Vitamin B12 is the most complex of all vitamins as well as the largest.
From food sources, vitamin B12 connects to proteins and only releases when there is a proper amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 can happen; it’s important to take preventative measures and make sure you are getting the Recommended Daily/Dietary Allowance (RDA).
For those who worry about whether or not they’re getting the correct amount of B12 in their diets, supplements and vitamins can be used.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some people use B12 injections to lose weight.
People who successfully use vitamin B12 injections say they have increased energy and that it boosts their metabolism.
However, this seems to only be advantageous to those people with deficiencies in vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 binds to glycoproteins from the stomach and salivary glands. By doing this vitamin B12 is protected from chemical breakdowns in the gastrointestinal organs.
Absorption of vitamin B12 happens in the small intestine an active process. The amount of vitamin B12 that is absorbed is about 10 mg/dose. Once absorbed, vitamin B12 is transferred to plasma-transport proteins and is received by targeted cells.
Regardless of the dosage of vitamin B12, passive diffusion can account for at least 1% of vitamin B12 absorption. Once absorbed, approximately 60% of vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. One mg of vitamin B12 is found in most healthy adults with 20-30 mg found in the heart, brain, spleen and kidneys.
Total amount of vitamin B12 vitamin in a healthy individual’s body ranges between 0.6 and 3.9 mg. The plasma concentration of vitamin B12 is 150-750 pg/ml and these levels can peak around 8-12 hours after ingestion.
There are several reasons vitamin B12 might not be absorbed properly. A lack of intrinsic factor, which needs to be present during the active process in the small intestines, can result in malabsorption.
While deficiency usually has nothing to do with insufficient dietary intake there are some severe consequences to those who have trouble taking up vitamin B12. Some of the other causes of deficiencies could occur in people with the following:
Even though diet is usually not the reason for deficiency it can sometimes occur in those people who are vegans. High intake of fiber has been known to worsen an already imbalanced vitamin diet. Those who are vegetarians should use a vitamin B12 supplement.
There can be some serious side effects with vitamin B12 deficiencies. It can lead to defective DNA synthesis in cells. This in turn affects the repair and growth of cells. This can then lead to megaloblastic anemia and neuropathy. Some of the symptoms of that are the following:
Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been known to lead to hyperhoocysteinaemia which is a possible risk factor to an even more dangerous disease called occlusive vascular disease.
Many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are similar to a folic acid deficiency. The difference between the two is that vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with spinal cord degeneration. While folic acid has been used to treat vitamin B12 deficiencies it will not relieve the damage that has been done to the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 has no toxicity and there have been no studies that prove you can overdose with vitamin B12. That being said it is beneficial for those who are concerned about deficiencies in vitamin B12 to seek help from your doctor.
While ingesting vitamin B12 through food sources and keeping a well balanced diet it’s also important to participate in physical activities. Keeping your body in shape and your diet well balanced can only help you in the long run.