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What Is Vitamin B12 Used For

Who Is At Risk

Why is vitamin B12 so important for our health? How is vitamin B12 used in the human body?

Vegans face a risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency, as their diet excludes animal-sourced food products. Pregnancy and lactation can worsen deficiency in vegans. Plant-sourced foods do not have enough cobalamin to guarantee long-term health.

People with pernicious anemia may lack vitamin B-12. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that affects the blood. Patients with this disorder do not have enough intrinsic factor , a protein in the stomach that allows the body to absorb vitamin B-12.

Other at-risk groups include people with small intestine problems, for example, an individual whose small intestine has been surgically shortened. They may not be able to absorb cobalamin properly. People with Crohns disease are said to be at risk, but researchers maintain that there is a lack of evidence to confirm this.

Gastritis, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease because these conditions cause the absorption of nutrients to be reduced.

People with chronic alcoholism may lack vitamin B-12 , as their bodies are also not able to absorb nutrients efficiently.

Individuals treating diabetes with metformin are advised to monitor their levels of vitamin B-12. Metformin might reduce the absorption of vitamin B-12.

Treatment includes vitamin B-12 injections. A vitamin B-12 injection must be administered to people that have problems with nutrient absorption.

How Much To Get

The answer depends on things including your age, your eating habits and medical conditions, and what medications you take.

The average recommended amounts, measured in micrograms , vary by age:

  • Infants up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
  • Babies age 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
  • Children age 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
  • Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
  • Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg
  • Adults: 2.4 mcg

How To Take Vitamin B

Use Vitamin B-12 ) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Carefully follow instructions about whether to take your cyanocobalamin with or without food.

Your dose needs may change if you become pregnant, if you breastfeed, or if you eat a vegetarian diet. Tell your doctor about any changes in your diet or medical condition.

Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it. Take with a full glass of water.

Do not swallow a lozenge or sublingual tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Cyanocobalamin sublingual tablet or liquid should be placed under your tongue.

Pernicious anemia is also treated with folic acid to help maintain red blood cells. However, folic acid will not treat Vitamin B12 deficiency and will not prevent possible damage to the spinal cord. Take all of your medications as directed.

To treat pernicious anemia, you will have to use cyanocobalamin on a regular basis for the rest of your life. Not using the medication can lead to irreversible nerve damage in your spinal cord.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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Vitamin B12 And Folate

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Can Taking Too Many Vitamin B12 And Folic Acid Supplements Hurt Me

Vitamin B12  Benefits, Uses and Warnings (UPDATE: Jul ...

Not usually. B12 and folic acid are water-soluble, thus the body will rid itself of any excess by eliminating it in the urine. However, taking folic acid can mask low B12 levels, so it can be important to be tested for both before beginning folate supplementation. Individuals who are allergic to cobalt should not take B12, and those with the hereditary eye disease Lebers disease may experience harm to the optic nerve if they take B12

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What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for proper neurological and metabolic functioning, including the transport of oxygen in our bodies, Whitney English, a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles, told TODAY. B12 is used to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the body. What else are B12 vitamins good for? Vitamin B12 is also a co-factor in DNA synthesis. Finally, B12 is required to make myelin, the protective layer that coats nerve cells.

Our bodies need vitamin B12, but they dont make it on their own, Dana Hunnes, Ph.D, a senior registered dietician at the Ronald Reagan University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, told TODAY. But if you have a very varied diet, it’s not necessary for most people to take a supplement, she said. There are many different food sources of B12 vitamins.

Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use methylcobalamin if you are allergic to vitamin B12 or cobalt.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • Leber’s disease or other form of optic nerve damage

  • an iron or folic acid deficiency or

  • low levels of potassium in your blood.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not give methylcobalamin to a child without medical advice.

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Identification Of The Active Compound

While working at the Bureau of Dairy Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was assigned work on the bacterial strain Lactobacillus lactis Dorner , which was used to make yogurt and other cultured dairy products. The culture medium for LLD required liver extract. Shorb knew that the same liver extract was used to treat pernicious anemia , and concluded that LLD could be developed as an assay method to identify the active compound. While at the University of Maryland she received a small grant from Merck, and in collaboration with Karl Folkers from that company, developed the LLD assay. This identified “LLD factor” as essential for the bacteria’s growth. Shorb, Folker and Alexander R. Todd, at the University of Cambridge, used the LLD assay to extract the anti-pernicious anemia factor from liver extracts, purify it, and name it vitamin B12. In 1955, Todd helped elucidate the structure of the vitamin, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1957. The complete chemical structure of the molecule was determined by Dorothy Hodgkin, based on crystallographic data in 1956, for which for that and other crystallographic analyses she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964. Hodgkin went on to decipher the structure of insulin.

Five people have been awarded Nobel Prizes for direct and indirect studies of vitamin B12: George Whipple, George Minot and William Murphy , Alexander R. Todd , and Dorothy Hodgkin .

How Is Vitamin B12 Given

Vitamin B12 – What i use

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Vitamin B12 is injected into a muscle or under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Your dose needs may change if you become pregnant, if you breastfeed, or if you eat a vegetarian diet. Tell your doctor about any changes in your diet or medical condition.

Always follow directions on the medicine label about giving Vitamin B12 to a child. Your child’s dose will depend on age, weight, diet, and other factors.

For pernicious anemia, you may have to use Vitamin B12 for the rest of your life. Do not stop using the medicine unless your doctor tells you to. Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia or irreversible nerve damage.

Pernicious anemia is also treated with folic acid to help maintain red blood cells. Folic acid alone will not treat Vitamin B12 deficiency or prevent possible damage to the spinal cord. Use all medications as directed.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Vitamin B12 can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Vitamin B12.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

  • Save up to 80% on your prescriptions.
  • Accepted at over 65,000 pharmacies.

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Nanotechnologies Used In Vitamin B12 Supplementation

Conventional administration does not ensure specific distribution and controlled release of vitamin B12. Moreover, therapeutic protocols involving injection require health care people and commute of patients to the hospital thus increasing the cost of the treatment and impair the lifestyle of patients. Targeted delivery of vitamin B12 is a major focus of modern prescriptions. For example, conveying the vitamin to the bone marrow and nerve cells would help myelin recovery. Currently, several nanocarriers strategies are being developed for improving vitamin B12 delivery with the aim to simplify administration, reduce costs, improve pharmacokinetics, and ameliorate the quality of patients’ live.

Vitamin B12 And Health

Vitamin B12 is involved in the breakdown of a protein called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke as it may promote the formation of blood clots and excess free radical cells, and may impair normal blood vessel function. A lack of adequate vitamin B12 can increase homocysteine levels.

Although epidemiological studies have found that vitamin B12 supplementation can decrease homocysteine levels, they have not consistently shown a decreased risk of cardiovascular events in taking the vitamin. Therefore the American Heart Association does not advocate for the routine use of B vitamin supplements in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. However, vitamin B12 supplements can be important for some individuals with genetic variants that lead to high homocysteine levels.

Food Sources

  • Enriched soy or rice milk

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Including In The Diet

Without enough vitamin B12 in the body, a range of problems can occur, including constipation, digestive disorders, depression, irritability, tongue inflammation, bone loss, enlargement of the spleen, memory loss, headaches and eye disorders. As the body can store this nutrient for several years, signs of a deficiency can take time to appear. The human body can store up to five years worth of vitamin B12.

While a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes is enough for most essential nutrients, getting plenty of vitamin B12 requires something else such as animal products and seafood.

The best food sources include meat, eggs, dairy products, clams, herring and mackerel. Vegetarian sources include brewer√Ęs yeast, sea vegetables, and herbs such as alfalfa and hops.

People who are on a vegetarian diet need to make sure they are including vegetarian sources. Simply adding sea greens and brewer√Ęs yeast to the diet on a regular basis can add vitamin B12 to the diet as well as many other vitamins and minerals.

Understanding what vitamin B12 is used for and where it is found you can make sure you are including enough of this essential vitamin in your diet. Keep in mind that it, as well as other B vitamins, is even more important as you age.

Who Is Prone To Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Wiki: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage ...

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 for adults isnt much 2.4 mcg, according to the NIH. But since its mainly consumed through meat and fish, people on plant-based or vegan diets might want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement, as well as consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12.

Since vitamin B12 is absorbed through the small intestine, certain medical conditions, like celiac or Crohns disease, can interfere with its absorption. You need intrinsic factor, a protein made in the stomach, to help absorb B12, said Hunnes. Surgery that removes or bypasses parts of the small intestine or stomach increase the risk for B12 deficiency. Autoimmune conditions, including Type 1 diabetes may also increase the risk for B12 deficiency if it affects the ability to absorb B12 from food.

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Vitamin B12 Dosage: What Is The Proper Daily Amount

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin for humans. Its vital for maintaining energy levels, metabolism, hormone balance, mood, digestion and skin health. But without enough of the nutrient, we can miss out on the many vitamin B12 benefits. In fact, being deficient in B12 can lead to major health issues, from improper growth and development to cognitive impairment. So what the proper vitamin B12 dosage?

Although a balanced diet including a variety of foods will generally supply enough vitamin B12 for most people, supplementation is sometimes necessary for certain age groups and circumstances or for those with underlying health conditions. Thats why its important to know what vitamin B12 dosage is right for your specific needs. How do you find out? Read on to learn all about vitamin B12 dosage recommendations and more.

Vitamin B1: What It Is What It Is Used For And What To Do In Case Of Shortage

Vitamin B12 is one of eight of the B group that play a vital role in our body, it is in fact essential for health protection. It performs various functions such as keeping the nervous system functioning or contributing to the production of red blood cells, those that carry oxygen to the organs, and its lack could lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness and other types of problems, even very serious ones. It is found in products of animal origin, the human body is not able to synthesize this substance on its own, and so it must necessarily take it with food and this is why those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet often lack it. Here’s all there is to know about vitamin B12.

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How Much Of Each Food Do You Need To Reach These Amounts

Most people will be able to meet their vitamin B12 needs through a balanced and varied diet. Some excellent food sources of vitamin B12 include:

100g mussels = 10.6mcg100ml soya milk = 0.4mcg200g yogurt = 0.2mcg

Other good sources include most meats, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.

Interactions Between Vitamin B12 And Other Medications

What Is Cobalamin Vitamin B12 – Functions, Benefits Of, Foods High In Cobalamin Vitamin B12 Per Day

Vitamin B12 may interact with certain medications or supplements. Always let your doctor and pharmacist know about any other medications or supplements that you are currently taking. The list below does not include all possible drug interactions with vitamin B12 . Please note that only the generic name of each medication is listed below.

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription medicine.

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Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Or Folate Deficiency

Vitamin B12 and folate perform several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy.

A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause a wide range of problems, including:

  • extreme tiredness
  • psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion
  • problems with memory, understanding and judgement

Some of these problems can also happen if you have a deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate but do not have anaemia.

What Is Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 actually exists in many forms, and it contains the mineral cobalt, which is why compounds with vitamin B12 are collectively called cobalamins. Two forms of B12 that are active in human metabolism are methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 benefits the central nervous system in many important ways. It helps maintain the health of nerve cells including those needed for neurotransmitter signaling and helps form the protective covering of nerves, called the cells myelin sheath.

This means that when B12 levels are low, almost every cognitive function can suffer.

It also helps with digestion and heart health, so a deficiency can lead to both digestive disorders and an increased risk for heart disease. It can come in food sources, hydroxocobalamin vitamin B12 injections or as an intramuscular vitamin.

The National Institute of Healths Dietary Office estimates that somewhere between 1.5 percent to 15 percent of people in the U.S. are deficient in vitamin B12.

Other studies, like one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000, indicate that this number might be even higher, with up to 39 percent of the population possibly suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency.

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Living With Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Depending on the cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency, you may need to take vitamin B12 supplements for the rest of your life. These may be pills or shots. This may seem difficult. But it will let you live a normal life without symptoms.

If your deficiency is due to a restrictive diet, you may want to work with a nutritionist. He or she can help ensure that you get enough vitamin B12 and other vitamins. Tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms and follow your treatment plan.

Diagnosis Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12  Benefits, Uses and Warnings (UPDATE: Jul ...
  • Blood tests

  • Sometimes endoscopy

Usually, vitamin B12 deficiency is suspected when routine blood tests detect large red blood cells. Doctors sometimes suspect it when people have typical symptoms of nerve damage, such as tingling or loss of sensation. If the deficiency is suspected, the level of vitamin B12 in the blood is measured.

Usually, doctors also measure the blood level of folate to rule out folate deficiency Folate Deficiency Folate deficiency is common. Because the body stores only a small amount of folate, a diet lacking in folate leads to a deficiency within a few months. Not eating enough raw leafy vegetables… read more , which can also result in large red blood cells.

If vitamin B12 deficiency is confirmed in an older person, no other tests are done because the cause, such as low stomach acidity, is usually not serious. In a younger person, other tests, including other blood tests, may be done to determine the cause.

Endoscopy may be done to check for destruction of stomach cells that produce intrinsic factor.

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