What Is Vitamin B12 And What Does It Do For Your Health!?

Vitamins are very crucial for our health; therefore the knowledge of what the vitamins do to our body is very important. For instance, Vitamin B12 is needed for producing and maintaining new cells, consisting of nerve cells and red blood cells.It also assists in making DNA.

Furthermore, Vitamin B12 is bound to the proteins in food (especially animal food). After consuming food, the hydrochloric acid in the stomach releases B12 from the protein. Then B12 is combined with a substance called intrinsic factor by which it is absorbed by the intestines.

What amount is sufficient on daily basis?

There is not enough information to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 for infants. In this case, an Adequate Intake (AI) has been established:

Age Males And Females
0 to 6 months 0.4 mcg/day
7 to 12 months 0.5 mcg/day

Here below is the list for the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12, and it is recommended to use these suggestions for optimal health:

Age Males and Females Pregnancy Lactation
1 to 3 years 0.9 mcg N/A N/A
4 to 8 years 1.2 mcg N/A N/A
9 to 13 years 1.8 mcg N/A N/A
14 to 19 years 2.4 mcg 2.6 mcg 2.8 mcg
19+ years 2.4 mcg/day 2.6 mcg/day 2.8 mcg/day

Sources of Vitamin B12

Beside animal food, vitamin B12 is available in large quantities in breakfast cereals, which is important forvegetarians or for people who do not consume enough amount of animal foods.

Food Amount Vitamin B12
Beef, top sirloin, lean, choice, broiled 3 oz. 2.4 mcg
Breakfast cereals, fortified ¾ cup 6 mcg
Chicken, breast, cooked ½ breast 0.3 mcg
Egg 1 large 0.6 mcg
Haddock, cooked 3 oz. 1.2 mcg
Liver, beef 1 slice 47.9 mcg
Milk 1 cup 0.9 mcg
Mollusks, clam 3 oz. 84.1 mcg
Salmon, sockeye, cooked 3 oz. 4.9 mcg
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked 3 oz. 4.2 mcg
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked 3 oz. 5.4 mcg
Tuna, white, canned in water 3 oz. 1.0 mcg
Yogurt, plain, skim 1 cup 1.4 mcg

B12 Supplement

It is proven that most people consume enough quantity of vitamin B12. Therefore, if there is no need to take a supplement, do not take it. Your physician can determine by blood test your B12 levels, and if there is a necessity he will prescribe you an appropriate supplement.

However, people who do not consume meat or meat products, and also with a stomach or intestinal disorder might need to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Older persons withatrophic gastritis may have to take supplements or extra food sources. Also some medicines can influence B12 absorption such as H2 receptor antagonists used to treat peptic ulcers, metformin, and proton pump inhibitors. In this case B12 level check-up is required, and if necessary an appropriate supplement prescribed.


Lack of Vitamin B12

Pernicious anemia is a result of not enough quantity of B12 in your body system. Shortage indications are: weakness, anorexia nervosa, fatigue, constipationweight reduction, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, problem in maintaining balance, confusion, dementia, depression, and poor memory. If you take folic acid (folate) in excess quantity may cover the shortage indications of vitamin B12, and in that case you should consult your doctor and take necessary blood tests to check your B12 levels. Also if you a vegetarian these blood tests are recommended.

Too Much Vitamin B12

There are no studies explaining the side effects of too much vitamin B12. There is very low potential for toxicity at high levelsHowever, this does not mean that excess take in of B12 will bring you additional health advantages.Just use the chart for the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12.


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