Vitamin B12 is vital to keep your metabolism going. Sources of Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin also help the body to produce new red blood cells and support the cardiovascular system as well as your nerves and heart health. Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins often referred to as Vitamin B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.
Vitamin B12 is an especially important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells, and it is also vital in in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material. Vitamin B12 works closely with folate, also called vitamin B9 or folic acid, to help make red blood cells and to help the body absorb iron so it can work better in the body. Folate and B12 work together to produce S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe, which a compound involved in immune function and mood. Vitamins B12, together with other B complex vitamins work hand in hand to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
Vitamin B12 can be found naturally naturally in a wide variety of animal proteins. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified. You can get the necessary amounts of B12 by supplementation or by eating organ meats such as beef liver or shellfish or clams. Meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy foods. Other sources of Vitamin B12 include breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts.
How much Vitamin B12 can you take?
Supplementation of Vitamin B12 can also help you achieve the necessary dosage needed to replenish the lost nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. The moment you reach the age of 14 or puberty, which may happen earlier than that, you will need approximately 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 daily. This is according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. There are instances wherein women need more Vitamin B12. Pregnant women have a higher daily recommended dosage of 2.6 micrograms daily due to the needs of the developing fetus. Breast-feeding women also have higher dosage due to the needs of the growing infant. Lactating mothers often need 2.8 micrograms per day.
For people suffering Vitamin B12 deficiency, taking an amount of around 3,000 to 8,000 mcg is recommended. Supplementing it through oral supplements does not guarantee full absorption since the body takes in just a specific percentage depending on how healthy you are. Considering that a person is deficient, he or she must take 3,000 to 8,000 mcg. If you are older, the need to supplement in higher doses becomes higher since the body absorbs less and less of what we take in. Thus, the need to maximize the nutrient intake.
Unlike oil-soluble vitamins that get stored into the body, water-soluble vitamins do not get stored into the body. Most vitamins and minerals have a set toxic level, which is considered as the tolerable upper intake level or UL. This is also the maximum amount you can ingest before you start feeling negative or adverse effects. Since vitamin B12 is water soluble, the body easily pushes out any extra amount through the urine once you absorb the daily amount you need. Vitamin B12 does not have an established UL, or upper intake level, as per the reports from the Linus Pauling Institute due to its water-solubility. The same goes to the water-soluble Vitamin C.
It is advisable to let a physician know if you want to take extra amounts of vitamin B12 for therapeutic doses. However, if you are generally healthy you will not be feeling any adverse effects. Inform your physician as a precautionary measure and this goes for all other supplements.
Certain health conditions may require therapeutic doses of Vitamin B12 in forms of injections. The doctor may you a monthly 1 milligram injection or prescribed daily doses of up to a milligram in order to battle pernicious anemia. Certain autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia affect the body and need you to supplement more to reduce the deficiency of Vitamin B12. When you have Vitamin B12 deficiency, your blood cells do not form properly and oxygen is not transported properly to the body. This is one of the conditions that allow you to take more than the usual dosage. In fact, in cases such as these, it is more advisable to seek supplementation, use transdermal patches, or have vitamin B12 shots.
The Right Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 can be obtained through regular diet and vitamin B12 rich foods such as meats and those we have mentioned earlier. Fortified breakfasts cereals from reliable and organic sources are also great sources of this nutrient. Some varieties provide you with huge amounts of Vitamin B12. Tuna, beef, salmon, trout, eggs, milk, and yogurt are good sources of this nutrient.
Supplementation is also another way to help you get enough of this vitamin. However, you need to find the right sources that give you reliable sources of this nutrient. It is also imperative to know that the companies you are buying supplements from follow strict sourcing, processing, and manufacturing standards that are approved by the Food and Drugs Association. Always check the label when choosing the supplements. Transdermal Patch is an alternative to supplement Vitamin B12 without having to digest it. It is a new technology wherein the patch allows the body to absorb it directly, giving you a hassle-free way to supplement.
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Dr. Axe. (2016). Vitamin B12 Benefits and Deficiency Symptoms - Dr. Axe. [online] Available at: https://draxe.com/vitamin-b12-benefits/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2016].
University of Maryland Medical Center. (2016). Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). [online] Available at: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin [Accessed 1 Dec. 2016].
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