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Why does the body need Vitamin B12?

Human health depends on many factors: genes, the environment and other conditions. However, most of all it affects the diet. After all, with the products in our body get different substances, among which the most useful are vitamins.

We need some of them to preserve beauty, while others are important for the proper functioning of our body. It is the latter category that contains vitamin B12, which is also called cyanocobalamin or “red vitamin.” This is due to the fact that the greatest amount of this substance is contained in the liver of animals. In addition, B12, which is used for injection, has a red color. So, why do we need this vitamin?

Beneficial features

Unlike other vitamins, the lack of vitamin B12 in the body immediately affects a person's well-being, mood and performance. This substance is found in the lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen. It performs a large number of important functions, improving the work of all body systems and the brain, in particular. Cyanocobalamin affects our health as follows:

  • promotes the development of new blood cells;
  • improves metabolism;
  • promotes the assimilation of carbohydrates, fats and proteins;
  • prevents overeating, helping to control appetite;
  • promotes the formation of nerve cells;
  • participates in the development of bones, the nervous system and the brain in children;
  • improves the functioning of the vestibular apparatus;
  • increases stress resistance;
  • improves attention and memory;
  • improves performance;
  • improves mood;
  • strengthens the immune system;
  • promotes skin regeneration.

Norm in the body

In order for the body to work without failures, the amount of cyanocobalamin must always be stable. The rate of this substance depends on the age of the person. For children it is the following:

  • from 0 to 6 months - 0.4 mcg;
  • from 6 months to 1 year - 0.5 µg;
  • from 1 year to 3 years - 1 mcg;
  • from 3 to 6 years - 1.5 mcg;
  • from 6 to 10 years - 2.0 mcg;

For children over 10 years of age and adults, the norm of this vitamin is 3 μg. However, there is a category of people for whom it should be higher. In pregnant and lactating women, the level of cyanocobalamin in the body should not be below 4-5 μg. In addition, the dosage of B12 should be increased by 25% to people with bad habits, as well as those who are exposed to high physical and mental stress.

Symptoms of deficiency

Lack of this substance adversely affects the functions of many body systems. As a result, anemia develops due to vitamin B12 deficiency. This disease leads to disruption of the nervous and circulatory system. Red blood cells cannot carry oxygen. The consequence of this is the following symptoms:

  • numbness of the skin;
  • tingling in the legs and arms;
  • itching;
  • inflammation of the tongue papillae;
  • yellowing of the face and darkening of the palms;
  • creeps on the skin.

In addition, a lack of vitamin B12 can manifest itself in the form of increased irritability, blurred vision, and dips in the memory. Work of a digestive tract is broken: appetite vanishes, the food is badly acquired and there are constipations. Also, due to the lack of this substance, increased fatigue, drowsiness and headache may be observed.

To determine the deficiency of cyanocobalamin, you can use a blood test. Treatment can be prescribed only by a doctor.

What foods are rich in vitamin B12?

This vitamin is not produced in the body. Therefore, its reserves must be constantly replenished. To do this, you need to properly make your diet. So which foods contain the most vitamin B12?

The products of animal origin are the most rich in this useful substance. That is why vegetarians most often suffer from a lack of cyanocobalamin. The best sources of this vitamin are the following products:

  • beef liver - 60 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 g;
  • octopuses - 20 mcg;
  • chicken liver - 16.6 mcg;
  • mackerel - 12 mcg;
  • sardines - 11 mcg;
  • herring - 10 mcg;
  • beef - 3 mcg;
  • hard cheese - 1.5 mcg;
  • eggs - 0.5 µg;
  • dairy products - 0.4 µg.

Much less vitamin B12 is found in plant foods such as spinach, soy, lettuce, sea kale and yeast.

Indications for use of additives

As mentioned earlier, only a doctor can prescribe treatment with cyanocobalamin after a blood test. The most common indications for the use of vitamin B12 in the form of tablets or injections are the following diseases:

  • dystrophy in children;
  • infectious diseases;
  • liver and kidney disease;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • anemia;
  • chronic stress;
  • neuralgia;
  • trauma to bones;
  • skin diseases;
  • migraine.

However, you need to ensure that the level of this vitamin does not exceed the daily rate, since its excess also negatively affects health, as does its deficiency.A rash, pain in the heart, arrhythmia and excessive nervous excitement may occur.

Eat right and do not self-medicate, and then you will always be healthy.

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