Vitamin B12 is a chemical compound with nutrients that contribute to preventing megaloblastic anemia. It is used to defend the well-being of blood and neurons in the body. The lack of it can cause tiredness and weakness since it provides energy to the body.
It can be easily obtained in daily consumption, and it must be included in the diet so that it is healthy. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how it contributes to the proper functioning of our entire body. It is also interesting how to detect a deficiency of it. All these points will be developed below.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a nutrient that contributes to the formation and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It is worth mentioning that this is the genetic substance found in all existing cells in each organism.
This vitamin is water-soluble. Its function is to protect nerve cells. It is vital for forming blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). It is also essential, as it supplies oxygen from the lungs to the organs and tissues.
Properties of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is part of the “B” group of vitamins like the other vitamins in the complex. These are essential for many functions of the body, such as:
- Vital for protein biotransformation
- Produce glucose from carbohydrates consumed by the body and thus increase energy
- Prevent pernicious anemia
- form red blood cells
- Maintain the central nervous system in optimal condition
Benefits of vitamin B12
This vitamin has a lot of influence on the health of our body. Among them, we can highlight:
- Prevents anemia. This is achieved thanks to its direct intervention in the formation of erythropoiesis (red blood cells) and the synthesis of hemoglobin contained in the blood.
- Avoid fatigue. It plays a fundamental role in transforming carbohydrates into glucose, which produces energy, preventing the rapid decrease in body strength in activities that require significant effort.
- Improves the functioning of the immune system. The intake of B12 raises the body’s defenses against bacterial microorganisms and virulent agents. B12 makes this possible because it actively increases the presence of folic acid in the body.
- It improves skin texture. Enhances the skin’s health by acting on the regeneration of the dermis and epidermis cells. Similarly, it enhances the appearance of nails and hair.
- Regenerate the muscles. The consumption of vitamin B12 positively influences the regeneration of muscles due to its action in the transformation of fatty acids into energy. This process finally allows an adequate production of genetic tissue that replaces the worn or dead.
How is vitamin B12 consumed?
The amount that should be ingested will depend on the age of each person. Some foods contain this vitamin naturally, such as those of animal origin, but there is also the possibility of consuming it through supplements. The latter has a personalized dosage for each individual, and it is necessary to consult the doctor first to indicate them.
Consuming a vitamin supplement increases the nutrients we need when they cannot be covered by food alone.
These are usually presented in soft capsules or solid tablets diluted in the stomach. Because they are highly soluble, they are not stored in our bodies. For this reason, there is no problem in consuming it daily. An example is VITAGLOBIN B12-B1-B6
You can get vitamin B12 only in foods of animal origin, such as beef or fish, shellfish, and dairy products, such as milk.
Other foods that contain them are chicken eggs (boiled, raw), cheese (gouda, feta, parmesan, mozzarella), whole and semi-skimmed milk, and yogurt. Seafood is a food very rich in vitamin B12.
People who do not consume foods derived from animal origin, such as vegans, are more likely to suffer. In this case, it is necessary to implement the intake of this mineral alternatively in your daily diet.
Until now, very few plant-based foods contain vitamin B12 within their nutrients. However, the foods of plant origin most fortified with this vitamin are soybeans and cereals. There is also the possibility of consuming fortified foods.
Plant-based or vegan beverages, such as almond, soy, coconut, or oatmeal beverages, are often fortified in vitamin B12, similar to cereals or yeast.
Take your vitamin B12 supplement properly, recommended, and verified, as overuse can lead to adverse health consequences.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: Symptoms and Consequences
The lack of vitamins and minerals in the body will promote an unhealthy organism in the short or long term and hinder each function of the body.
In some instances, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to muscle sensitivity, tingling, tiredness, weakness, forgetfulness, and, in extreme cases, neurological damage and megaloblastic anemia.
Among the symptoms caused by a lack of vitamin B12, we find dizziness, weight loss, weakness when walking, abnormal heartbeat (tachycardia).
The deficiency of this vitamin can happen to any individual who has not included it in their diet, either naturally or through supplements. If you have symptoms, such as dizziness, muscle pain, or weakness, they are probably signs of a deficiency of vitamin B12 in your body.