Vitamin B12 – Foods with Vitamin B 12 and Deficiency of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential coenzyme in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and myelin and is necessary for normal red blood cell formation. Vitamin B12 is stored to a greater extent than the other B vitamins. But diverse causes can precipitate vitamin B12 deficiency. Leading to serious consequences and specific disease condition.

Absorption, metabolism and excretion of Vitamin B12

Efficient absorption of vitamin B12 requires an explicit protein-binding factor called intrinsic factor, secreted by the gastric mucosal cells in the stomach. Vitamin B12, also called extrinsic factor, combines with intrinsic factor in the proximal small intestine. In this way, intrinsic factor protects vitamin B12 from digestive enzymes and intestinal bacteria until the complex reaches the ileum, where the vitamin is absorbed.

Vitamin B12 is not freely absorbed. The amount absorbed depends on the body’s storage levels in the amount ingested. At low levels of intake, a large amount of vitamin is absorbed and vice versa.

Digestive enzymes and intestinal bacteria until the complex reach the ileum, where the vitamin is absorbed.

Vitamin B12 is not freely absorbed. The amount absorbed depends on the body’s storage levels in the amount ingested. At low levels of intake, a large amount of vitamin is absorbed and vice versa.

Foods with Vitamin B12

Milk, eggs, liver, kidney, muscle meats, cheese, shell fish, and fortified foods such as soy milk. Vitamin B12 is not found in the plant foods; monitor vegetarian diets. For best absorption, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, and vitamin B6 are needed.

Function of Vitamin B12

Folate metabolism

Vitamin B12 is vital in the activation of folate to its active form. In vitamin B12 deficiency, tissue stores of folate are “trapped” as inactive forms, and a functional folate deficiency results.

Amino acid metabolism

Vitamin B12 is essential for the conversion of homocystiene(a toxic amino acid) to methionine.

Fat metabolism

Vitamin B12 is a coenzyme in the conversion of methylmalonate to succinate and is required for optimum fat metabolism in cells.

Cell replication

Together with folate, vitamin B12 is essential for the synthesis of nucleic acid and DNA synthesis.

Nervous system

Vitamin B12 is vital for the synthesis of myelin, the protective sheath surrounding many nerves in the periphery, spinal cord, and brain.

Antioxidant status

Vitamin B12 helps maintain glutathione in the reduced form necessary for its antioxidant functions.

Increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Adolescents with poor diets
  • Disorders of gastric mucosa
  • Gastric bypass or gastrectomy
  • Genetic defects
  • Intestinal infections
  • Malabsorption due to ileal resection or disease
  • Prolonged daily intake of mega doses of folic acid
  • Strict vegetarian or vegans

Signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Impaired cell replication leads to atrophy and inflammation of mucus membrane in the mouth and entire digestive tract, sore tongue, reduced absorption of nutrients, constipation, anorexia, and weight loss
  • Anemia with easy fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, decreased ability to concentrate
  • Reduced platelet production can increase risk of abnormal bleeding
  • Impaired white blood cell development reduces immune responses to infection and / or cancer
  • Irritability, hostility, forgetfulness, confusion, poor memory, agitation, psychosis( with delusions, hallucinations, depression etc
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, sensory loss, unsteady movements, poor muscular coordination, unstable gait

Use of Vitamin B12 in prevention and therapy

Psychiatric/nervous disorders

Deficiency in the central nervous system may cause psychosis, depression, and  mania. Dementia with confusion and memory loss, particularly in the elderly, may benefit from vitamin B12

Atherosclerosis

Vitamin B12 is helpful in the prevention and therapy of atherosclerosis associated with high levels of blood homocystiene. Vitamin B12, together with folate, lowers blood levels by converting homocystiene to methionine

Appetite, vigor, and energy

Levels may improve with vitamin B12 supplementation, particularly in situations of increased stress, such as chronic illness or recovery from trauma or surgery.

Lung cancer

Vitamin B12, together with folate, can reduce the number of smoking- induced precancerous cells in the lungs, thereby reducing risk of lung cancer.

Allergic disorders

Vitamin B12 may benefit people with allergic asthma, skin allergies, and atopic eczema. It may also reduce food allergies, particularly to sulfites and other food preservatives.

Peripheral nerve disorder

Supplemental vitamin B12 may reduce the pain and symptoms of nerve disorders. And accelerate healing of traumatic nerve injuries.

One Reply to “Vitamin B12 – Foods with Vitamin B 12 and Deficiency of Vitamin B12”

  1. Vitamin B12 was discovered from its relationship to the disease pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune disease in which parietal cells of the stomach responsible for secreting intrinsic factor are destroyed. Intrinsic factor is crucial for the normal absorption of B12, so a lack of intrinsic factor, as seen in pernicious anemia, causes a vitamin B12 deficiency. Many other subtler kinds of vitamin B12 deficiency and their biochemical effects have since been elucidated.;’-:

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