Vitamin B12

An Overview

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods added to others and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin is necessary for making DNA and for creating energy in our cells. Vitamin B12 is created by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, Since your body doesn’t make vitamin B12 you have to get it from animal-based foods or from supplements. Vegetarians, pregnant or breastfeeding women and others at high risk of deficiency may want to track their diets closely to make sure they’re getting enough.

A long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians.  Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or supplements. The active metabolite of vitamin B12 is required for the methylation of homocysteine in the production of methionine which is involved in a number of biochemical processes including the monoamine neurotransmitters metabolism.

Vitamin B12 bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. High vitamin B12 foods include clams, liver, fish, crab, low-fat beef, fortified cereal, fortified tofu, low-fat dairy, cheese and eggs. The daily value for vitamin B12 is 2.4μg per day. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read the Nutrition Facts labels on food products to determine the types and amounts of added nutrients they contain.

Food rich in Vitamin B12:

  1. Animal Liver and Kidney:

Liver and kidneys, especially from lamb, are rich in vitamin B12. While lamb liver is higher in vitamin B12 than beef or veal liver, the latter two contain about 990% of the RDI per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Lamb liver is also very high in copper, selenium and vitamins A and B2.

  1. Shellfish:

Shellfish are some of the most dense natural sources of B12 on the planet, as well as being rich in other important micronutrients like omega-3s, zinc and iron.

  1. Eggs:

Egg yolk contains more calories and dietary cholesterol. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and lecithin are present in good percentage in egg yolk. Selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, iron, and copper are rich in egg white. Duck eggs have 3.8 micrograms of vitamin B12 and contain 129.5 calories.

  1. Milk:

Along with B12, milk contains high concentrations of calcium, important for maintaining healthy bones. Many people are allergic or intolerant to lactose, the milk protein found in dairy and may benefit more from goats milk or plant-based alternatives. Milk is an excellent source of vitamin B12. one 250 mL serving provides approximately half of the Recommended Daily Intake for this vitamin.

  1. King Crab:

Crab items or products containing vitamin b12 we have a more comprehensive break down of Crustaceans, crab, blue, raw and the highest item containing vitamin b12 which is Crustaceans, crab, alaska king, cooked, moist heat.

Some other Sources 

  • Beef is the excellent source of vitamin B12.
  • Cereals have rich in Vitamin B12.
  • Tuna contains high concentrations of vitamin B12.
  • Chicken also rich in B12.
  • There are very limited vegetarian sources of vitamin B12. Some of them include- yogurt, low-fat milk, fortified dairy, cheese, fortified cereals and natural yeast.

Vitamin B12 plays a major role in maintaining the health of the nervous system. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers are also advised to consume enough vitamin B12.

Deficiency of vitamin B12

Large amounts of folic acid can mask the damaging effects of vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting the megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency .

  • Tiredness and Weakness is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can also affect your vision.
  • Individuals with pernicious anemia cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Lack of red blood cells makes the skin look colorless. It makes the skin dull and causes tiredness.
  • Vision Problems.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Memory Loss.
  • Alteration in bowel motility, such as mild diarrhea or constipation and loss of bladder or bowel control.

 Vitamin B12 depends on an adequate supply of biotin part of B12 effect can only take place if the supply of biotin is ensured. 

 

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