Vitamin B12 – decoding the “complex” vitamin

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We are sure you would have come across people who have been prescribed a supplementary dose of Vitamin B12. We might all realize that this vitamin which plays a vital role in the proper functioning of our body. However, do we really understand this vitamin well enough?

Over the next few days, we will deconstruct the B12 vitamin for you, so that you can understand it and ensure that you get enough of it, for your better health.

Vitamin B12 is also known as Cobalamin and is the largest and most complicated of vitamins known to man. It is one of the eight B vitamins. The group of eight B vitamins is given the name “complex” because it refers to a whole spectrum of B vitamins (Biotin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin) which work together and need the other to be present for the body to carry out its functions efficiently.

Vitamin B12 is naturally found solely in animal foods. So, vegetarians and vegans need to add Vitamin B12 supplements to their daily diet. When compared to other vitamins, our body does not need a very large amount of vitamin B12 — but we do need to supply the necessary amount about every single day. Vitamin B12 can be consumed in large doses because it is water soluble and the excess is easily excreted by the body or stored in the liver for use when supplies are scarce. Stores of B12 can last for up to a year.

Vitamin B12 helps in maintaining normal energy levels, protects against heart diseases, slows the aging process, improves mental health, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, and depression. Long term deficiency can potentially cause permanent damage to the brain and the central nervous system. However, more often than not, the deficiency symptoms are subtle and in our daily routine, we fail to recognize them.

In the following articles, we will elaborate on each aspect of B12 vitamin. So, stay with us and keep reading.

  • What are the benefits of Vitamin B12?
  • What are the best food sources of Vitamin B12?
  • What are symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
  • Case studies to highlight the use of diet in tackling Vitamin B-12 Deficiency according to food preferences.
  • Who are the people at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
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