According to WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health emerges from a highly complex interaction between factors intrinsic to the patient and his or her environment. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes, effects, and treatment. This article covers all essential aspects of deficiency of B12 in the human body.
Many factors within the environment influence health, including aspects of the physical environment, biological environment (bacteria, viruses), and social environment.
It also encompasses more distant influences such as the global ecosystem. Environmental changes affect many physiological systems and do not respect boundaries between medical specialties.
What Is A Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin (which means this vitamin can dissolve in water and travel through the blood to the whole body) which is required in our body as for the metabolism in every cell in our body. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes effects and treatment.
It has many functions in the body but the most important is needed for the normal functioning of the nervous system through the synthesis of the myelin sheath, another very important function of cobalamin is development and maturation of RBC (red blood cells) in the bone marrow.
Among all vitamins, it is the largest and most structurally complex vitamin.
Sources of Vitamin B12
The main source of vitamin B12 is meat products and it can be industrially produced by bacterial fermentation-synthesis. The meat products include fish, meat, eggs, and all dairy products but plant food does not contain vitamin B12.
Other dietary sources which contain vitamin B12 are:-
- Fish include tuna and haddock
- Some nutritional yeast products.
- Soya milk and cereals
To achieve good health it is advised to take a balanced diet which should contain all the required vitamins in an appropriate amount for the normal functioning of the body and to avoid the deficiency symptoms.
Vitamin B12 Absorption in Body
let’s see how the Absorption of vitamin B12 takes place. It takes place in two forms.
Protein-bound vitamin B12 food
Digestion and absorption of vitamin B12 start from the stomach and ended in the last part of the small intestine i.e., ileum. When we eat animal food than this vitamin B12 is protein bound.
This protein-bound vitamin when enters the stomach, then stomach started secreting acid and enzymes which help in detaching vitamin B12 from the protein.
In the other process, this vitamin B12 is picked up by R-protein (aka cobalophilin, haptocorrin, and transcobalamin 1) and transferred to the small intestine. This R-protein beside the stomach also found in many human secretions like saliva.
IF (intrinsic factor) secreted by stomach also travels to the small intestine. This IF then carries the cobalamine to the last part of the small intestine, the ileum where its absorption takes place.
Unbound vitamin B12 food
For those who take supplements, vitamin B12 is not bounded to protein. So there is no need for the secretion of the enzyme for the detachment from the protein. To dissolve the supplement which is in the form of tablet stomach acid is needed if the tablet is not chewed.
If supplements taken in large doses than it overcomes the defect of the Intrinsic Factor. In researches, it has been found that unbound vitamin B12, when combined with absorption enhancer gets directly absorbed through the membrane under the tongue through the passive diffusion in the digestive tract.
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