Vitamin B12 (also known as Cobalamin) is an important vitamin for the human body. Vitamin B12 ensures that the production of red blood cells runs smoothly. This vitamin is essential for the body and is important for a good and healthy nervous system. B12 is special because it is the only known vitamin that is stored in the body.
Vitamin B12 is actually only in animal products, such as milk, fish or meat. This is why vegetarians are often diagnosed with a low vitamin B12 content. This can be very unhealthy as a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to major health problems. A lack of vitamin B12 almost always leads to anemia or macrocytic anemia. Anemia can be very dangerous for humans and that is why vegetarians are always advised to make sure that they get enough vitamin B12.
This can often be done by means of certain vitamin B12 injections. However, vegetarians do not want all of this, because they also see this as an animal product and therefore do not want it in their body. For this reason, it is therefore logical that many vegetarians suffer from anemia. Fortunately, there are nowadays solutions. Namely soy milk with vitamin B12 additives and other things in that direction. This ensures that not every vegan or vegetarian suffers from a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Another way to overcome a vitamin B12 deficiency is through surgery. Sometimes part of the stomach is removed so that certain proteins cannot develop. This ensures that the vitamin B12 cannot mix in the body and therefore cannot be effective. That is why vitamin B12 injections are always given during operations, where this is a danger.
When the reserve in the body is at a good level, you can go for at least 3 years before you run into a shortage.
Too much B12?
In principle, someone does not get sick from an excess of vitamin B12. If you are dealing with a significant overdose, there may be diarrhea, rash or insomnia. Fortunately, this does not happen very often. The required amount is neatly stored in the body. If there is excess, the kidneys ensure that it is removed from the body. One speaks of a surplus if you exceed 6 mcg daily.
Folate and Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B11 ( folic acid ) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) work closely together. B12 and B11 are jointly responsible for the production of white and red blood cells. They are also involved in the formation of hereditary material in the body (DNA). Vitamin B6 is also involved in B12 and together they ensure the normalization of homocysteine levels in the blood. It is important that this is normalized, as too high a level can cause cardiovascular disease. No less than 20% of the Dutch have too high a content. So ensure sufficient intake of B6 and B12.
What is it in?
This vitamin is mainly found in animal products. You need +/- 2 to 3 micrograms of this vitamin every day. The products below are rich in B12:
- Semi-skimmed cottage cheese
- Egg (boiled)