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Vitamins

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin)

16 years, 9 months ago

15030  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12, which is prescribed to correct vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is found in organ meats, liver, beef, pork, eggs, whole milk, cheese, whole wheat bread, and fish. As vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods unless they are fortified.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12, which is prescribed to correct vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is found in organ meats, liver, beef, pork, eggs, whole milk, cheese, whole wheat bread, and fish. As vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods unless they are fortified (e.g. breakfast cereal), vegans are likely to benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation.

ROLE IN ANTI- AGING:

Vitamin B12 is required for the production of red and white blood cells and blood platelets (thrombocytes), the manufacture of substances needed for correct cell functioning, and the metabolism of nutrients necessary for cell growth. It is essential for the recycling of certain enzymes that maintain the health of blood, nerve, and other cells. It also aids the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It may stimulate appetite in children. An "intrinsic factor" must exist in the stomach for this vitamin to be absorbed. Vitamin B12 works together with folic acid and vitamin B6 to lower blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Elevated homocysteine levels have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and osteoporosis.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

Pernicious anemia including weakness, a sore and inflamed tongue that appears smooth and shiny, numbness and tingling in extremities, pallor, weak pulse, stiffness, drowsiness, irritability, depression, mental deterioration, senile dementia, paranoid psychosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, diarrhea, poor appetite, growth failure in children. Health experts estimate that as many as one in five adults have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

500-1,000 mcg (micrograms) with a complete B-complex vitamin. Sublingual form is best absorbed with tablets placed under the tongue. RDA is 2.4 mcg. For pregnant women the RDA is 2.6mcg, while for lactating women it is 2.8mcg.The European RDA is 1 mcg.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:

3,000 mcg (long and short term &emdash; no adverse effect established)

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Vitamin B12 does not tend to cause side effects. Patients with the rare eye disease Lebers disease should consult their doctor before taking vitamin B12.

SOLUBILITY: Water soluble

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