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Vitamin B12 Or Cyanocobalamin - Is This An Important Member Of The B-Complex Family?

Dec 8, 2007
Vitamin B12 is a vital member of the B-Complex family. This water soluble vitamin which is also referred to as Cyanocobalamin contains traces of cobalt, a metallic ion. Vitamin B12 is easily absorbed through the gastrointestinal system and the liver is able to store sufficient amounts of it at all times.

This is why it is rare for a individual to suffer from a Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, if one has stomach disorders that makes absorption of Cyanocobalamin difficult they might have a deficiency even though they consume the right foods and take the required vitamin supplements.

Cyanocobalamin has been known to reduce tiredness, increase the level of alertness and make people feel invigorated overall. This is why Vitamin B12 has been rightly termed as the 'Energy Vitamin'.

One important function of this vitamin is that it works together with Folic Acid in the production of the all important DNA molecules. This is because Vitamin B12 has the ability to recycle certain enzymes which helps in maintaining the proper functions of cells, nerves and blood. An imbalance of either Vitamin B9 or B12 can have an adverse effect on the way red blood cells divide and lead to a condition known as 'Pernicious Anemia'.

Vitamin B12 also has several other important functions in the body. It can help alleviate symptoms of depression and even treat symptoms that lead to the loss of calcium including osteoporosis and tooth damage. It is also known to reduce the risks associated with heart diseases and protects the artery walls against damage by reducing the levels of homo cysteine in the body. Cyanocobalamin also helps in ensuring that the nerve cells function properly.

Common sources of Vitamin B12 include animal liver. It is important to note that B12 is not found in plant tissue so people who follow a vegetarian diet should take the appropriate supplements. Other excellent sources of Vitamin B12 include fish, eggs, liver, cheese and meat. For people who are vegetarian, cereals, plant milk, soy products and brewer's yeast that have been fortified with B12 are also equally good sources that can be consumed.

Though the daily recommended dosage of Vitamin B12 is around 3 micrograms for adults, consuming more than what is required will not have any negative side effects and will in fact ensure the adequate production of red blood cells and help prevent birth defects.

A Vitamin B12 deficiency may develop gradually and in some cases not become apparent for at least a year. However, Anemia is the first sign that a person is not getting the required amounts of Cyanocobalamin.

Other symptoms include memory problems which lead to confusion and trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, a sore tongue, overall feeling of tiredness, numbness, diarrhea, irritability, problems with poor circulation and a yellowish tint to the skin.

A Vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in brain damage and deterioration of the nervous system in extreme cases. In addition, it can also cause homo cysteine levels to increase in the body thereby putting an individual at a greater risk for developing heart and coronary diseases.
About the Author
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