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Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
Written by Diet Bites
What is Vitamin B12?
It is a water soluble vitamin that may be found naturally in some foods. In others, it may be an additive in an effort to boost the benefits of the food selection.
It is also available as a dietary supplement that can be purchased over the counter in tablet and lozenge form or prescribed by a qualified doctor based on the patient's nutrition needs as well as their current state of health. Prescriptions also include gel form which is rubbed into the skin and absorbed by the body.
This vitamin is essential for adequate red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, as well as neurological functions within the body.
It binds to protein food sources in the diet and is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease within the stomach.
If the Vitamin B12 source is from natural foods, it will need to complete this step; however - when it is consumed in supplement form - often referred to as 'free form', this step is bypassed amid the digestive process and it continues to the absorption phase.
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin B12
Food Sources for Vitamin B12
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, constipation, anemia, numbness and tingling in the body's extremities, balance issues, weight loss, depression, confusion, poor memory, soreness experienced in the mouth or tongue, and neurological issues - which can be significant and irreversible in children.
Age Groups at Highest Risk for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Older adults, individuals with pernicious anemia, those exhibiting gastrointestinal disorders or who have had gastrointestinal surgery - particularly those who have experienced stomach surgery because of the involvement of Vitamin B12 and the hydrochloric acid element, those with cardiovascular disease, vegetarians - particularly women who are lactating or pregnant and who follow a strict vegetarian diet, and individuals suffering from dementia and cognitive functioning.
For Endurance & Energy Boosts, Non-Effective When Nutritional Needs are Currently Satisfied
Because this vitamin impacts energy metabolism, it is often touted to improve endurance and boost energy for those individuals involved in athletic or high impact activities.
Fact is, health studies show that there is no benefit from added supplements when the individual is not deficit in such.
Medications, Drugs that May Interfere or Interact With Vitamin B12
1. Chloramphenicol, a bacteriostatic antibiotic.
2. Proton pump inhibitors, commonly used to treat peptic ulcers and acid reflux as well as other digestive disorders.
3. H2 receptor antagonists such as cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®)
4. Metformin which is used in the treatment of diabetes.