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Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12

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Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.

Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays  essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function  and the production of DNA.  Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and  dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as an  oral supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray might be prescribed to  treat vitamin B-12 deficiency.  Because your body is capable of storing several years' worth of  vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. However, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan  diet, you might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don't contain  vitamin B-12. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia,  fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood  disturbances.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4  micrograms.
Evidence
Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for specific activities and  conditions shows:
1- Heart and blood vessel  disease.Vitamin  B-12, in combination with vitamin B-6 and folate (vitamin B-9), has been shown  to control high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated homocysteine  might increase your risk of diseases of the heart and blood vessels  (cardiovascular disease). Despite this benefit, there's no evidence to show  that vitamin B-12 supplements prevent heart disease.
2- Dementia.Vitamin  B-12 deficiency is associated with dementia and low cognitive function, but  it's not clear whether vitamin B-12 supplements might help prevent or treat  dementia.
3- Athletic performance.Unless you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, there's no evidence  that vitamin B-12 supplements will boost your energy or make you a better  athlete.
Our take
Generally safe
Most people get enough vitamin B-12 from a balanced diet.  However, older adults, vegetarians and people who have conditions that affect  their ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from foods might benefit from the use of  oral supplements.  Vitamin B-12 supplements also are recommended for women who are
pregnant or breast-feeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
Safety and side effects
When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 supplements are  generally considered safe. While the recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12  for adults is 2.4 micrograms, you can safely take higher doses. Your body  absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine.
High doses of vitamin B-12, such as those used to treat a  deficiency, might cause:
1- Dizziness
2- Headache
3- Anxiety
4- Nausea
5- Vomiting
Interactions
Possible interactions include:
1- Aminosalicylic acid .Taking  this drug used to treat digestive problems might reduce your body's absorption  of vitamin B-12.
2- Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare) .Taking this anti-inflammatory drug used to prevent and treat  gout attacks might decrease your absorption of vitamin B-12.
3- Metformin (Glumetza, Glucophage, Fortamet) .Taking this diabetes drug might reduce your absorption of  vitamin B-12.
4- Proton pump inhibitors.Taking omeprazole (Prilosec) , lansoprazole (Prevacid) or other stomach acid-reducing  drugs might decrease your absorption of vitamin B-12.
5- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements.Taking vitamin B-12 with vitamin C might reduce the available  amount of vitamin B-12 in your body. To avoid this interaction, take vitamin C  two or more hours after taking a vitamin B-12 supplement.  Your doctor might recommend changing drugs or timing doses to  offset any potential interactions.
Reference:
Vitamin B-12,By Mayo Clinic Staff, https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-b12/art-20363663

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