 overdose is that it is linked to various types of cancers. Vitamin B12 encourages cell division and it does not differentiate between healthy cells and unhealthy cells. An excess of the vitamin gives the extra energy that is required by the cancer cells. Also, no research has been able to ascertain a safe upper limit for vitamin B12 intake.


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