It is the most structurally complex and largest vitamin available naturally only in meat. Otherwise, it is available in the form of supplements produced industrially by bacterial fermentation synthesis.
Your body can store vitamin B12 for up to 4 years, but if you don’t get enough of it, your body will experience irreversible and serious damage, especially to the nervous system and brain.
But what exactly is that sufficient amount recommended to be taken?
Cobalamin intake depends on many factors, including age, diet, and medical condition.
Find out how much you need to take, measured in micrograms (mcg), depending on your age:
• 0-6 months: 0.4 mcg
• 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
• 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
• 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
• 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
• 14-18 years old: 2.4mcg • 18 years old and over: 2.4mcg
• Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg per day, 2.8 mcg per day for breastfeeding.
How to Get Vitamin B12 from Your Diet
As mentioned earlier, vitamin B12 is naturally found only in meat. Therefore, this vitamin is available from animals such as dairy products, eggs, meat, fish and chicken.
Also, for meat-free vegans, you can take vitamin B12 only in the form of supplements, or consult a nutritionist to find foods that are fortified with B12.
People who have difficulty absorbing this vitamin from food, such as the elderly, people with pernicious anemia, and people with bowel problems, also take supplements to avoid their deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
• Light or yellow skin
• Constipation, weight loss
• Feel nerve problems, muscle weakness.
• Walking problems • Limb tingling
• Mental problems such as depression, confusion, amnesia, and malaise.
Who is likely to have this flaw?
• Vegans are at relatively high risk of experiencing vitamin B12 deficiency due to the complete exclusion of animal foods from their diet.
• Elderly people due to lack of ability to absorb vitamins from food.
• People with pernicious anemia cannot absorb vitamin B12 because they are deficient in a protein called intrinsic factor (IF).
• People with small intestinal problems
• Crohn’s disease patients
• People with chronic alcoholism.
• People taking metformin medication for diabetes.
Now that we know how B vitamins play an important role in staying healthy and what dramatic things we can experience if we don’t get enough, let’s take a look at it. Start incorporating it into your diet.
For vegans, you need to add fortified foods to your diet or take supplements because you don’t know how old your vitamin B12 deficiency is. This has a direct impact on you.
So it’s better to tweak your diet a bit before it affects you.
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