Vitamin B12

B12 is an essential vitamin of a vitamin family called the B complex, which participates in various processes throughout the body. It is the largest and chemically most complex vitamin.


Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin. It is necessary for the development and maintenance of a healthy nervous system, the formation of DNA and the formation of red blood cells. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to a condition known as megaloblastic anemia.

Unlike other B-group vitamins that can not be stored in the body and must be administered daily, our body has the ability to store vitamin B12 in the liver, needed for more than a year, so the lack of this vitamin is a rare occurrence .


The lack of vitamin B12 occurs when the body does not get enough or can not absorb the amount of vitamin that it needs. Many people over 50 years of age lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food and it is recommended to take it through supplements.

The risk groups include people who follow a strict vegetarian diet, because the best source of B12 is exactly meat. Especially large is the risk of vegans who do not consume products of animal origin at all. Babies whose mothers are vegetarians may be suffering from a deficiency of vitamin B12.

Alcoholics are also a risky group and should be careful about the amount of vitamin B12 introduced.

The lack of vitamin B12 is not common. It develops slowly, so the symptoms gradually increase the intensity. When there is an acute shortage of vitamin B12 in the body, some of the symptoms are:

  • Weakness, fatigue, lack of energy or dizziness;
  • Diarrhea and constipation;
  • Incontinence;
  • Problems with concentration;
  • Accelerated heart rhythm and rapid breathing;
  • Inflamed tongue or bleeding gums;
  • Pale and yellowish skin.

If this condition is not treated, the long-standing lack of vitamin B12 can lead to damage to the nerve cells and cause symptoms such as:

  • Depression;
  • Hallucinations;
  • Loss of balance;
  • Confusion and serious memory problems;
  • Stiffness or tingling of the hands and feet.


The recommended daily doses of this vitamin vary in age and are as follows:

  • Neonates (0-6 months) – 0,4μg;
  • Neonates (7-12 months) – 0.5μg;
  • Children (1-3 years) – 0.9μg;
  • Children (4-8 years) – 1.2μg;
  • Children (9-13 years) – 1,8μg;
  • Adolescents and adults (14 years and up) – 2.4μg;
  • Pregnant women – 2.6μg;
  • Lactating women – 2.8μg.


Food from animal origin is a natural source of vitamin B12, but today many products, such as cereals, are enriched with this vitamin. To enter sufficient amounts of vitamin B12, it is recommended to consume:

  • Fish;
  • Eggs;
  • Red meat ;
  • Milk and dairy products.
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