Guest Author - Colleen Moore, RN
When you are learning about the vitamins your body needs to survive, you may notice that there are a number of vitamins listed. However, each is important in specific ways. Vitamin B12 is another part of the vitamin B complex, and without it, our metabolism would be affected. Vitamin B 12 is also important in helping to form red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, and in maintaining the nervous systems, which sends messages to and from the brain to tell us that things are hot, painful, itchy, moving, and so forth.
Vitamins fall into two general categories. The first are called fat-soluble vitamins and include vitamins E and K, among others. These vitamins can be stored in the body and, in some cases, produced by the body, so deficiency is very rare. However, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. While is can be stored, in some cases, it cannot be used properly. Therefore, eating is every day is very important to our bodies. If we do not, our bodies cannot function properly. If you believe that you are not getting enough vitamin B12, you should talk to a doctor he or she can help you find the right vitamin supplements to take, so this will not be a problem.
Of course, your diet is the best way to get vitamin B12 into your body. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you should not have to worry about not have to worry about have lower or higher than normal levels of vitamin B12 in the body. However, if you have special dietary needs or medical conditions, vitamin supplements may be needed. You can find fairly high levels of vitamin B 12 in eggs, poultry, beef, pork, shellfish, and dairy products, especially milk.
Because vitamin B12 is one of the few vitamins that can be stored in the body, extreme deficiency is very rare. However, if you body cannot use vitamin B12 properly or absorb it from foods in the intestinal tract, you may need vitamin supplements to help your body. Vegans are especially prone to this and should take vitamin supplements, since most of the vitamin B12 we get in our diets is found in meat. If you donít get enough vitamin B12, you develop a condition known as pernicious anemia. Symptoms include numbness and tingling in your arms and legs, weakness, low of balance, and other neurological symptoms. If you are worried about developing pernicious anemia, you should talk to your doctor about beginning to take vitamin B12 supplements today.