Vitamin B12 , or cobalamin , is a water-soluble vitamin and, as the term implies, it is soluble in water; it is only partially accumulated in the body, so it must be regularly consumed through food best vitamin patch supplements.
Those who observe or would like to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may have already heard of this vitamin, as often this type of diet may require the use of specific supplements .
Vitamin B12: what it is for
Vitamin B12 is involved in various roles, which are essential to ensure the body functions perfectly . In particular, it is necessary for the metabolism of amino acids, nucleic acids – together with folic acid it assists the synthesis of DNA and RNA – and fatty acids. It is also essential in the production of red blood cells and in the formation of the bone marrow. It also promotes the transformation of nutrients into energy and reduces stress by increasing good mood.
Vitamin B12 and nutrition
Vitamin B12 is present in foods of animal origin where it is found in a coenzymatic form, therefore bound to proteins, and is made available thanks to some gastric enzymes. We find it in particular in:
The amount of vitamin B12 absorbed compared to that actually present in food is 60% for meat and milk, 30-40% for fish products and, according to some studies, less than 10% for eggs. In addition, about a third of the vitamin is lost with cooking.
The daily requirement of vitamin B12 for adults corresponds to about 2-2.4 mcg, a quantity usually taken following a normal diet. However, pregnant or breastfeeding women must take a larger amount , so as to provide the right amount to the fetus.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: what does it involve?
For those who follow a varied and balanced diet it is difficult to record a situation of vitamin B12 deficiency; a condition of this type can occur in subjects who follow a vegan food or when the absorbs mechanism does not function well in the intestine.
In the case of malabsorption , the causes may be: inflammatory diseases, malabsorption diseases (eg celiac disease ), proliferation of bacteria, drugs, decreased gastric acidity especially in the elderly or absence of the intrinsic factor; the latter in fact is responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12.