Monday, 7 May 2018

Vitamin B12: Why is it required

Vitamin B12 is one of the water soluble vitamins, which is important for adequate function of red blood cells, nerve cells and brain cells.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is extremely commonly seen in clinical practice today. This raises several questions, as to whether the deficiency is increasing, or is it that we are checking more frequently for B12. There is also a question whether RO water is related to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

How does it help us?

·      It converts Carbohydrates into Glucose and provides energy to the body
·       It is essential for healthy nervous and digestive systems
·       It controls your cholesterol levels
·       It can help in some of the heart diseases and high blood pressure
·       B12 is very much important for healthy hair, nails and Skin
·       It can help you to fight against Breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer

How will we get to know its deficiency? (Symptoms)

·       Constantly feeling tired
·       Depression
·       Poor digestion
·       Sleeplessness
·       Mood swings
·       Giddiness
·       Joint pain
·       Difficulty in breathing
·       Feeling dizzy
·       Inability to concentrate
·       Poor dental health
·       Poor appetite
·       Poor memory
·       Tingling and numbness in hands and/or feet

Who are most likely to have it?

Elderly people who tend to have impaired digestion. Because they are tend to produce less stomach acids which are required to convert Vit-B12 properly.

Vegan Diet followers, who avoid animal products in their daily foods

Smokers and alcoholics, as such products can block Vitamin B12 absorption.

(The RO process filters out some essential salts and minerals that we need in our day-to-day life so RO process may be responsible for the deficiency but vegetarian diet and vegan diet are considered as primarily responsible for the deficiency.)

Recommended daily amount

Infants 0-6 months     : 0.4 micrograms
Infants 7-12 months   : 0.5 micrograms
Toddlers 1-2 years      : 0.9 micrograms
Children 4-8 years      : 1.2 micrograms
Children 9-13 years    : 1.8 micrograms
Adult men/women
Above 14 years           : 2.4 micrograms
Pregnant women         : 2.6 micrograms
Breastfeeding women : 2.8 micrograms

Vitamin B12 rich food

·       Cheese
·       Yogurt
·       Grains
·       Eggs
·       Soya beans
·       Almond
·       Fish
·       Vanilla ice-cream
·       Green vegetables
·       Milk

Prevention of Vitamin B12 deficiency

Most people can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by eating animal origin food products such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs which are a good source of Vitamin B12. If you don’t eat animal products, or you have a medical condition that limits how well your body absorbs nutrients, experts recommend taking a B12-containing multivitamin and eating breakfast cereal fortified with vitamin B12. Several cereal fortified with B12 are now available in India.