Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble substance called cyanocobalamin. Among other similar substances, Vitamin B12 stands out for its ability to accumulate in important human organs – kidneys, lungs, spleen, liver. Due to its resistance to light and high temperatures, cyanocobalamin is well preserved in food.
Useful properties of vitamin B12
B12 takes an active part in the development of red blood cells and the formation of DNA. Increases the general ability of the body to regenerate: accelerates the restoration and renewal of tissues of the skin, blood, immune system, mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract. It also improves the metabolism and transport of lipids (fats) and carbohydrates in the body.
Vitamin B12 is a preventive and therapeutic agent for anemia, promotes growth in children. It helps to maintain the nervous system in a healthy state, as a result, the thought processes and coordination of movements improve, and irritability decreases. It is a constituent basis of the vitamin B complex for women during menstruation and whenever there is blood loss, since its main function is to participate in the process of hematopoiesis.
The discovery of vitamin B12
The history of the discovery of the vitamin began in the middle of the 19th century with the study of a special form of anemia. Which was later named “Malignant anemia”. In the course of the study, it was found that patients who ate beef liver recover much faster than others, who often even died.
General knowledge about vitamin B12.
Other names for this vitamin are cobalamin, red vitamin, cyanocobalamin. B12 is effective in very small doses, as it contains essential elements (primarily cobalt). It is water-soluble and deposited in the liver if it is healthy.
Chemical and physical properties of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is the most chemically complex of all vitamins. B12 (cobalamin) is the generic name for two variants of the molecule: cyanocobalamin and hydroxycobalamin. Both of these forms have vitamin activity.
It is also worth noting that B12 is highly soluble in water and does not denature during prolonged heat treatment, destruction occurs only under the influence of sunlight. Vitamin is synthesized by the intestinal microflora, and then accumulates in the liver, where it is stored until further use by the body. Alcohol, acids and alkalis, sleeping pills and estrogens destroy and impair the absorption of vitamin B12.
The negative effects of vitamin B12
In case of an overdose, allergic reactions may occur. It is also worth considering the individual intolerance of the vitamin, it will be discussed below.
The assimilation of the vitamin by the body.
For good absorption by the stomach, a mucoprotein protein is needed, which is contained in gastric juice, the compound B12 and mucoprotein are easily absorbed by the walls of the stomach. In the presence of other B vitamins (especially B6), digestibility becomes much better.
Vitamin B12-rich foods
Vitamin B12 is synthesized only by microorganisms (for example, intestinal microflora or bacteria in the soil), and animals and plants already retain it in their bodies. Animals retain this vitamin better, so good sources of vitamin B12 are almost always animal products, especially the liver, because, as mentioned earlier, it is able to store this vitamin in itself. Also, high levels of B12 can be observed in meat, fish, dairy products and eggs.
Special attention should be paid to the issue of the content of this vitamin in alcohol, namely in wine and beer.
Wine. Wine contains vitamin B12 in small amounts (0.01-0.2 micrograms), significantly inferior to the liver (40-60 micrograms), if we also consider that alcohol impairs the absorption of the vitamin, it becomes clear that wine is not a good source of B12.
Beer. The content of this vitamin in beer is much higher (1-5 micrograms) and the alcohol content is much lower (3-8%), so beer can be used as a source, but not as an alternative to meat, seafood, etc.
Daily intake of vitamin B12
The daily intake of vitamin for an adult is about 3 micrograms, but in rare cases it can be increased several times, for example, in severe injuries or increased physical and mental stress. For children 1-2 micrograms. For pregnant women, 3-5 micrograms.
Lack of vitamin B12
It is difficult to achieve a lack of B12, as it tends to accumulate in the body, but if you try … Hunger strikes, rejection of animal products, gastrointestinal disorders and cirrhosis of the liver are all factors that increase the likelihood of a deficiency of this vitamin in the body.
With a prolonged shortage, the body begins to suffer, and the nervous system also suffers. A person becomes irritable, forgetful, sometimes sees hallucinations, is constantly in a depressed state of mind, his muscles become numb, and finally, general degradation occurs. All these symptoms are signs of irreversible processes launched as a result of a lack of vitamin B12.
Excess vitamin B12 in the body
“So sweet is honey that finally it is bitter,” the proverb says.
In cases of high overdose, the following symptoms were observed: allergy, increased excitability, impaired blood clotting, the appearance of acne.
In people with intolerance to this vitamin, blood clots in the peripheral vessels, pulmonary edema and anaphylactic shock were sometimes observed.
Interaction of B12 with other vitamins
Vitamin B12 interacts well with vitamin B9 in the process of hematopoiesis, stimulating the growth and development of our body.
Perhaps this explains the high level of endurance among vegetarian athletes … But! Vegans (unlike vegetarians do not eat eggs and dairy products) should get B12 from dietary supplements, otherwise they run the risk of “earning” a lack of vitamin … What this leads to was mentioned above.
B12 also combines very well with other vitamins of group B and vitamins A C E.
The only unsuccessful combination of vitamin B12, perhaps, with B1, as the allergic reaction to the latter increases.
This vitamin is found in protein-rich foods, and is synthesized in the body itself. It is one of the most important B vitamins, it goes well with all other vitamins.