Alternate Names : Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It can dissolve in
water. It is one of the B-complex vitamins. The B complex includes:
Cobalamin is the general name for vitamin B12.
The recommended dietary allowance for adults, called
for vitamin B12 is 2 micrograms (mcg) per day. For pregnant
women, the RDA is 2.2 mcg; for nursing women, it is 2.6 mcg. A
microgram is a very small amount. Since the only dietary sources of
B12 are animal products, strict vegetarians may need to take supplements.
They may also eat foods that have had the vitamin added.
Not getting enough vitamin B12 can cause:
nerve damage, with symptoms such as tingling sensations and
very sensitive skin
muscle and nerve paralysis
Some people have trouble absorbing B12. Other people
may just have poor dietary intake. Anemia can be treated with
injections of B12. Strict vegetarians who eat no animal products,
their infants, and older people are at the highest risk for vitamin
B12 deficiency. For these people, eating fortified foods and/or
taking dietary supplements can help prevent a deficiency. High
intakes of folic acid can hide this type of anemia.
Getting too much vitamin B12 has no known symptoms
or toxicity. Since it is water-soluble, any extra leaves the body in
the urine. There is no proof that taking extra B12 boosts energy.
Vitamins do not provide calories or create energy. Vitamins can
help break down nutrients that yield energy. These nutrients include
carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
is needed to help the body absorb vitamin B12. A deficiency of either
iron or vitamin B6 can decrease the amount of B12 the body is able to