Often we heard people saying ‘Don’t forget to take your vitamins’.
Vitamins are the essential elements which provide energy and help increasing the body endurance. Further vitamins are of two type fat-soluble vitamins which are stored in the fat cells of the body and water-soluble vitamins which are not stored in the body.
Vitamin B complex forms the water soluble class of vitamins in which B12 differs as it can be stored in the body. The chemical name for B12 is Cobalamin because it contains a metal element called cobalt. Since no plant can make this vitamin, it is typically found in animal food like fish, poultry, meat, and dairy products.
Below is the list of importance of B12 rich diet.
Supporting Cardiovascular System
Red blood cells plays major role in transporting the oxygen throughout the body and are also the carrier of red pigment called hemoglobin. B12 contains the essential building block for hemoglobin called Succinyl CoA. Hence B12 has an important role in the red blood cells production and deficiency of this leads to anemia.
Also,B12 helps in the prevention of coronary artery disease. It helps to maintain the level of homocysteine (non-protein α-amino acid) by converting homocysteine to methionine (essential amino acid).
Producing Genetic Material DNA
For the manufacturing of DNA folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are necessary. DNA forms the backbone of life and jeopardizing with these vitamins results in serious problem called Macrocytosis. Macrocytosis is the abnormal increase in the size of blood cells. So deficiency of B12 leads to problems with DNA processing.
Supporting Brain and Nervous System
The most important organ of the body consuming the maximum aerobic energy (oxygen) is the brain. For the body to work properly and respond to various stimuli, the brain should have a proper oxygen supply. For providing proper oxygen supply to the brain nervous system plays a vital role and B12 plays an important role in transporting the oxygen throughout the body. This explains that as the B12 level gets low, it can result in severe nervous breakdown making it difficult for carrying the signals through the body. The first symptom starts with hands and feet.
Supporting Energy Metabolism
As stated above, B12 plays a vital role in producing aerobic energy .The metabolic cycle called the citric acid cycle is important part of aerobic energy production. Within this cycle is important molecule called Succinyl-coA and B12 is the provider of this molecule.
Preventing Skin Chronics
Vitamin B12 is responsible for providing a healthy and glowing skin. It preserves the skin moisture and protects it from drying up. Absence of B12 will lead to dull and unhealthy complexion. Excessive consumption of vitamin B12 helps to prevent eczema and other skin diseases.
Having understood the consumption of B12 in our day to day life, let us have a look at what is the optimum amount of one should consume. The amount of B12 one needs to take every day depends on the age.
|Birth to 6 months||0.4 mcg|
|Infants 7–12 months||0.5 mcg|
|Children 1–3 years||0.9 mcg|
|Children 4–8 years||1.2 mcg|
|Children 9–13 years||1.8 mcg|
|Teens 14–18 years||2.4 mcg|
|Pregnant teens and women||2.6 mcg|
The only vegetarian food items that naturally contain significant levels of vitamin B12 are milk, yogurt and cheese. Plant foods may be fortified with B12. These include rice and soy beverages, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast. It is important to read the labels for these foods as not all products and brands have B12 fortification, and the amount of fortification can change with time.
B12 is the powerhouse. It helps make the DNA, strong immune system and a good brain and nervous system. This vitamin is essential for keeping yourself active and mentally alert. Thus one should include B12 in one’s diet positively and be ridden away from the everyday fatigue, memory problems and lack of motivation.