Vitamin in small quantities is essential to sustain life and ensure optimal functioning of the body. Still it is surprising that a human body either does not produce sufficient quantities of vitamins or none at all. The body depends on the vitamins obtained through diet to overcome the shortage.
Different vitamins have different roles. Doctors have now identified that a vast percentage of the population is deficient in Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is one of the eight members vitamin B family. This water soluble vitamin, also called cobalamin, belongs to the B-complex family.
Vitamin B12: Major Functions
Vitamin B12 plays crucial roles in
• Functioning of nervous system and brain
• Formation of new red blood.
• Maintaining health of DNA that support the biochemical metabolism
Vitamin B12: Impacts of Short Supply
Shortage of sufficient quantity of vitamin B12 leads to
• Fatigue and anemia
• Infertility and feeding difficulties
• Neurological sickness, depression and mental retardation
• Infant mortality
• Swelling of tongues and mouth ulcers
• Long term uses of acid controlling medicines
Vitamin B12: Sources
The major sources of vitamin B 12 are
• Egg and poultry
• Milk, cheese and other milk products
• Fish and shellfish
• Soy and soy based meat substitutes
As vitamin B12 is present mainly in animal products, deficiency of the vitamin is mainly observed in those who are exclusive vegetarians/vegans. Deficiency is observed in babies born to vegetarian mothers too.
Vitamin B12: How to make good the deficiency?
Deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to poor health. Let’s examine the methods to control the deficiency.
• Change in food habits
• Supplementary injections
• Oral supplements have recently been introduced
The most positive fact about the deficiency in vitamin B12 is that it is 100% reversible. There is no need for one to put oneself at risk. But to get the best result, the identification must be made in the initial stages itself and treatment should be started without delay.