Vitamin B12 - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage
It is commonly known as Cynocobalamines. It is water soluble vitamin.
As the name indicates it is the important part of vitamin B complex which is involved in various biological processes.
It is one of the most important nutrient for proper physical as well as mental and emotional health. It plays important role in various biological processes such as red blood cell formation, neurological functions and DNA synthesis.
It is the only vitamin that contains metal element named cobalt. It is the main reason that this vitamin named as cobalamine.
Deficiency of vitamin may results in anemia, physical and mental fatigue, insomnia and instability in emotions. Long term deficiency results in permanent damage of brain and central nervous system.
It cannot be prepared inside animals and plants. It is synthesized only by microorganisms especially bacteria and fungi which are known to produce vitamin B12.
Importance of Vitamin B12
It plays an important role in red blood cell formation, neurological functions and DNA synthesis. It act as cofactor for different enzymes that are required for the synthesis of DNA.
Food Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is not synthesized in plants and animals. It can be stored for long time in body.
The common food sources of vitamin B12 are given below:
- Fresh fruit juice like carrot, beet, cherry, pomegranate, apple
- Honey, meat
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
It is beneficial for different health problems which are given below:
- 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 helps to maintain the level of homocystiene that plays important role in development of Alzheimer's disease.
- Depression - It helps to maintain the synthesis of neurotransmitters in brain which are related to brain functions and prevents depression.
- Cancer prevention - It prevents the damage of DNA. Damaged DNA results in cancer.
- Energy metabolism - It helps in metabolism of energy by regulating the enzyme Succinyl CoA in citric acid cycle.
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B12
Symptoms associated with deficiency of vitamin B12 are given below:
- Weight loss
- Low libido
- Vision loss
- Mental problems like depression, anxiety.
- Pale skin
Disease Associated With Deficiency of Vitamin B12
There are some disease which are caused due to the deficiency of vitamin B12 which are given below:
- Grave's disease
- Pituitary gland
- Myasthenia gravis
- Addison's disease
Side Effects of Vitamin B12
Deficiency of vitamin B12 occurs when body is unable to absorb sufficient amount of vitamin according to body needs.
It depends upon different conditions like:-
- Vegetarian or vegan people
- People who have problem with digestive system like celiac disease, Crohn's disease.
Dosage of Vitamin B12
Dose of vitamin B12 may vary according to age and sex which is given below:
- 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
- 14+ years: 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg
- Lactating women: 2.8 mcg