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The Importance Of The Vitamin B12

By Alexander Tesla

The vitamin B12 is one of the B vitamins that are important to maintain a healthy body. Otherwise known as Cobalamin, the Vitamin B12 is required for the processes to change the carbohydrates, fats and proteins from food into energy. Vitamin B12 also, more importantly, helps maintain the red blood cells healthy and therefore prevent heart disease as well as maintaining the immune system functioning at its maximum level. In addition, Vitamin B12 is used to produce the protective covering of all nerve cells in the body.

The most important function of Vitamin B12 is to produce healthy red blood cells. Nevertheless, all cells need Vitamin B12 to keep them healthy. It is the white blood cells, amongst others, that need Vitamin B12 to assist make certain that the immune system is working properly. All of the nerve cells in the body also need Vitamin B12 to form their protective fatty layer. This really is essential for all of the nerves but is particularly so for those in the brain. If there is not sufficient Vitamin B12 to create this protective layer then the brain will not be working properly.

Interestingly, the quantity of Vitamin B12 that the body needs is rather small but is required on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Vitamin B12 on its own is not enough as the body cannot absorb it very easily. To assist the body absorb Vitamin B12, the stomach produces intrinsic factor (IF) which enables more of the Vitamin B12 to be absorbed. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods such as liver, eggs, fish and meat but most individuals consume far much more than their suggested daily quantity of Vitamin B12 . This is not a problem as the body can only absorb about half of the Vitamin B12 that is consumed. It is also worth keeping in mind that the body can recycle the Vitamin B12 which cuts down on the impact of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Nevertheless, strict vegetarians or vegans are most likely to require Vitamin B12 supplements considering that they do not eat any animal products that contain Vitamin B12

If the body does not have enough Vitamin B12 then anemia is the most obvious symptom. Obviously, this is due to the fact that there is not enough Vitamin B12 to make healthy red blood cells. Anemia can also be caused by the body not creating enough intrinsic factor to help absorb the Vitamin B12 that is accessible in the food consumed.

The body tends to make much less intrinsic factor once a person reaches 50 and this will lead to much less Vitamin B12 being absorbed and supplements of Vitamin B12 might be required. Kids are also at risk from anemia because they might not eat the food that contain Vitamin B12. Pregnant women require more Vitamin B12 simply because the baby is absorbing Vitamin B12 during the pregnancy to grow properly.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Tesla, Alexander "The Importance Of The Vitamin B12." The Importance Of The Vitamin B12. 6 Jul. 2010. 5 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Tesla, A (2010, July 6). The Importance Of The Vitamin B12. Retrieved September 5, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Tesla, Alexander "The Importance Of The Vitamin B12"

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