The role and importance of Vitamin b12 supplements?

The role and importance of Vitamin b12 supplements?

What is Vitamin b12?

Vitamin b12 is a water-soluble vitamin, like all other B vitamins. This means it can travel through the blood after dissolving in water. The human body can store vitamin B-12 for up to four years. All excessive vitamin B-12 is excreted in the urine.

The role and importance of Vitamin b12 supplements?

What is the role of vitamin b12 in our bodies?

Vitamin b12 is crucial for the normal functioning of our body. It –

    • enables the release of energy by helping the human body absorb folic acid,
    • helps with red blood cell formation and multiplication,
    • is important for the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system.
    • helps to create and regulate DNA,
    • keeps skin, hair, and nails healthy,
    • helps in the synthesis of fatty acids and energy production.

Vitamin B-12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin. 5- deoxyadenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 that are active in human metabolism.

Who requires Vitamin b12?

The main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include vitamin B12 postsurgical malabsorption, pernicious anemia, dietary deficiency and malabsorption from food. People at risk of b12 deficiency are –

    • pregnant and lactating women,
    • senior citizens,
    • those who have had gastrointestinal surgery,
    • people suffering from anemia,
    • people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease,

How does a lack of vitamin b12 affect our bodies?

Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by –

    • difficulty maintaining balance,
    • depression,
    • poor memory,
    • tingling in the hands and feet,
    • soreness of the mouth or tongue,
    • weight loss,
    • loss of appetite,
    • megaloblastic anemia,
    • numbness,
    • fatigue,
    • constipation,
    • weakness,
    • dementia,
    • confusion.

The side effects of taking vitamin B-12 are very limited as it is not considered to be toxic in high quantities, even 1000-mcg doses are not thought to be harmful because of its low potential for toxicity.

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What is the required amount of vitamin b12?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance as per the Indian Council of Medical Research guideline, 2010 for Vitamin B12 is 1 mcg for Men and for Women doing Moderate Work and 0.2-1.0mcg for children of all age groups.

Why is methylcobalamin the best form of b12?

Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity, as a class, are referred to as Cobalamins. Methylcobalamin:

    • is a natural form of Vitamin B12 and is better than other forms of Vitamin B12.
    • is relatively easier for the body to absorb, in comparison to Cyanocobalamin, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin B12, thereby making it a superior form.

Factors like old age, vegan/vegetarian diet and alcohol intake may require people to increase the amount of Vitamin B12 in their diet.

Always remember

Vitamin B12 supplements within the RDA norms may be taken to complement a healthful and varied diet. Supplements with higher than RDA norms may be taken only after consulting a health professional.