What is vitamin B12 and what does it do?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that aids in the health of the body’s nerve and blood cells, as well as the production of DNA, the genetic material found in all cells. It also protects against a kind of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia, which causes fatigue and weakness.
The body must go through two processes in order to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, the stomach’s hydrochloric acid removes it from the protein to which it is bound in meals. After then, it mixes with an intrinsic factor protein produced by the stomach and is absorbed by the body. Pernicious anemia is a condition in which a person’s body is unable to produce intrinsic factors. As a result, individuals have difficulty absorbing it from all sources, including food and nutritional supplements.
Which foods contain vitamin B12?
It can be found in a wide range of animal sources and is also added to some fortified foods. Unless fortified, plant foods do not contain this vitamin. You can acquire enough of this vitamin by consuming a variety of foods, including the ones listed below:
- The finest sources are beef liver and clams.
- It is found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy items.
- Some fortified morning cereals, nutritious yeasts, and other dietary products Check the product labels to see if vitamin B12 has been added to a food item.
What are the dietary supplements available?
Almost all multivitamins contain vitamin B12. There are other dietary supplements that include only vitamin B12 or a combination of nutrients like folic acid and other B vitamins to increase overall immunity. Check the Supplement Facts label to see how much quantity is included.
Sublingual versions of vitamin B12 are also available (which are dissolved under the tongue). There is no indication that sublingual versions are more effective than ingested pills in terms of absorption.
Vitamin B12 can be given as a shot if you have a prescription. It is also available as a nasal gel that is sprayed into the nose as a prescription treatment.
Why Vegetarians Are Prone To Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
According to research and studies, a rigorous vegetarian diet, which excludes all animal products, can cause deficiency and possibly heart disease. According to new research, even people who have a more permissive vegetarian diet and consume milk and dairy products are in danger.
Animal-based foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are high in vitamin B12. The deficiency of this vitamin affects the majority of vegetarian Indians. While supplementation can easily remedy the deficiency, most of us are unaware of our condition and do not receive a diagnosis. Because antacids interfere with absorption, people who use them are at risk of vitamin insufficiency.
It is essential to produce DNA and helps maintain healthy neurons and red blood cells, which is why it is especially vital for pregnant and nursing women.
Anemia is caused by a lack of vitamin B12. Fatigue, weakness, nausea, and constipation are some of the symptoms of insufficiency, which normally appear gradually. Long-term and severe deficiency can result in nerve abnormalities like numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, as well as balance and memory issues and depression.
A blood test is the most accurate way to check for deficiency of this vitamin, and all vegans should get checked at least once a year.
That’s all about the Vitamin B12. Do comment below if you have any questions regarding the topic or if you wish to suggest some topic you want to read about!