Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 – also known as cobalamin – is needed in more than 100 different biochemical reactions in the human body. The human body needs about 2-3 μg (mcg) vitamin B12 per day. It is found in almost all animal products, like meat, eggs and dairy products, but not in plant products at all.
Beside others, vitamin B12 has functions in these biochemical circuits within the human body:
- Metabolism (fatty acids, carbohydrates)
- DNA-Synthesis (nucleic acid metabolism)
- Cell division and blood cell formation (synthesis of epithelial tissue, haematopoiesis)
- Function of the nervous system (synthesis of myelin)
Vitamin B12 deficiency
The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is a vegan or (in some cases) vegetarian nutrition.
Gastritis is another common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Other reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency are Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, pancreatic diseases, intestinal infections, bacterial overgrowth and the use of certain drugs, like antihistamines, proton pump inhibitors and metformin.
“The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is
vegan or vegetarian nutrition”
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anaemia, neurological or neuropsychiatric symptoms and a wide range of symptoms, like burning mouth syndrome (aphthous ulcers or glossitis), depression, headache and migraine. Furthermore, vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia, neurological symptoms,
and burning mouth syndrome, headache, or migraine.”
Vitamin B12 supplementation
If you have got a proven vitamin B12 deficiency, you can take vitamin B12 food supplements. These oral vitamin B12 food supplements cannot be overdosed, because excessive vitamin B12 is excreted via urine and stool.
Our body’s storage capacity of vitamin B12 is about 10 mg and you can take vitamin B12 caps or tablets to refill it. Please speak to your healthcare provider to know how much vitamin B12 you will need to take in order to refill your vitamin B12 storage. There are tablets on the market that contain up to 1,000 μg (1 mg) of vitamin B12. With these tablets you can refill your vitamin B12 storage within weeks.