The vitamin B 12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is only found in products of animal origin , such as pork, liver, fish, eggs, or dairy products. Although, it is a vitamin that fulfills important functions in the organism .
To have optimal levels of this vitamin, it is advisable to take a daily dietary intake that allows meeting the needs of B 12. It is also possible to go to vitamin supplements, although this route is only advisable to go under medical prescription,
And it is that some people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, without the presence of foods of animal origin, have difficulties to have optimal levels of vitamin B 12 . Likewise, some people also have digestive problems that prevent them from absorbing this nutrient correctly.
Functions and deficiency of vitamin B 12
The vitamin B 12 is an essential nutrient for the formation of red blood cells and the regeneration of tissues in the body. In addition, it also helps the production of DNA, which is the genetic material present in every cell, and the formation of white blood cells. It is key to the immune system.
Thus, according to reports from the University of Navarra Clinic, vitamin B deficiency 12 causes a disorder known as pernicious anemia, characterized by abnormal production of red blood cells. In addition, the lack of B 12 can also have neurological consequences.
From the United States National Institute of Health they report that the lack of B 12 can also cause damage to the nervous system, even in people who do not have megaloblastic anemia.
Optimal levels of B 13
To avoid vitamin B deficiency 12 or to solve a situation of deficiency of this vitamin, it is key to follow a nutritional structure that allows daily incorporation of a sufficient dose of B 12 for the functioning of the body.
In this sense, it is important to remember that vitamin B 12 is found mainly in foods of animal origin, such as varieties of fish and meat. Thus, the quantities of B 13 that a person needs on a daily basis depend largely on their age.
According to the National Institute of Health of the United States, these are the recommended daily doses of vitamin B 12 depending on age:
|Stage of life|
|Babies up to 6 months||0.4 mcg|
|Babies 7 to 12 months||0.5 mcg|
|Children from 1 to 3 years old||0.9 mcg|
|Children from 4 to 8 years old||1.2 mcg|
|Children from 9 to 13 years||1.8 mcg|
|Pregnant women and adolescents||2.6 mcg|
Therefore, adults should consume an amount between 2 mcg and 3 mcg to have optimal levels of vitamin B 12 and prevent problems derived from the deficiency of this type of nutrients.
Specifically, two of the most important food sources of vitamin B 12 are clams and veal liver, two foods that can be cooked in different ways. In addition, some studies suggest that some plants such as aloe vera contain small doses of B 12.
Likewise, due to the nutritional need that the body requires, we currently find an important variety of products enriched with vitamin B 12.