Vitamin B12 –Cobalamin
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12, or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. All B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into fuel glucose to produce energy.
Purpose: Vitamin B12 works with folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells. In addition, it plays key roles in maintaining health of the nervous system, absorption of foods, protein synthesis, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and normal digestion.
Sources: You can find Vitamin B12 naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and in some fortified foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless fortified. Recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods including the following: liver, kidneys, muscle meats, fish, dairy products, meat, and eggs are all good sources of B12.
Recommended daily allowance: Both men and women need 2.0 mcg of B12 daily. Because B12 is water-soluble, it is constantly lost in urine when not used. B12 deficiency can lead to a type of anemia, walking and balance problems, sore tongue, weakness, confusion, and in advanced cases, dementia. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take more than 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg of B12, respectively. People over the age of 50 may need B12 supplementation as the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food sources diminishes.
My multivitamin supplies 18 mcg. We also eat lots of meat.
Vegans need to supplement B12 as it comes through animal products only.
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia. Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems with balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue.
The stomach acids that aid in the natural breakdown of food also breakdown Vitamin B12 pill supplements. The body will only absorb a small amount of the actual B12 from a pill. In addition, as you get older your body’s ability to absorb B12 through digestion continually decreases. In fact, many adults are unable to absorb B12 into their body at all! Injections provide a direct method of supplying your body with the Vitamin B12.
There doesn’t seem to be any toxic results to overdoses of B12.