Vitamine B12

Cyanocobala-What? Oh Yes. Vitamin B12!

An Essential Vitamin for the Body

When you hear B12, do you want to shout bingo! every time? All kidding aside, did you know that this is also the name of a very important vitamin? Also known as cobalamin or cyanocobalamin, this vitamin is essential and plays vital roles in your body. Its functions are often underestimated, but a deficiency in this vitamin can be fatal. Here are several tips to ensure that you meet your daily vitamin B12 needs.

The Roles and Functions of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 contributes to the proper functioning of your nerve cells and your cognitive functions. In fact, research has shown that you may have a poorer memory if your supply of this vitamin is very low. B12 also helps to improve your mood while reducing depressive symptoms. The comprehension of this mechanism is not yet well understood, but the metabolism of serotonin, the happiness hormone, would be involved. Indeed, this neurotransmitter is a real mood regulator!

Apart from its role in the brain, vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and DNA synthesis.

What Happens If You Are Deficient in Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a suboptimal intake of foods containing vitamin B12 or by a stomach disorder. You should know that the absorption of vitamin B12 is done via the stomach with the formation of a complex between the intrinsic factor and the vitamin. If the environment is inadequate, the complex will not form properly.

When your blood levels of B12 are very low, doctors can see an alteration in the formation of your red blood cells, which results, in the long term, in megaloblastic or pernicious anemia.

  • For Pregnant Women...

    In the case of a pregnant woman, a deficiency during the first trimester can increase the risk of complications, particularly during the formation of the fetus. Like folic acid, vitamin B12 contributes to the formation of the neural tube during gestation. For a healthy baby, all you need to do is eat a variety of foods and meet all your vitamin and mineral needs!

What Is Megaloblastic and Pernicious Anemia?

Megaloblastic anemia refers to a problem with the formation of red blood cells. The red blood cells are larger, but there are fewer of them in your blood. This type of anemia occurs when there is a deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12. Pernicious anemia produces the same result as megaloblastic anemia, except that it seems to occur as a result of decreased levels of intrinsic factor in your stomach, which interferes with the absorption of B12. This often happens when cells in your stomach are damaged.

Food and Vitamin B12

This vitamin is mainly produced by bacterial synthesis. That is why it is mostly found in animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products). B12 is not found in plant products unless they are fortified.

  • The Case of Nutritional Yeast

    For example, you will find nutritional yeast on the supermarket shelves in a form fortified with vitamin B12. Fortification with this vitamin is not mandatory, so be sure to check the labels!

Vitamin B12 for vegetarians

Wondering how to easily meet your vitamin B12 needs if you don’t eat meat? If you are a vegetarian, but eat fish, milk and eggs, don’t worry about your serum cobalamin levels!

If your diet excludes all animal products, then consider including fortified foods. The industry typically adds vitamin B12 to plant-based beverages, meat substitutes and many other products that vegans consume on a regular basis. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts table! Also, by adding nutritional yeast to many of your dishes, you will easily reach the recommended intake!

Do you need to take a vitamin B12 supplement?

If you consider yourself an omnivore and regularly eat a variety of animal foods, a supplement won’t do you any good. However, if you do not eat animal products, a supplement should be considered.

  • Choose Fortified Foods!

    We suggest that you choose fortified foods before you choose the supplement! Fortified foods will provide you with other essential and important nutrients on a daily basis, while the supplement will only provide you with vitamin B12.

Now there’s no excuse for not getting enough vitamin B12 – or for mixing it with a bingo number. With proper intake, you’ll be in top shape, as well as a pro at playing memory games against your friends!