Learn everything about vitamin B12 cyanocobalamine: its benefits, sources, symptoms of deficiency and how it contributes to your general health.

Learn everything about vitamin B12 cyanocobalamine - its benefits, sources, symptoms of deficiency, and how it helps your health in general.

Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamine, is a crucial nutrient that plays a fundamental role in maintaining a healthy organism. It belongs to the B vitamins group and is essential for the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Although the human body cannot produce vitamin B12 by itself, it can be obtained from various food sources or through supplements.

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs

In addition to its role in the production of red blood cells, vitamin B12 is also responsible for the maintenance of nerve cells and brain function. The lack of this important vitamin can cause various health problems, such as anemia, fatigue, weakness and difficulty concentrating. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are specially exposed to the lack of vitamin B12, since plant foods do not contain adequate amounts of this nutrient.

It is estimated that between 10 and 15% of people over 60 can have a lack of vitamin B12.

People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or celiacism, may have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 of food.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 food sources:
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Muscular weakness
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Bad memory
  1. Buey liver
  2. Clams
  3. Tuna
  4. Milk
  5. Yoghurt

Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin: An Essential Nutrient for Your Health

One of the main functions of vitamin B12 is its role in the formation of red blood cells. It plays a crucial role in hemoglobin production, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to all cells in our body. Without the appropriate amounts of vitamin B12, the production of red blood cells is affected, which causes a condition known as vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, difficulty breathing and even neurological problems.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves.

Aside from its involvement in red blood cell production, vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining proper nerve function. Promotes the health and maintenance of the myelin sheath, a protective covering that surrounds nerve fibers and guarantees the rapid transmission of nerve signals. Without enough vitamin B12, the myelin sheath can become damaged, leading to neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, difficulty walking, and memory problems.

To ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12, it is important to follow a balanced diet that includes foods rich in this essential nutrient. Animal foods are the best natural sources of vitamin B12; however, it is also available in fortified plant products and as a dietary supplement. Regular monitoring of vitamin B12 levels and, if necessary, supplementation can help prevent deficiencies and maintain optimal overall health.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is mainly found in foods of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. It is especially important for vegetarians and vegans to make sure they get enough vitamin B12, since it is difficult to obtain it solely from plant sources. This vitamin is involved in multiple metabolic processes in the body, such as the synthesis of DNA, the production of energy from food and the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids.

There are several forms of vitamin B12, but the most common and stable used in supplements and fortified foods is cyanocobalamin. This form of vitamin B12 contains a cyanide molecule, which is easily converted by the body into a harmless substance. Cyanocobalamin, which is a reliable source of vitamin B12, is usually well absorbed by the body.

Important information about vitamin B12:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause various symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and difficulty concentrating.
  • People at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include older adults, people with gastrointestinal disorders, and those following certain dietary restrictions.
  • If you suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Importance of Vitamin B12 for Your Body

1. Energy production:

  • Vitamin B12 is involved in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is a primary source of energy for the body. Without enough B12, energy production can be compromised, leading to fatigue and weakness.
  • This vitamin also helps in the metabolism of fatty acids and proteins, contributing to the overall utilization of energy by the body.

2. Formation of red blood cells:

  1. Vitamin B12 is crucial for the synthesis of red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes. These cells transport oxygen to different parts of the body, ensuring the correct functioning and oxygenation of tissues and organs.
  2. B12 deficiency can lead to reduced red blood cell production, causing a condition known as megaloblastic anemia. Symptoms may include weakness, difficulty breathing, paleness, and dizziness.

“Vitamin B12 is essential for energy production, red blood cell formation, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.”

3. Health of the nervous system:

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the nervous system. It contributes to the production of myelin, a protective covering for nerve fibers. This myelin sheath allows for efficient transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body.

Dietary sources of vitamin B12: Recommended Daily Intake (RDA) for Adults:
Animal products (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy) 2. 4 micrograms
Enriched foods (breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast) It varies; check product labels
Supplements (tablets, injections) It varies; Consult your doctor

To ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12, it is essential to include animal products in your diet or opt for fortified foods and supplements if you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Regular blood tests and consultation with a healthcare professional can help determine B12 levels and assess the need for supplementation.

Dietary Sources of Vitamin B12

There are several dietary sources of vitamin B12 that can help ensure adequate intake of this important nutrient. Foods of animal origin are the richest sources of vitamin B12. Fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna, are especially rich in vitamin B12. Meat and poultry, such as beef, pork, and chicken, are also good sources. Additionally, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and eggs contain vitamin B12. Including these foods in your diet can help you meet your daily vitamin B12 needs.

  • Fish (salmon, trout, tuna)
  • Meat (beef, pork, chicken)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs)

Note: It is important to mention that plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 naturally. Therefore, people who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet should consider the possibility of taking vitamin B12 supplements or consuming food enriched with this essential nutrient.

In addition to animal sources, enriched foods can also be excellent sources of vitamin B12. Many cereal products, such as breakfast and bread cereals, are enriched with vitamin B12. Check products labels to make sure they are enriched with this nutrient.

Common Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Fatigue and weakness: One of the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is the feeling of tiredness and lack of energy. People may experience general weakness and a decrease in the ability to perform daily tasks effectively.
  • Pale or yellowish skin: Another visible symptom of this deficiency is the appearance of pale or yellowish skin. Inadequate levels of vitamin B12 can affect the production of red blood cells, leading to a condition known as anemia.
  • Sensation of tingling and numbness: nervous damage is a potential consequence of vitamin B12 deficiency. Hormigueo or numbness sensations, especially in hands, feet or legs, can be indicative of this neurological problem.

It is important to note that these symptoms may also be related to other medical conditions, so it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to obtain adequate diagnosis.

In addition to the mentioned symptoms, people with vitamin B12 deficiency may also experience digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation or loss of appetite. In addition, changes in their mood, such as depression, irritability or confusion may notice. Cognitive difficulties, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating and cerebral fog, can also be associated with low levels of vitamin B12.

  1. Lack of breath: Due to the decrease in the amount of red blood cells that transport oxygen, people with vitamin B12 deficiency may experience difficulty breathing, even with a minimum physical effort.
  2. Palpitations: As a consequence of inappropriate levels of vitamin B12, irregular heartbeat or a sensation of accelerated beats can occur, which is known as palpitations.
  3. Muscle weakness: vitamin B12 is crucial to maintain adequate muscle function. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause muscle weakness and coordination difficulties.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
Fatigue and weakness
Pale or yellowish skin
Tingling and numbness sensation
Lack of breathing
Muscular weakness

How to Diagnose and Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Diagnosing the lack of vitamin B12 can be difficult, since the symptoms can be vague and nonspecific. Some common signs are fatigue, weakness, difficulty concentrating and sensation of tingling in hands and feet. However, these symptoms can also be attributed to other conditions. Therefore, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to obtain adequate diagnosis. To determine the presence and severity of vitamin B12 deficiency, it is essential to perform a complete medical history, a physical exam and laboratory tests.

Key points:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition characterized by low levels of cobalamine in the body.
  • Symptoms can be nonspecific and can include fatigue, weakness, difficulty concentrating and sensation of tingling.
  • It is important to consult a healthcare professional to obtain a precise diagnosis.

Once the diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is confirmed, appropriate treatment measures can be initiated. The treatment base is to replace vitamin B12 levels through supplements. This can be done by several ways, including oral supplements or injections. The form of vitamin B12 used in supplementation is usually cyanocobalamine, which is a synthetic form of vitamin. The dose and duration of treatment depend on the severity of the deficiency and the underlying cause.

Treatment options Dose Via
Oral supplements 1, 000 to 2, 000 mcg daily Orally
Injections 1, 000 mcg per week Intramuscular

In addition, it is important to address any underlying cause that contributes to deficiency. This may imply diet changes, such as incorporating more foods rich in B12 or modifying the diet to include supplements. In cases where the absorption of B12 is affected by gastrointestinal disorders, it may be necessary to investigate and treat the underlying disease.

Tips for Ensuring Sufficient Vitamin B12 Intake

Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamine, plays a crucial role in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system and in the formation of red blood cells. However, many people, in particular vegetarians, vegans and older adults, can run the risk of lacking due to limited dietary intake or a reduced capacity to absorb vitamin. To guarantee optimal levels of B12, take into account the following tips:

  1. Include foods rich in vitamin B12 in your diet: foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs and dairy products are excellent sources of vitamin B12. For people who follow a plant s-based diet, consider the possibility of incorporating fortified cereals, dairy alternatives of plant origin and nutritional yeast, which are often enriched with B12.
  2. Supplementation may be necessary: if your diet lacks the adequate amount of vitamin B12 or if you suffer from a disease that hinders its absorption, a vitamin B12 supplement can help you meet your needs. Consult a healthcare professional to determine the dose and the appropriate supplementation shape.
  3. Pay attention to your intestinal health: a healthy intestine is crucial for the absorption of vitamin B12. If you suffer from any digestive disorder or have undergone gastrointestinal surgical intervention, consider the possibility of consulting with your doctor if you need additional help for optimal absorption of vitamin B12.

Did you know what? The lack of vitamin B12 can cause anemia, nerve injuries and even psychiatric disorders. It is important to prioritize the obtaining of sufficient B12 to maintain general health and prevent possible complications.

The following table provides an overview of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 depending on the age and stage of life:

Stage of life Recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 (in micrograms)
Infants (0-6 months) 0.4
Infants (7-12 months) 0.5
Children (1-3 years) 0.9
Children (4-8 years) 1.2
Children (9-13 years) 1.8
Teenagers and adults 2.4
Pregnant women 2.6
Women in breastfeeding 2.8

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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