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Vitamin B12

Introduction:

Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. Another common name for Vitamin B12 is red vitamin because it exists as a dark red crystalline compounds.

B12 plays a major role in the production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and in the functioning of our nervous system. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of B12 with high bio availability for vegetarians.

How Much To Get?

The answer depends on things including our age, our eating habits and medical conditions, and what medications you take.

The average recommended amounts, measured in micro-grams (mcg), vary by age:

  • Infants up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
  • Babies age 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
  • Children age 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
  • Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
  • Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
  • Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)

 

Vitamin B12 Deficiency & Symptoms:

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, especially in the elderly and vegetarians. We’re at risk of deficiency if we don’t get enough from our diet or aren’t able to absorb enough from the food we eat.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:

A pale yellow tinge to your skin                                                 A sore and red tongue (glossitis)

Mouth ulcers                                                                                 Pins and needles (paresthesia)

Disturbed vision                                                                           Irritability

Depression                                                                                     Mood Changes

Weakness & Fatigue                                                                     Dementia

 

The Bottom Line

See your Family Physician if you’re experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. These conditions can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms and the results of the blood test. It’s important for vitamin B12 deficiency to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible if left untreated. The longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.

 

Vitamin B12
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