Vitamin B12 or have other names cobalamin is one type of water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex. Called as cobalamin because the content of cobalt in it. Vitamin B12 is one of the vitamins that are needed by the body is vital. Type of vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a type of vitamin that is only found in animals. In plants do not contain vitamin B12. Therefore, for those vegetarians often have vitamin B12 deficiency problems, because they do not take sources of vitamin B12, that is only found in animals.
An important function of vitamin B12 is to assist in the formation of red blood cells in the human body. In addition, the vitamin is also essential for DNA replication during cell division. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient to maintain the balance of healthy nerve and myelin synthesis (protein complex, which is a protective sheath of nerve fibers) specifically related to fatty acid metabolism. The other benefits of Vitamin B12 are enhance the immune system and the body's ability to withstand stressful conditions.
Sufficient intake of vitamin B12 is a key element for maintaining body balance. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from a variety of food sources or from supplements orally or by injection. Vitamin B12 has a variety of forms. Methylcobalamin, the coenzyme form of vitamin B12 metabolism does not require special measures to be absorbed by the body. Methylcobalamin is available in a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue so it can be readily absorbed and provides benefits. Hydroxocobalamin is another form of vitamin B12 that has been recognized as an effective way to counteract cyanide poisoning.
The need for vitamin B12 directly proportional to the person age. The older the need for vitamin B12 is increased. Therefore in the elderly, vitamin B12 is needed more. For the elderly, vitamin B12 consumption will be more effective through supplementation compared with the absorption of food because the digestive organs of the elderly has begun to decrease its function. Excessive intake of vitamin B12 is not very significant effect, however, it is advisable to keep the dose of vitamin B12 in accordance with the recommended dose per day.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
1. It plays an important role in the metabolism process, which includes energy generation, nutrition, digestion, absorption, elimination, respiration, circulation, and temperature regulation.
2. Vitamin B12 linked with lower homocysteine levels, which help lessen the risk of heart disease.
3. It is believed to be an excellent energy booster and can aid greater alertness and less fatigue.
4. Aids in preserving a balance in the human body.
5. Combined with other B-group vitamins, it is helpful in the smooth functioning of vital life processes of the human body.
6. Helps the formation of red blood cells, preventing anemia, as well as ensuring the smooth oxygen to hemoglobin in the cells because the quality is good, so that makes us full of energy and fatigue.
7. Maintain a healthy nervous system.
8. Vitamin B12 is used for synthesis / formation of the building blocks of DNA and genes, as well as the repair of damaged cells and tissues that is essential for growth and development in children.
9. B12 can increase the metabolism so as to help those who want to gain weight, especially pembererian by injection in conjunction with weight loss programs.
10. Some sources said the administration B12 injections on a regular basis can prevent adhesions blood cells can block blood flow, thereby reducing the risk of stroke
11. Even a study shows that taking vitamin B12 contained in meat, fish and milk may reduce the risk of dementia in old age.
Dose of Vitamin B12
When compared with other vitamins, the human body needs this vitamin only in very small amounts. The Recommended Dietary Allowance, or RDA, for adults 19 years of age and older is 2.4 mcg vitamin B12 daily. Pregnant women need slightly more vitamin B12, 2.6 mcg a day. The RDA of vitamin B12 for nursing mothers is even more, 2.8 mcg daily. If your diet includes animal foods, you can meet your vitamin B12 needs without an additional supplement.
Excess vitamin B12 that is consumed, the body will be absorbed in the liver. Not much really (only about 80% of daily needs) because this vitamin is water soluble. Vitamin B12 is generally stable and not easily broken, but the cooking of food for too long and with too much fire can destroy its nutritional value.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
What causes us to deficiency of Vitamin B12 and what are the consequences? Deficiency of vitamin B12 will give bad effects to health. Here are some consequences that will be felt as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Experience anemia or less blood.
- Easily tired and weak in the move.
- Experiencing constipation disease.
- Decreased appetite everyday.
- Weight loss.
- Easy to experience tingling in the hands or feet.
- Difficult to maintain the balance, prone to depression, confusion, poor memory in mind, experiencing pain in the mouth and tongue.
Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
Natural sources of vitamin B12 are animal foods. Food products such as meat, dairy products, and eggs contain large amounts of vitamin B12. Here are some healthy foods that are a source of vitamin B12:
100 grams of liver provides more than 30 micrograms of Vitamin B12. These foods are also rich in nutrients that are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can be healthy for the overall development of the body.
Beef liver is also rich in cobalamin. That is why beef is a food rich in vitamin B12, protein, zinc and iron.
3. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is a rich food source of Vitamin B12 and folic acid that can nourish the heart and the body's reproductive system.
Eggs contain high amounts of Vitamin B12. In chicken eggs, egg yolks are rich in Vitamin B12.
Yogurt is the main source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (Vitamin B1), and cobalamin (vitamin B12). Take low-fat yogurt or fat-free because it contains low fat and rich in nutrients.
Oatmeal contains many essential nutrients and vitamins. Oats are also a rich source of vitamin B12.
Milk contains a lot of calcium, iron and vitamins that are essential for body growth. Milk is also known to be rich in Vitamin B12.