Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

B12 is a water soluble vitamin containing Cobalt. It can’t be made synthetically but must be grown like penicillin in bacteria or moulds.

Vitamin B12works best with other B vitamins as well as vitamin A,E, and C.

B12 needs to bind with calcium during absorption to benefit the body. And also a protein compound called “the intrinsic factor” which is secreted by cells in the stomach lining. How well b12 is absorbed in the body is also influenced by the presence of iron and B6.

The two forms of vitamin B12 naturally occurring in foods are methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.


B12 is necessary for the normal function of the nervous system

Involved in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism

Activation of folate to its active form (tetrahydrofolate, THF)

Conversion of homocysteine to methionine

Synthesis of nucleic acids DNA and RNA

Synthesis of myelin


Maintains the health of the nerve cell membranes, the intestinal tract, bone marrow and growth hormones

Acts as a co-enzyme in metabolic processes occurring in the Liver, Nerves, Heart, Kidneys, Muscles, Skin and Bone tissue

Necessary for the formation and regeneration of red blood cells along with Iron, vitamin C and folic acid

Increased Risk of Deficiency

Stomach injury or surgery

Megaloblastic anaemia

Older age groups

Pernicious anemia



Atrophic gastritis

Pregnancy and lactation

Liver disease

Intestinal diseases: pancreatic disease, Crohn disease, chronic diarrhea (such as in AIDS)

Unpleasant body odour

Menstrual disturbances

Painful joints



Vegan diets

Heavy alcohol use

Cigarette smoking

Medications: paraaminosalicylic acid (PAS), colchicine, neomycin, metformin, cholestyramine

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency

Symptoms of B12 deficiency may take up to 3-6 years to appear after the body’s supply from natural sources has been restricted and is usually due to an absorption problem caused by a lack of the intrinsic factor.

Impaired cell replication leads to atrophy and inflammation of mucus membranes in the mouth and entire digestive tract, reduced absorption of nutrients, anorexia, and weight loss

Anaemia (megaloblastic) with weakness, shortness of breath, decreased ability to concentrate

Reduced production of platelets can increase risk of abnormal bleeding Impairments in white blood cell development reduce immune responses

Irritability, hostility, forgetfulness, confusion, poor memory, agitation, psychosis (with delusions, hallucinations, and/or paranoid behaviour), depression

Good Dietary Sources

Calf liver, Mussels, Salmon, Beef,  1 average sized Egg, Seavegetables: Kelp and Dulse, Nettles, Oatstraw, Dandelion and Dairy products


No known cases reported.

Medicinal Uses

Pernicious anaemia

Intestinal syndrome sprue




Increased nervous irritability

Memory impairment

Inability to concentrate




Leg paralysis

Improves growth rate in children

Frozen shoulder – 1000mg by intravenous injection

Elderly benefit a lot from a B12 injection

Nerve pain of face – facial neuralgia

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Deborah Harper

Article by Debbie Harper

Debbie Harper is a self-published author and an accomplished blogger. She's the founder of and the author of the book “The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life”. If you like this post, you can stay up to date with the latest information from by subscribing via RSS, or receive articles directly in your inbox. Then click here to download a free report on "The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life".