Vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy body. Vitamin B12 is a special type of vitamin as it is essential for the production of red blood cells, a good functioning of the nervous system, recovery of bodily cells and the brain function
Many people are wondering if they have a deficit of vitamin B12 and what effects they should pay attention to. Is it useful to supplement vitamin B12 and can too much of it harm you? In this article we will elaborate on these topics. Just read along.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is part of the vitamin B complex. When we are speakig of vitamin B we are speaking of a water soluable vitamin. Vitamin B12 is special in the sence that we can only derive it from animal food products.
As explained vitamin B12 is essential for the good functioning of the body. We can only absorb it from our food. It differs per person how much and how efficiently the vitamin B12 is absorbed. This also has to do with the form in which the vitamin B12 enters into the body. There are actually 4 different forms, the bio-active forms methyl- and adenosylcobalamin, and next to that hydroxo- and the synthetic cyanocobalamin.
In the body vitamin B12 usually only occurs in the forms of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Therefore the body can also most easily absorb these two bio-available forms.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the brains, nervous system and the immune system. It reduces fatigue and stimulates the energy balance.
Sources of Vitamin B12
As explained vitamin B12 is mostly present in animal products like dairy, meat, fish and eggs. It can also occur in plants like dried seaweed and algae. Unfortunately the quantities in plants are very low and are hard to be absorbed by the human body.
With people that do not or rarely eat animal products, like vegans or vegetarians, there is an increased risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegans that don’t supplement vitamin B12 are the highest risk category of people.
Elderly people also have an increased risk on vitamin B12 deficiency due to the fact that the absorbtion reduces over time. About 5-10% of the total population has a vitamin B12 deficiency, with elderly people this percentage actually lies between 20-30%.
During pregnancy and breast feeding it is also very important to consume suffient vitamin B12. It is of essence for the development of the baby and for the mother to maintain a good health.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A vitamin B12 deficiency evolves gradually but is most probably more common than we think. The body stores vitamin B12 for usage later on. That’s why it could take months before you notice that you are running short. Next to that the syptoms are very diverse which makes it easy for people to miss it.
When you are suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency your body will function less well which can have the following effects on the body:
- Chronische vermoeidheid en gevoel van zwakte
- Licht gevoel in het hoofd, duizeligheid
- Benauwd, kortademig, snelle ademhaling, vooral bij inspanning
- Muscle weakness during physical effort, muscle vibrations
- Increased heart rate
- Pale skin and lips
- Ringing in the ears
- Cold hands and feet
- Tingling in the fingers
- Yellow skin and eye white discoloration
- Unexplained long-term fever
- Decreased smell, vision and hearing
- Nausea or lack of appetite
In addition, a B12 deficiency can also cause mental reactions such as:
- – Mood fluctuations, or personality change
- – Thinking, concentration, memory problems
- – Depression, irritation, anxiety, paranoia, dementia
- Humeur schommelingen, of persoonlijkheidsverandering
- Denk-, concentratie-, geheugenproblemen
- Depressie, irritatie, angst, paranoia, dementie
You can trace a vitamin B12 deficiency by doing a blood test through your doctor.
Vitamine B12 requirement
An easy way to ensure that you get your vitamin B12 requirement is through supplements. In general, these are also better absorbed by the body than B12 from food. Make sure you take a combination of methylcobalamine and adenosylcobalamine so that your body can absorb vitamin B12 directly and easily.
1000mcg per day is sufficient to meet the daily requirement. This may seem like a lot, but overdose is needed with vitamin B12. If you really have a serious vitamin B12 deficiency, even a double dose may be recommended by the doctor. The excess will be removed by the body through the urine.
Vitamin B12 by Ekopura
Recently, Ekopura developed its own vitamin B12 made from 550mcg Methylcobalamine and 550mcg Adenosylcobalamine for optimal absorption and completely in accordance with the Ekopura philosophy. The B12 comes in the form of 120 small capsules and offers a stock of 4 months with daily use.
Most Vitamin B12 supplements come in the form of lozenges with all kinds of artificial and unnecessary additives to provide the product with a good taste and make it soluble in the mouth.
Methyl and adenosyl cobalamin are well absorbed through the stomach and intestines. Ekopura therefore chooses to offer the B12 in vegetable capsules without unnecessary, unhealthy additives and flavorings.
Look here for more information about the Ekopura Vegan Vitamin B12 capsules.