Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin is a water soluble vitamin belonging to vitamin B complex group of nutrients. It helps in healthy functioning of several critical cell processes within the body. It consists of vitamers and cobalt. It is produced by the action of some bacteria and algae, and is usually found in foods of animal origin.
Vitamin B12 is stored in mostly in liver and is not easily digested as it is attached to a protein called intrinsic factor. Most people above the age of 50 have reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12 and are those who have deficiency of cobalamin are at risk of developing heart diseases, depression and Alzheimer’s.
B Vitamin Foods:
Vitamin B12 aids in the production of red blood cells, normal metabolism of proteins and fat and healthy functioning of nervous system. It helps in formation, maintenance and repair of RBCs. It plays an important role in the formation of DNA in human body.
Vitamin B12 can be found in eggs, blue cheese, clams, liver, fish and seafood and dairy products. People who do not eat meat have high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Hence, they can take fortified products or B12 supplements to meet their daily requirements.
Vitamin B12 as Home Remedy
Vitamin B12 can be used as home remedy for treating number of diseases such as:
- Fatigue: It helps in improving the overall stamina and relieving fatigue and weakness.
- Cholesterol: Foods rich in vitamin B12 are helpful in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body. It also reduces triglycerides and help in keeping the heart healthy and fit.
- Anemia: It is an important constituent in treating sickle cell anemia and other forms of anemia- megaloblastic and pernicious anemia. It helps in replenishing intrinsic factor that is responsible for normal RBC development.
- Breast Cancer: Studies have found that women with breast cancer have deficiency of vitamin B12 in their body. Hence, diet rich in vitamin B12, can help in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in women.
Vitamin B12 is safe when taken from food sources and in controlled dose of supplement form. However, rare side effects may include diarrhea, blood clots in legs, allergic reactions and feeling of swelling all over the body. These adverse effects are due to supplement form of vitamin B12.