Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Role in the Body & Benefits

Role in the Body
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is necessary for cell growth and division and healthy red blood cells. It is also involved in the formation of the myelin coat of nerve cells and is needed for proper digestion and absorption of food.

Dietary Sources
B12 is found in animal sources such as beef and lamb kidneys, beef, calf, and pork livers, fish, eggs, and small amounts are found in soybean products.

Who is at Risk for Deficiency?
You may be at risk if you are a strict vegetarian or vegan or if you are over the age 50. You may need additional B12 if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, smoke, or take drugs for heartburn or ulcers, or if you have been on prescription potassium supplements for a long time.

Prevents anemia.

No known toxicity. High doses of vitamin C should not be taken within an hour of B12.

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