Vitamin B12, is one of the 8 B vitamins that is the most important and the most complex. Only herbivores can obtain vitamin B12 through a bacterial fermentation process in their stomachs like sheep and cows, but the digestive system of the human being lacks this capacity and can therefore obtain vitamin B12 only through consumption of products of animal origin.
What is the importance of vitamin B12 for the body?
Vitamin B12 contributes primarily to the production of blood to the functioning of the nervous system and also the proper functioning of brain. This vitamin is also responsible for the optimal functioning of various other aspects of the nervous system and brains. It is the key to the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the cells through the blood.
Good sources of vitamin B12 you need
The industrial production of vitamin B12 is difficult thanks to the structural complexity of this vitamin. Vitamin B12 supplements are produced by a bacterial fermentation similar to that used by herbivores from plant material. There are artificially fortified vitamin B12 supplements for people who avoid certain products of animal origin.
B12 can be found in large quantities especially in products of animal origin. This is why many vegans suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. Virtually all meats are rich in vitamin B12, as well as animal foods such as milk and eggs. The foods that are richest in vitamin B12 are usually meat offal, such as liver, fish, seafood, and meat and poultry. Regular consumption of animal products is usually sufficient.
Daily intake of body Vitamin B12
For men and women aged 30 to 50 years, their vitamin B12 requirements are 2.5 μg (micrograms). For young people their need is a little less. On the other hand for the old people and the pregnant women their needs exceed the 3 μg.
Once your body is out of the deficiency range, there is a wide range of healthy intake levels in B12. For example, for 100 grams of beef liver it contains more than 80 μg of vitamin B12.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is important for healthy health and a healthy and balanced body, and its starvation can result from a metabolic disorder called anemia in which the body is unable to properly absorb the vitamin. Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked by the lack or bad consumption of animal products,which is very common among vegetarians and especially vegans.
Vegetarians who find the animal sources of vitamin B12 can usually cope without too much trouble. As long as they know how to properly replace this vitamin. Vegans, especially those who do not fully understand the importance of vitamin B12, may have a variety of health problems. This is all the more true for example soy products enriched with vitamin B12, can create various health problems in the long term.
In addition to its problem, vitamin B12 depletion also causes digestive problems, loss of appetite and the risk of developing various diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension and various other degenerative diseases.The decrease of vitamin B12 causes several health problems such as:
- Weakened memory
- Lack of concentration
- Chronic tiredness
Several diseases result directly from the influence of vitamin B12 on the brain, blood and the nervous system. This is why some cases of Alzheimer’s disease are linked to vitamin B12 deficiency, because this deficiency often leads to a decrease in brain function. Another example related to the starvation of vitamin B12 are heart disease. Because this causes a decrease in hemoglobin production capacity and the body has to deploy to transport oxygen to the cells.
How to supplement vitamin B12?
People who regularly consume products of animal origin such as; Eggs, milk, beef or mutton liver … will not need food supplements. On the other hand there are people who suffer from the conditions limiting or preventing the regular absorption of vitamin B12, and in this case it is necessary to consult a doctor for a better diagnosis.
Vegans if they abstain from any product of animal origin, will be the most exposed to the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because, animal foods are the only food source of vitamin B12.for strict vegans it is worth better take vitamin B12 supplements or consume enough fortified foods to meet their vitamin B12 needs.