Vitamin B12 Benefits and Funtion
What is Vitamin B12 good for?
High homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke as it may promote the formation of blood clots and excess free radical cells, and may impair normal blood vessel function.
A lack of adequate vitamin B12 can increase homocysteine levels.
If you choose to take Multivitamin supplement , make sure it includes vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products and therefore it is essential for vegetarians and vegans to consume products that have been fortified with vitamin B12.
The best sources include fish, shellfish, liver, and meat. Dairy products are also a great source of B12.
Recommended Daily Dose of Vitin B12
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for men and women ages 14 years and older is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) daily.
For pregnant women, 2.6 µg is recommended and breastfeeding women should get at least 2.8 µg.
Too Much Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so any unused amount will exit the body through the urine. The upper intake level is 1 mg a day.
Vitamin B12 Deficency
Most people get sufficient vitamin B12 from their diet.
With age, it can become harder to absorb this vitamin. It can also happen if you have had weight loss surgery or another operation that removed part of your stomach, or if you drink heavily.
Who is at Risk of Vitamin B12Deficiency?
You might be at higher risk of deficiency if you don’t eat animal products or if you have any of the below conditions:
- Thinned stomach lining from atrophic gastritis
- Pernicious anemia
- Anti-immune decease
- Conditions that affect your small intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
- Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
Vitamin B12 and Medication
Some medications can interfere with the absorption of B12. This includes some heartburn medicines, such as rabeprazole, omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, and pantoprazole.
Same applies to some H2 blockers such as cimetidine, famotidine, and ranitidine. It is also known for certain diabetes medicines such as metformin.
Vitamin B12 Symptoms of Deficiency:
- Reduction of blood cells in the blood, which again can be of larger size than normal.
- Weakness, fatigue
- Nerve damage with numbness, tingling in the hands and legs
- Memory loss, confusion