Nutritional & health benefits: helps maintain nerve cells and red blood cells. In research studies, may have a treatment role in heart disease, stroke risk, depression, dementia and other diseases
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an extremely important member of the vitamin B family.
Vitamin B12 is unique in that while it is water-soluble, it is not excreted quickly in the urine, and so a deficiency of vitamin
B12 might not be apparent for a long time. This is serious because vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to MS (multiple sclerosis), asthma, low sperm counts, depression, anemia, along with many other serious health problems.
This means that besides any potential health benefits vitamin B12 may provide, it is critical that health conscious people maintain
proper levels of vitamin B12 as a deficiency can be particularly costly.
Besides its preventative qualities, vitamin B12 also provides a number of health benefits to those who get a large amount of it in their diet.
Just as a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to lowered sperm counts for men, a high level of vitamin B12 has been shown by researchers to actually raise sperm counts.
Vitamin B12 is one of many vitamins in the vitamin B family that has a positive effect on vision. Particularly, having a healthy level of vitamin B12 has been linked to a reduced chance of developing cataracts.
An inadequate supply of vitamin B12 has been linked to above average levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid in the body. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of developing both heart disease and stroke. High levels of homocysteine have also been shown to be a cause of depression, and like vitamin B6, a healthy supply of vitamin B12 has been shown to lower levels of homocysteine and thus reduce risk of heart problems as well as treat depression.
For those looking to add vitamin B12 to their diet, meat is usually the best option. Vitamin B12 can also be found in fish, eggs, dairy products, as well as organ meats.
Vegans are often diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, which means that vegans looking to bolster their vitamin B12 intake may take supplements, or otherwise opt for foods fortified with vitamin B12.
More information about Vitamin B12 around the Web:
Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) - Summaries of the latest research concerning B-12 and chronic disease syndrome, heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke risk, Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer and a variety of other conditions.
What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 - Historical overview, recommended daily intake, symptoms of deficiency, with additional facts on the homocysteine connection, testing
for B12 blood levels, recommended food sources and supplements, and related links to further information.
Vitamin B 12 Deficiency - Clinical manifestations, causes and symptoms, diagnosis, with a complete color diagram illustrating absorption and transport, discussion on therapy alternatives
and follow-up, and related references.