Vitamin-B12

Vitamin-B12 ~ Vitamins

An unusual vitamin formed by microorganisms like bacteria and yeast (and found in the various and sundry animals that ingest them).

Why you need it: It plays a key role in developing blood cells and nerve cells and processing protein.

It also helps protect persons with anemia and gastrointestinal disorders.

Vitamins are an important part of our growth and development.

I think that's pretty obvious.

Our bodies need vitamins in order to continue living a healthy life.

But there are many things that we don't know about vitamins.

Most of us have no idea on how they function to make our bodies healthier.

What we do know, is that we need them and should be included in our daily diet.

There are many kinds of vitamins that act together to make us healthy.

They function with our bodily processes in order to make our organs function in top condition.

These vitamins help stimulate certain chemical reactions that help in building this extremely sophisticated chemical machine, that we call our bodies.

Not one vitamin can work well without the other.

We need to have some idea on how some of these nutrients work.

Knowing how they help make us healthy would give us an idea on how to take care of our bodies.

One of the most important vitamins that our body needs is Cyanocobalamin or otherwise known as vitamin-B12.

B12 is known as the most chemically complex of all the vitamins.

It forms part of the "eight" water soluble B vitamins.

B12 is needed for a number of bodily processes that keeps the body always up and running smoothly.

This vitamin is essential for the manufacture and maintenance of red blood cells in the body.

They are also needed in the synthesis of DNA, stimulate the nerve cells and promote overall growth.

Cyanocobalamin is considered as one of the most potent vitamins around.

It's been discovered through the studies on pernicious anemia.

Scientists in the study found that this condition can be reversed by giving afflicted patients large amounts of raw liver.

It was later discovered that the active ingredient found to be responsible for the turn around was the B12 vitamin.

Cyanocobalamin is vital to the body for maintaining healthy nerve cells.

This vitamin also aids in the healthy production of the body’s DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material where all body processes originate from.

Vitamin-B12 is also considered as an anti-stress vitamin because it's been known to boost the body’s immune system and enhance the body’s ability to endure stressful situations.

B12 deficiency can usually be caused by the lack of a substance that allows the body to absorb the vitamin from the digestive system.

Such deficiencies can cause a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breathe, diarrhea, nervousness and numbness in the extremities.

Vitamin-B12 deficiency will cause your brain to shrink, you may lose memory or experience confusion.

One indication that you might be deficient is the appearance of lines or ridges on your fingernails and/or the disappearance of the moons at the bottoms of your fingernails.

Methylcobalamin is the bioactive form, so look on your label to make sure you have that form of B12.

Healthy amounts of B12 vitamins are usually sourced from meat and seafood.

They're also found naturally occurring in eggs, milk, fish, beef, liver, blue cheese and other meat products.

Unfortunately, this vitamin is not available from plant sources.

Vegetarians may need to get their vitamin B12 from supplements available in the market.

Fortified breakfast cereals can also be an important source of Vitamin-B12 for vegetarians.

There are also other products available that may be able to provide vegetarians with the vitamin-B12 that they need daily.

There are soy-based products available that have been fortified with vitamin B12 that can be safe for vegans to consume.

There are also a variety of fortified energy bars that vegetarians can resort to for their daily Vitamin-B12 needs.

The benefits of vitamin-B12

Vitamin-B12, also known as Cobalmin, is one of the most essential vitamin our body needs for it to maintain a healthy and normal lives every day.

The B12 vitamin is required to process the fats, proteins and carbohydrates from the food we eat in our daily diets to form energy.

Aside from producing energy, the B12 vitamin is also known to prevent several diseases.

It's known to prevent heart diseases and makes sure that our immunity system is working in tip top shape.

How does vitamin-B12 achieve this?

By maintaining the health of red blood cells and keeping it free from impurities.

It also protects our nerves by covering it with a protective shell.

The B12 vitamin creates an outer layer of fatty tissues around the nerves which protects it from impurities.

All of the nerves in the body require this protective layer but it is most needed by the nerves that run to the brain.

Insufficient amounts of the B12 can result in improper functioning of the brain.

But the most important function of the B12 vitamin is its ability to form healthy red blood cells.

All cells of our bodies require this vitamin to function normally.

They simply would not be able to do their jobs without B12 vitamins.

The white blood cells, for example, depend on the B12 vitamin to help it maintain the proper functioning and effectiveness of the immune system.

Fortunately for us, our bodies only need a small amount of this vitamin on a daily basis.

The truth is, we normally consume more than our bodies require.

Usually, only 50% of the vitamin-B12 we consume are absorbed by the body.

The rest is stored and is afterwards recycled.

This prevents the body from suffering from a B12 vitamin deficiency.

Good sources of this vitamin include liver, eggs, fish and meat.

People on a strict vegetarian diet may require to consume B12 vitamin supplements because they might not be getting enough in their meatless and fishless diet.

A shortage of the B12 vitamin can result in anemia, or the deficiency of red blood cells.

Symptoms of anemia include unusual tiredness and other lethargic conditions.

This is because the lack of the B12 vitamin causes the red blood cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body.

Small children are prone to suffer from anemia usually because of their improper diet.

Pregnant women are also vulnerable to anemia because the unborn child inside them tends to rob them of their B12 vitamins.

To make sure that the body has a steady supply of B12 vitamins, we must make sure that we eat a balanced diet which includes meat and meat products.

What sets the B12 vitamin apart from other vitamins is that animal products are the only reliable source.

In cases where you feel like you you are not getting enough B12 vitamins or if you're a vegetarian, then it's advisable that you take vitamin-B12 supplements.

The importance of the B12 vitamins cannot be stressed enough.

It is a very important vitamin that our body cannot do without.

So make sure that you are getting the right amount of vitamin-B12 by eating a balanced diet.

Good Sources:

Clams (3 ounces, 126 calories) 1404 percent daily value

Duck liver (3 ounces, 114 calories) 756 percent d.v.

Oysters (6 ounces, 250 calories) 720 percent d.v.

Calf liver (4 ounces, 187 calories) 690 percent d.v.

Rainbow trout (3 ounces, 130 calories) 90 percent d.v.

Top sirloin (3 ounces, 160 calories) 25 percent d.v.

Skim yogurt (1 cup, 137 calories) 25 percent d.v.

Milk (1 cup, 121 calories) 14 percent d.v.

Lean cured ham (3 ounces, 130 calories) 10 percent d.v.

Hard-boiled egg (80 calories) 10 percent d.v.

Chicken breast (140 calories) 6 percent d.v.

One thing you might notice is that although it definitely has protein, chicken is not a very good source of vitamin-B12.

You’d have to eat almost a whole chicken to get the same amount of B12 as you can get in just one large egg.

Also, now that you’re getting more B12 from the food you eat, be careful not to block your body from taking it in.

Reflux and ulcer drugs like Pepcid, Prilosec and Zantac, plus some diabetes drugs, can stop absorption of B12.

So, if you're wondering how to get more into your diet, might we suggest the following recipe;

Mushroom, Tomato & Basil Frittata

This quick and easy frittata gives you a healthy meal you can enjoy any time of day in very little time and with minimal effort.

The basil adds a delicious flavor as well as additional health benefits.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 med. onion, minced

3 med. cloves garlic, pressed

1+1 Tbs. chicken broth

1 c. thinly sliced Crimini mushrooms

1/2 med. tomato, seeds removed, and diced

3 Lge. free range eggs

3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Preparation;

Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.

Heat 1 Tbs. broth in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet.

Sauté onion over medium low heat 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add garlic, mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add 1 Tbs. broth, tomato, salt, pepper and cook for another minute.

Stir well and gently scrape pan with a wooden spoon to remove any slight burning.

Beat eggs well and season with salt and pepper.

Mix in chopped basil.

Pour eggs over vegetables evenly and turn heat to low.

Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until firm.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes 2 Servings

Chef's Tips:

Using a 10-inch pan will keep vegetables from spreading out too much and overcooking.

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