Vitamin B12 is essential for the body. To avoid any deficiency, it is advisable to fill it up. But where do we find this vitamin? Find out which foods contain the most.
It’s no secret that vitamins are essential for maintaining good health. Among the different groups of vitamins, we find those of the B group, which form all 8 B vitamins.
Their synergy is essential to optimize cognitive functions, stimulate the secretion of neuromodulators and improve emotional balance. These are vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B8 (biotin), B9 (folic acid or folate), and B12 (cobalamin).
This last substance necessary for our body is water-soluble, which means that it dissolves in water. Vitamin B12 is the most complex and largest vitamin in the B group. This organic molecule is essentially stored in the liver.
“The human liver contains approximately 50% of the stock. This constitutes a reserve used by the organism for 3 to 5 years”, indicates the Lescuyer laboratory on its website. However, it can also be found in the heart, pancreas, and brain.
What are the benefits of vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is essential to our health as it contributes to many body functions. It promotes cell growth, and the production of red blood cells ( hemoglobin ) and platelets. This substance also ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system and is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters by neurons.
This organic molecule also reduces fatigue and protects against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. It is also necessary for the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B12: which foods contain the most?
Vitamin B12 is found in foods of animal origin. According to the MSD Manual and the Lescuyer laboratory, good sources of vitamin B12 are:
- Red meats
- White meats
- The salmon
- The tuna
What is the role of vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 participates in many mechanisms of the body:
- cell growth,
- the production of red blood cells,
- the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates,
- the proper functioning of the immune system,
- the proper functioning of the nervous system,
- psychological balance.
What are the symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12?
According to the MSD Manual, vitamin B12 deficiency generally occurs in people who do not consume foods of animal origin at all or in people whose bodies do not absorb or store the substance enough.
This vitamin B12 deficiency is manifested by:
- Severe and unusual fatigue
- a pallor
- Unusual muscle weakness
- shortness of breath
- memory problems
- Digestive disorders
Vitamin B12: how to treat a deficiency?
The treatment of this deficiency is based on vitamin B12 supplementation. Deficient patients who do not have symptoms receive vitamin B12 supplementation by mouth. A blood test is done regularly to ensure that vitamin B12 levels return to normal and stay there.
“People who have symptoms of nerve damage usually receive vitamin B12 by intramuscular injection. The injections, which can be self-administered, are given daily or weekly for several weeks until normal vitamin B12 levels return.
These injections are administered once a month without time limit until the disorder at the origin of the deficiency is cured”, details the MSD Manual on its site.
Doctors also advise people who are deficient to eat foods rich in vitamin B12. “In humans, an intake of around 2 μg/day is necessary, a dose generally reached by consuming products of animal origin. The needs, however, vary according to the periods of life”,
What are the recommended vitamin B12 intakes?
ANSES has established nutritional references for vitamin B12:
- 0.4 mg for infants under 6 months,
- 1.5 mg from 6 months to 10 years,
- 2.5 mg for adolescents 11 to 17 years old,
- 4mg for adults,
- 4.5 mg for pregnant women,
- 5 mg for breastfeeding women.
In industrialized countries, vitamin B12 deficiency affects about 20% of the population.