Get To Know Your Vitamins – Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin) 2017-01-23T20:54:33-08:00

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin)

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin or cyanocobalamin, is the only vitamin whose makeup includes the metal cobalt. It is part of the B complex family of vitamins and is water soluble, which means the body excretes what it doesn’t use. Like the other B vitamins, it must be replenished daily. It is needed for normal nerve cell activity, DNA replication and the production of the mood altering substance called SAM. It also works with folic acid to control homocysteine levels.

How it helps

Without vitamin B12, the red blood cells become larger than normal, are poorly shaped and are not able to work efficiently. This can lead to a blood disorder called pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 is a key nutrient for growth, and it helps maintain healthy nerve cells and aids in the production of DNA and RNA (the body’s genetic material.) It is believed to be helpful in a number of conditions such as bursitis, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis.

What happens if you don’t get enough?

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a concern for people on a vegan diet (one that doesn’t include any food from animal sources, such as dairy products, meat and fish), because it is found mainly in animal proteins. A deficiency may also occur when the body cannot absorb the vitamin from food. This can result from digestive illnesses such as celiac or Crohn’s disease or from surgery in which part of the stomach is removed. People suffering from pernicious anemia require high doses of vitamin B12.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
■ fatigue and weakness
■ numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the hands and feet
■ depression
■ confusion, irritability, memory loss
■ dizziness
■ sore mouth and tongue
■ constipation or diarrhea
■ loss of appetite

How much (dosage) should you take?

■ 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg per day
■ 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg per day

■ 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg per day
■ 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg per day
■ during pregnancy: 2.6 mcg per day
■ while breastfeeding: 2.8 mcg per day

What happens if you take too much?

No adverse side effects have been reported.

Can drugs interact with it?

The following can reduce the body’s level of vitamin B12:
■ anti-cancer medications such as methotrexate
■ anti-seizure medications such as phenytoin
■ cholesterol-lowering medications such as cholestryamine
■ potassium replacements

Sources of Vitamin B12

vitamin b12 food chart

Vitamins and Minerals: A Self-Hep Guide

This book provides a simple overview of the common vitamins and minerals available to help you supplement your diet when appropriate.
The information within this book is basic and does not claim to provide in any way comprehensive information of the subject matter but hopefully it can point you in the right direction when you need more information. All the information has come primarily from the government and authoritative bodies recommending daily intakes and pinpointing the limits of dosages per day. Experts in the field have tried to make the information easy to follow in this book.

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