Friday, December 22, 2006

The Importance of the 12 B vitamin

The 12 B vitamin is one of the b vitamins that are essential to maintain a healthy body. Otherwise known as Cobalamin, the 12b vitamin is needed for the processes to convert the carbohydrates, fats and proteins from food into energy. 12 B also, more importantly, helps keep the red blood cells healthy and therefore prevent heart disease as well as keeping the immune system functioning at its maximum level. In addition, 12 B is used to create the protective covering of all nerve cells in the body.

The most important function of 12 B is to form healthy red blood cells. However, all cells need 12 B to keep them healthy. It is the white blood cells, amongst others, that need 12 B to help ensure that the immune system functioning properly. All of the nerve cells in the body also need 12 B to form their protective fatty layer. This is essential for all of the nerves but is especially so for those in the brain. If there is not sufficient 12 B to create this protective layer then the brain will not be functioning properly.

Interestingly, the amount of 12 B that the body needs is relatively small but is needed on a regular basis. However, 12 B on its own is not enough, as the body cannot absorb it easily. To help the body absorb 12 B the stomach produces intrinsic factor that enables more of the 12 B to be absorbed. 12 B is only found in animal foods such as liver, eggs, fish and meat but most people consume far more than their recommended daily amount of 12 b. This is not a problem as the body can only absorb about half of the 12 B that is consumed. It is also worth noting that the body can recycle the 12 B that cuts down on the impact of a 12 B deficiency. However, strict vegetarians or vegans are likely to require 12 B supplements if they do not eat any animal products that contain 12 b.

If the body does not have enough 12 B then anaemia is the most obvious symptom. Obviously, this is due to the fact that there is not enough 12 B to make healthy red blood cells. Anaemia can also be caused by the body not creating enough intrinsic factor to help absorb the 12 B that is available in the food consumed. The body tends to makes less intrinsic factor once a person reaches 50 and this will lead to less 12 B being absorbed and supplements of 12 B may be required. Kids are also at risk from anaemia because they may not eat the food that contain 12 b. Pregnant women need more 12 B because the baby is absorbing 12 B during the pregnancy to grow properly.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

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