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Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet

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Cobalamin: Learn All About Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is one of the eight B group vitamins. Being water soluble, it is naturally found in meat and other animal products. The body relies on adequate levels of this nutrient together with appropriate folate levels for both to work effectively.

Function

Vitamin B12 is essential for normal function of the brain and nervous system, DNA synthesis and the healthy formation of red blood cells.

Food Source

Vit B12 is readily found in animal products such as liver, kidney, fish, poultry, eggs and milk products. Vit B12, along with other important vitamins, may sometimes be added to soy products.

RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)

The recommended daily intake is 2.4mcg for both males and females aged 14 years and over. It is recommended that children aged 9-13 years old should consume approximately 1.8mcg per day, where as for younger children aged from 1-9 years, the RDI ranges from 0.9mcg to 1.8mcg.

Food Portion Guide

It is easy to ensure you are getting your RDI just by including some meat and/or animal products into your daily diet. For example, just 150g of cooked meat may contain up to 3mcg. One egg will provide approximately 0.6mcg and just one cup of low fat milk can provide up to 1.2mcg, which is half of your RDI.

Possible Symptoms of Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite or weight loss. Older adults and vegetarians are most at risk of developing a deficiency. Cobalamin deficiency is commonly treated with oral supplements or in more severe cases supplementary injections may be required.

Possible Side Effects Of Overdose

While there seems to be no direct adverse effects of having too much vitamin B12 in your system, it does have the potential to interact with other medications. Anyone taking supplements should do so only under the guidance of their medical practitioner.

In summary, most people are able to consume enough Cobalamin through their normal diet and don’t require supplements. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you should consult your local health professional to ensure adequate levels are being achieved.

If you are concerned regarding your vitamin B12 levels, be sure to consult your health professional or Doctor promptly.

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About Author

As Editor in Chief of 'Health & Wellbeing Australia', Lucinda brings over 20 years experience in the Health Industry, with 14 years as a practicing, registered Physiotherapist; specializing in pelvic floor and erectile dysfunction issues, to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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