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
Older age groups
Pregnancy and lactation
Intestinal diseases: pancreatic disease, Crohn disease, chronic diarrhea (such as in AIDS)
Unpleasant body odour
Heavy alcohol use
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.
Intestinal syndrome sprue
Increased nervous irritability
Inability to concentrate
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