Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is essential for metabolic processes, the formation of blood, and the operation of the brain and nervous system. This vitamin is water-soluble; it dissolves in water; when the body has used what it needs, it is discarded in the urine, and our liver can store it for years. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, so vegetarians may be at risk of having a deficiency of this vitamin. At FastlyHealwe show you foods rich in vitamin B12.
Functions of vitamin B12
Like all the B vitamins, vitamin B12 plays an enzymatic role in synthesizing proteins and DNA, necessary for metabolic processes, especially folic acid, and fatty acids. It also intervenes in the production of red blood cells and maintains the central nervous system, specifically myelin, which allows the transmission of nerve impulses. It also helps keep the energy reserve in the muscles and intervenes in our immune system, making it work properly.
Intake of vitamin B12
For our body to assimilate it correctly, we must know how to ingest vitamin B12, which is why the World Health Organization has established a recommended daily dose:
- Men and women 14 years and older: 2.4 micrograms per day
- Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg / day
- Lactating women: 2.8 mcg / day
- Babies 0 to 6 months: 0.4 mcg / day
- Babies 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg / day
- Children 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg / day
- Children 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg / day
- Children 9 to 13 years old: 1.8 mcg/day
To provide the highest possible amount of vitamin B12 to our body, we must consume a wide variety of foods of animal origin; we can also take multivitamins that combine vitamin B12 with other B complexes, such as magnesium or vitamin B6.
Foods that provide vitamin B12
The foods that provide vitamin B12 will be divided by their origin:
- Foods of animal origin: organ meats, beef liver, shellfish such as clams, fish such as tuna, mackerel and sardines, kidneys and beef, poultry, eggs, dairy, and some cereals. You should be careful with foods with more calories or higher in fat. If you suffer from high cholesterol, it is preferable to consume poultry.
- Foods of plant origin: vegetables are an almost zero source of vitamin B12; for this reason, vegetarians may have a deficiency of this vitamin, so they will need to take a supplement.
- Vitamin supplements: remember to take them under medical supervision and combine them with other B complexes.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Lack of vitamin B12 or a deficient intake can have consequences for our body. One of these consequences is pernicious anemia since the red blood cells would not be produced correctly. Numbness or tingling in the extremities, menstrual problems, tongue ulcers, and nerve degeneration caused by myelin malfunction.
There are also risk factors in the consumption of vitamin B12 :
- If you have Crohn’s disease or another digestive disorder such as celiac disease, it can interfere with the proper absorption of vitamin B12.
- If you are over 50, you can also lose the ability to assimilate this vitamin.
- Vegetarians should consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 and supplements under medical supervision.
- If you have undergone gastrointestinal surgery to lose weight, you lose the ability to absorb this vitamin.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.