VITAMIN B12 (CYANOCOBALAMIN)

The best sources of vitamin B12 – cyanocobalamin:

Product Serving sizeCalories Amount (mcg)DRI/DV (%)Nutrient densityQuality
Veal liver120g18741.469066.4Excellent
Sardines120g1918.213712.9Excellent
Shrimps120g1121.728.24.5Very good
Salmon120g2623.354.23.7Very good
Beef120g2402.948.73.6Very good
Lamb120g2292.540.83.2Good
Cod120g1191.219.73Good
Yoghurt1 cup1551.4132.7Good
Skimmed milk1 cup1210.914.82.2Good
Eggs 1680.58.22.2Good

FUNCTIONS

The beneficial effects of products rich in vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin):

  • Support the production of red blood cells and prevent anemia;
  • Enable normal development of the nerve cells;
  • Assist the cells in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Which indications require consumption of more products rich in vitamin B12?

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Problems with memory;
  • Red tongue or sores on the tongue;
  • Tingling or exhaustion in the feet;
  • Heart palpitations.

THE IMPACT OF STORAGE, PROCESSING AND COOKING

If derived from products of animal origin, the cyanocobalamin remains quite intact during the cooking. Preservation of vitamin B12 in products of plant origin, such as the tempeh, has not been studied sufficiently.

PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences established the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) by age for vitamin B12. Values for infants under one year old were established in the form of Adequate Intake (AI) levels. The recommendations are as follows:

  • 0-6 months: 0.4 mcg
  • 6-12 months: 0.5 mcg
  • 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
  • 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
  • 14+ years: 2.4 mcg
  • Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg
  • Lactating women: 2.8 mcg

The FDA established 6 mcg per day as the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B12 intake. This value could be found on the food labels.

WHY DO WE NEED PRODUCTS RICH IN CYANOCOBALAMIN?

Vitamin B12 is unusual considering its origin. While most of the vitamins are produced by the plants or certain animals, no plant or animal can produce this vitamin. Its only source are microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, mold and algae. Despite the unusual origin, the cyanocobalamin is very important for our health, because it affects the blood, the nervous system,  the energy levels and general health on the whole. Like most of the vitamins, it can found in different forms and with different names, such as cobamide, cobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, cyanocobalamin and the cobalamin nitrite. All these names contain the word cobalt, because it is in the middle of the molecule. By consuming products rich in vitamin B12 we increase the body consumption of this important nutrient as well as other nutrients which act synergistically with it. This process stimulates its physiological function and contributes to optimal health.

THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF THE CYANOCOBALAMIN ON THE HEALTH

Production of red blood cells

The best known function of the cyanocobalamin is the production of red blood cells. During the growth of the cells, they need information which contain DNA molecules. Without vitamin B12, it comes to a halt in the synthesis of DNA, and also to a halt of the information processing needed for the division of the red blood cells. Newly created cells are too big, malformed and are not efficient, and therefore it comes to pernicious anemia. In most of the cases this anemia has not been caused by cyanocobalamin deficiency, but by lack of intrinsic factor, proteins necessary for the absorption of this vitamin.

Development of the nerve cells

Another important function of vitamin B12 is the participation in the development of the nerve cells. The myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves, cannot be formed properly if there is not sufficient amount of this vitamin. Also the metabolism of the carbohydrates, the proteins and the fats, depends on vitamin B12.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR CYANOCOBALAMIN DEFICIENCY AND ITS SYMPTOMS?

Gastric problems can contribute to cyanocobalamin deficiency in the body. First, irritability and inflammation of the stomach can prevent the normal functioning of the stomach cells, and thus the secretion of the intrinsic factor. Second, the lack of gastric juice can lead to its deficiency, because it is required for its release from the proteins.

The cyanocobalamin deficiency can cause a lot of symptoms, such as dandruff, anxiety, reduced blood clotting, pallor, depression, fatigue, memory problems, weak pulse and menstrual problems.

Excessive intake of folic acid can conceal the cyanocobalamin deficiency.

CAN WE CONSUME TOO MUCH CYANOCOBALAMIN?

Dietary cyanocobalamin is not toxic and therefore, the Medical Institute did not establish the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for it.