Vitamin B12: the foods that contain it and the symptoms of a possible deficiency. The role of vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Just like vitamin PP (also known as vitamin B3) and folic acid (also known as vitamin B9), B12 also belongs to the B vitamins.
When we talk aboutvitamin B12we refer to a series of chemically related substances and which play similar roles. The vitamins B12they are compounds that have a cobalt core and for these they are called cobalamines. Cobalt for our body would be toxic but in vitamin B12 it is contained in a functional form.
Vitamin B12, deficiency and need
Therevitamin B12 deficiency it is known by the term ofpernicious anemia characterized by iron alterations. This disease is characterized by low levels of red blood cells. Therevitamin B12, in fact, it is fundamental for the synthesis process of red blood cells;vitamin B9or folic acid.
Therequirementdaily ofvitamin B12is reduced but still essential: thedaily dose of vitamin B12required for the adult is about 2 - 2.5 µg. The unit of measurement "µg" represents the microgram, it is a submultiple of the gram and corresponds exactly to one millionth of a gram (1μg = 10–6 g). Our body, to avoidshortcomingsan estimated reserve of 4 mg ofvitamin B12.
Thanks to these reserves to the low need in adults (only 2 - 2.5 µg), our body is able to meet the need for vitamin B12 for a long time even if it is not taken in through food.
Just as happens with theacid folic, also therequirement of vitamin B12 increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid
L'folic acid, just like thevitamin B12, is part of the B vitamins.folic acidit is essential for the synthesis of DNA, some proteins andhemoglobin. Hemoglobin is present in red blood cells and contains iron. This explains the nutritional importance of the triadvitamin B12, vitamin B9 (or folic acid) and the mineral iron.
The two vitamins are closely related. Avitamin B12 deficiencycan cause afolic acid deficiencyand the deficiency of both vitamins can cause significant anemia. For more information on thevitamin B9I refer you to the page: how to take folic acid.
Vitamin B12, sources and foods
What are the foods that contain vitamin B12? The sources ofvitamin B12they are essentially of animal origin, which is why a vegetarian diet can run into this deficiency. Therevitamin B12it is expressed in beef, liver, milk, dairy products and eggs. Here are foods that contain a lot of vitamin B12 also suitable for type vegetarians lacto- ovo-vegetarians:
- Mozzarella cheese
- Egg (especially the yolk)
Other foods that provide high amounts of vitamin B12: bovine liver, mussels, sardines, mackerel, salmon.
Are there fruits and vegetables with vitamin B12? There vitamin B12it is contained in somealgaebut it is considered poorly bioavailable for the human body.
Vitamin B12 based supplement
There are many vitamin B12-based supplements on the market but not all of them are compatible for those who follow a pure vegan or vegetarian diet.
A vitamin B12 supplement is easy to find in pharmacies but excellent products can be found by taking advantage of the online purchase.
For the sake of completeness, I refer you to the page of two very valid food supplements, suitable for an ethical (vegan) lifestyle and excellent value for money.
Methylcobalamin is one of the chemical names for vitamin B12. One bottle contains 180 tablets and satisfies the daily requirement of vitamin B12 for six months. The product can be bought with 14.87 euros on Amazon. For every information:Methylcobalamin 1000.