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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the Vitamin B complex groups where it plays an important role in maintaining the energy levels of the body. Vitamin B12 is needed by the body to function at its optimal level throughout the day through building of a strong immune system and metabolism rate.

Sources
Vitamin B12 is known as cobalmin can be easily sourced from the daily diet. It is very rich in poultry foods, fish and meat while dairy products are known to supply a lot of Vitamin B12 as well. Apart from that, this mineral can be found in beef liver and clams which must be taken in moderation as they contribute to high cholesterol levels in the body. Vitamin B12 is not common in planted foods while they come in supplement forms and usually is part of multivitamins.

Top Sources of Vitamin B12
One of the good things about Vitamin B12 is that it is easily available in many types of foods. Cobalamin can be sourced through a lot of vegetarian foods which makes it easily attainable, thereby reducing the risk of deficiency.

Yogurt and Milk – If you take about 100 grams of non-fat yogurt, it should be enough for a day while low-fat milk can give you quite a lot of this vitamin as well.

Cheese – Different types of cheese will supply different levels of Vitamin B12 where among them, Swiss Cheese has the highest content of this vitamin followed by Mozzarella and then Feta cheese.

Eggs – Depending on the type of vegetarian you are, the raw yellow eggs are your best natural sources of Vitamin B12. The rule of thumb is to take chicken eggs as other types have lower contents of this vitamin.

What does it do?
Vitamin B12 is needed by the body to maintain the nerve system and to make DNA so that the cells are active and healthy at all times. It is involved in reducing the production megaloblastic anemia that causes tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin B12 is commonly needed by people who lead active lifestyles while it is highly recommended for the elderly to avoid getting tired too easily.

Deficiency
In most cases, Vitamin B12 is quite sufficient in the daily food intake. However, supplements are usually recommended for people above 50 years old as they will need more energy to go through each day. People who are not getting enough Vitamin B12 are usually those whose body is not able to absorb this mineral efficiently enough from the food consumption. As such, they could experience problems like fatigue, tiredness, loss of appetite and even nerve problems that could potentially lead to more serious diseases like arthritis. For the elderly, Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to loss of memory and numbness in certain parts of the body.

How is Vitamin B12 deficiency determined?
In most cases, your family doctor will be able to diagnose if you have Vitamin B12 deficiency. A simple interview will suffice to determine this which would most likely include a physical check and checking of your pulse. Besides that, the colour of your skin can tell if you have this problem. If the condition is quite serious, your doctor will check your blood cell count while the appearance of your red blood cells will be checked as well. A bone marrow biopsy might be carried out to rule out any possible anaemia if it is suspected.

Recommended dosage for Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 can be sourced through clams and mussels while certain eggs and salmons have contents of this as well. Basically, an adult will need about 2.4mcg of Vitamin B12 per day. For babies who are below 6 months, the recommended amount of Vitamin B12 recommended is 0.4mcg while those between 7 and 12 months should take 0.1mcg more. Children up to 13 years of age can take between 1.2 to 1.8 mcg depending on the physical health while pregnant women can take up to 2.6mcg per day.