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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a compound that has elements of metabolism to enable it to be apart of the B complex. It consists of cobalt containing compounds called cobalamins, hydroxocobalamin and two coenzymes known as methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the one used to refer to the use of B12 is foods and also supplements for nutritional purposes.

B12 is not known to be made by plants or animals and is synthesized bacteria and archaea instead. It has a history for treating cases of anemia. Scientists would use dogs that were infected with the disease and give them liver to see if they would become healthy again. They found that liver seemed to improve the situation in the blood. It was up to later scientists to be able to isolate the vitamin found in the liver and use it specifically as a supplement to anemic patients. Patients who have been diagnosed with cyanide poisoning have been given hydroxycobalamin, which was seen to displace the cyanide-affected cells and create a harmless B12 deposit in the urine.

Deficiency of vitamin B12 may result in one of many conditions such as megaloblastic anemia, disorders of the terminal ileum, metformin and other such diseases may occur.

There are many natural sources of B12 found and such examples include meat, especially liver and shellfish, milk and egg products and fortified cereals are an excellent source of this vitamin. Side effects of taking B12 could include irregular cardiovascular activity, dermatelogic reactions to the skin such as rashes and itches, diarrhea and vascular thrombosis all have been reported in recent years.

Although B12 supplements are widely spread, one must be aware of the possible allergic reactions that may occur to an individual taking this product. Nowadays it is very common to see vitamin B12 in other manufactured products. Apart from obvious capsules that are there for supplementary purposes, there exist many other products such as vitamin B12 enriched foods that are fortified such as vitamin-enriched products. These are helpful because natural sources of vitamin A are crucial, but cooking it in any fashion destroys the goodness of it. It is therefore important that enriched foods exist so humans can still acquire their RDA of vitamin B12.

Because this vitamin is cheap to harvest and is grown and cultivated all around the world, it is easy to see why it has become so popular. Used for medicinal and health benefits, it shows how much it has become part of our lives. It is recommended to take a certain amount of vitamins and minerals everyday to help our immune system stay working at 100%. It is also advised not to overdose on certain vitamins and minerals as they may cause serious side effects and affect certain bodily processes.

If you are unsure about taking supplements, contact your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can advise you on the best plan of action and give you more information about specific vitamins and minerals. It is advised to seek consultation especially if you are pregnant or currently taking any medication as this can affect the intake of supplements. Go to a registered pharmacy and make sure you read all the instructions on dosage and follow them strictly. More information can be found on the Internet too.


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