Vitamin B12 is water soluble vitamin This is necessary for red blood cell production, cell metabolism, nerve function, and DNA synthesis.
Compounds with vitamin B12 action are collectively referred to as cobalamins, as vitamin B12 contains the element cobalt. Since the body is not able to make vitamin B12, you need to get it from your diet or from supplements.
Being water soluble, it can dissolve in water and pass through the bloodstream. In this way, the body maintains stores of vitamin B12 and can do so for four years. Any extra vitamin B12 is eliminated through the urine.
The average recommended amount of vitamin B12, measured in micrograms (mcg), varies by age:
- Infants up to 6 months of age: 0.4 mcg
- Children 7 to 12 months of age: 0.5 mcg
- Children 1-3 years old: 0.9 mcg
- Children 4-8 years old: 1.2 mcg
- Children 9-13 years old: 1.8 mcg
- Adolescents 14 to 18 years old: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breast-feeding)
- Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
Vitamin B12 deficiency: Causes, signs and symptoms
While most people in the United States consume enough vitamin B12, developing countries such as India have reported vitamin B12 deficiency Approximately 47% of the population.
Let us now examine the various causes behind Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- the elderly
- Atrophic gastritis – chronic inflammation and thinning of the stomach lining.
- Pernicious anemia – a condition in which the body cannot absorb enough vitamin B12 in the small intestine, causing a decrease in red blood cells.
- Bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, or parasitic infections
- Heavy alcohol use/drinking
- Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
- Medications – Some medications can interfere with B12 absorption, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole (Prilosec or TC), pantoprazole, rabeprazole, and H2 blockers such as cimetidine and famotidine; And some diabetes medicines such as metformin.
- vegetarian diet
Signs and symptoms
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