FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT

Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 50 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.

What are the effects of vitamin B12 on our health?

Research has shown that Vitamin B12 is essential for us to make us fit and healthy.

Heart disease

Vitamin B12 supplements (along with folic acid and vitamin B6) reduces blood levels of homocysteine, a compound linked to an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Dementia

As we get older, some people develop dementia. These people often have high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Vitamin B12 (with folic acid and vitamin B6) can lower homocysteine levels,

Energy and athletic performance

vitamin B12 supplementation as a way to increase energy or endurance. evidence shows that vitamin B12 supplements increase energy or improve athletic performance.

What is vitamin B12 and why it is essential for us?

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body. Some people have pernicious anemia, a condition where they cannot make intrinsic factor. As a result, they have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from all foods and dietary supplements.

Which foods provide vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified. we can get recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods including the following:

  • Beef liver and clams, which are the best sources of vitamin B12.
  • Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, which also contain vitamin B12.

• Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts, and other food products that are fortified with vitamin B12.

Why vitamin B12 deficiency is common among vegetarians?

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified.

Vitamin B12 deficiency among vegetarians depends mainly on the type of vegetarian diet individuals adhere . If you are a vegetarian,  you should ingest a reliable vitamin B12 source, such as fortified foods or supplements.  Regularly use foods fortified with vitamin B12 and/or take vitamin B12 supplements. Older vegetarians, may need higher doses of B12 due to age-related absorption problems.Higher doses may be needed for individuals who are already deficient.

Individuals in certain stages of life have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Absorption of vitamin B12 may be impaired in some older adult vegetarians due to age-related changes in the gastrointestinal tract. Pregnant and lactating vegetarian women and their offspring are at a high risk of deficiency due to physiological and anatomical changes and higher demand for nutrients during these stages of the life cycle.

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