Few substances are as central to the proper functioning of a human body and mind as vitamin B12. It is directly responsible for the process of red blood cell formation, which makes it a key player for the cardiovascular well-being. Because it is actively involved in processing nearly every cell in the human body, it plays a leading role in the stability of the nervous system, as well as the maintenance of the brain. If this was not enough, this B group vitamin has a lot to say in energy production, DNA and fatty acids synthesis, as well as biochemical regulation. Simply put, it is a critical nutrient for anyone who thinks seriously about their health.
Unfortunately, it is also rather fickle. One reason is because quite a high proportion of people have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food products. It is not that it is hard to come by in nature, but some people - for a number of reasons, including hereditary - develop malabsorption that maliciously drives levels of this nutrient in their organism down. So, even though such foods as certain types of fish, poultry, liver, eggs or milk contain enough of it, many human bodies reject to take it in. To make matters more, research suggests that, for instance, vitamin B12 found in eggs is blocked before its absorption due to biochemical conflicts. That, in turn, is a result of its complicated structure.
Insufficient consumption of this critical vitamin is linked to such symptoms as fatigue, sleepiness, weakness, constipation, lack of appetite and weight loss. A condition often associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and its faulty absorption is pernicious anemia, an increasingly common affliction.
Interestingly, while some people have difficulty absorbing naturally occurring vitamin B12, they have no such limitations with its synthetic form, found in fortified foods and dietary supplements. Here are the groups which can benefit from an increased intake of such products:
- people suffering from B12 malabsorption and pernicious anemia,
- strict vegetarians and vegans,
- older people who have problems with stomach acidity,
- people with certain gastrointestinal disorders.
On top of that, vitamin B12 can benefit those who seek extra protection from cardiovascular disease (it is involved in critical biochemical processes), dementia and cognitive function (lack of vitamin B12 indirectly contributes to lower levels of substances that maintain neurotransmitters) and those who seek extra energy and endurance.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and
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