The Complete Herbal
Guide to Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin B12



A to Z of Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin B-12

by David Snape

You may have heard of vitamin B-12 or you may have seen it referred to as one or more variations of cobalamin, such as cyanocobalamin. One unique characteristic of Vitamin B-12 is that it contains a cobalt atom in its structure.

Vitamin B-12 is a very important vitamin. It plays a role in the development and maintenance of your body's nervous system, among other duties.

There are many, many problems that can arise from a deficiency of vitamin B-12. There is just too much information on B-12 deficiency to cover here. Many biochemical adjustments are made in the body in an attempt to compensate for a lack of B-12.

Interestingly enough, there is a kind of reuptake by the body of the B-12 that is excreted with the bile from your liver. This is one reason that a deficiency of B-12 can take up to 20 years to manifest itself.

There is a something excreted by specialized cells in the stomach called intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is used by the body to properly bind with B-12 so that the body can absorb it. The body absorbs only 1% of free-floating B-12. Therefore, intrinsic factor is crucial to maintaining your body's storage of B-12. Most B-12 is stored in the liver.

There are multiple factors that can interfere with the uptake of B-12, even when there are no problems with the production of intrinsic factor in your body. These areas of influence include, but are not limited to, problems with the Ileum portion of your small intestine, problems with transport proteins, infection of H. Pylori bacteria and problems within the cells of your body. There are other possibilities not mentioned here.

-12 is most readily available in meats and milk. It can also be found as a fortified factor in many foods including some brands of soy milk. You can also buy B-12 supplements at your local health food store. Read your labels carefully to see if the food contains B-12.

Recommended daily intakes of B-12 measure in the micrograms and depend on age, sex, gender and pregnancy status. Be sure to consult your physician for additional information and if you have any questions about B-12 supplementation for yourself or someone you care for.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to prevent, treat or diagnose any health issue or disease. If you have or think you might have a health condition or issue, please contact your primary care physician for proper diagnoses and treatment. The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the US FDA.

David Snape is a health, fitness and wellness enthusiast. His site is Dave also practices Falun Dafa.


Important Disclaimer
The information on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

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