Vitamin B12 is a vitamin, which is soluble in water and exists naturally in some fruits and vegetables, added to others and is also available on market as a dietary supplement and medication for various health problems (Vitamin B12, 2016). As it comes in several forms and contains cobalt, a mineral, because of which compounds with vitamin B12 are called “cobalamins”. Especially, in human metabolism, two forms of vitamin B12 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin play an active role (Vitamin B12, 2016). Because of its efficient roles within the body, a vitamin B12 deficiency can reveal itself in various negative symptoms, which can be easily noticed, such as mood disorders like depression, potential chronic fatigue, and chronic stress (Axe, 2017). Common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are joint pain, feeling dizzy, poor memory, mood changes, heart problems and palpitations, muscles aches, chronic fatigue, poor appetite, and digestive problems, to name a few (Axe, 2017).
Vitamin B12 is needed for neurological function within the human body, proper red blood cells formation, and DNA synthesis. Apart from that, it functions as a co-factor for L-methyl malonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase (Vitamin B12, 2016). Pernicious anemia is an auto MMU disease, which is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and affects the gastric mucosa and leads to gastric atrophy. Consequently, it results in the destruction of parietal cells, and achlorhydria, which results finally in the malabsorption of vitamin B1 (Combs, 1992). If pernicious anemia is left unmedicated, it leads to vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in megaloblastic anemia and various neurological ailments, even in the attendance of satisfactory dietary consumption of vitamin B12 (Vitamin B12, 2016). Vitamin B12 is crucial for helping in and preventing memory loss and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Apart from that, it helps neuro system to work properly and boosts mood. Vitamin B12 is also important for cognitive processes and concentration, such as learning (Axe, 2017). It plays a significant role in maintaining heart health, healthy skin, nails, hair and cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 helps skin health by minimizing dryness, redness, acne blemishes, and inflammation (Axe, 2017).
Combs G. Vitamin B12 in The Vitamins. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1992.
Vitamin B12. (2016). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/#en3. Accessed on 12 March 2017.
Axe, J. (2017). Vitamin B12 Benefits That You’re Probably Missing. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/vitamin-b12-benefits/. Accessed on 12 March 2017.