What is vitamin B12? This is the question some people who does not know about vitamin B12. Yes, it can be said vitamin B12 cannot be dismissed when viewed from the benefits of vitamin B12 for our health. We often encounter food products and beverages that contain various vitamins, one of which is vitamin B12. To that end, it is not difficult for us to meet the needs of vitamin B12. Sources of vitamin b12 can be obtained naturally or in the form of packaged food. Then, what is vitamin B12? And what are the benefits of vitamin B12 for health?
What is vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 or by another name is called cobalamin, is the most basic of the vitamin B complex group. This is one kind of vitamin B group which has an important role for the body. Vitamin B12 is one type of water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex which contains cobalt, so-called sianocobalamin. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms and 2.8 micrograms per day for pregnant women. Vitamin B12 deficiency is rarely happened, because this vitamin can be stored for years in the body. However deficiency can still happen, if you do not get it enough from your diet. For sources of vitamin B12, we can find it from foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs, fish, and poultry (chickens and ducks). In small amounts, vitamin B12 is also found in soybean.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, so that the body cannot produce itself. Here, the intake of foods containing vitamin B12 should be maintained. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can be found with some of the following signs.
- The body becomes more easily tired, lethargic, and emotionally unstable.
- Usually the patient will experience a decreased appetite quite dramatically so often causes weight loss in a short time.
- The emergence of neurological disorders that is characterized by tingling and numbness in the feet and hands.
- Some people may experience feelings of distress, depression, confusion, and poor memory.
- When vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated immediately, it can lead to severe anemia.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency may happen to children with signs of slow growth, and the child looks more tenuous.
Generally susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency is the vegetarians, because vitamin B12 is mostly found from sources that come from animals. In addition, those who have the condition malabsorption (small intestine having trouble absorbing in nutrients), people living with HIV, people who are depressed, women who have entered menopause stage, and alcoholics are also susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Basically vitamin B12 has the function to keep the nervous system in the body and help the process of metabolism. However, vitamin B12 also has a very complex role to support the health of the body. Here are some of the benefits of vitamin B12 to the body.
- Vitamin B12 has an important role to change the source of carbohydrates from food into glucose so that the body always feels to get energy from food.
- Vitamin B12 also contributes to improve the functioning of the nervous system that is not easily depressed brain, reducing the symptoms of depression and prevent shrinkage of brain volume.
- Vitamin B12 has a major role in lowering cholesterol, maintaining blood pressure and protects the body from the symptoms of stroke and heart attack.
- Sufficient amount of vitamin B12 in the body can maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. It also serves to support the process of cell turnover and reproductive cell system.
So at least by knowing about vitamin B12 and vitamin B12 benefits, we become more concerned and keep the intake of vitamin B12 needed by the body. If the intake of vitamin B12 in the body enough it will be directly proportional to the health of the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency is not good, but too much vitamin B12 is also not good. What is vitamin B12 becomes an important question for us to know about vitamin B12 and benefits of vitamin B12 for health.