What is Vitamin B12 and why is it so critical? Vitamin B₁₂, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in metabolism. Vitamin B12 or B9 (commonly called folate) deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that can’t function properly.
Thus, a B12 vitamin deficiency can various adverse effects on the human body. Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in a small amount by the body for the proper functioning of its metabolism. These vitamins are not synthesized in the body and hence need to be obtained either by dietary supplement or from medication.
We will discuss the B12 deficiency symptoms in this article.
Vitamin B12 Explained
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin of animal origin. It is available as a dietary supplement. It is naturally present in some food items. There is a crucial role of vitamin B12 in the 1-carbon pathway. The 1-carbon pathway is involved in many biological functions such as immune response. It is found effective in mitochondrial metabolism and nucleotide homeostasis. (Ducker, 2016)
Many experts have found that the deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to deleterious effects such as anemia and many other clinical manifestations. The body should have an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 to meet the daily demands.
How Much Vitamin B12 Do I Need?
The average recommended amounts, measured in micrograms (mcg), vary by age:
- Infants up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
- Babies age 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- Children age 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
- Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
- Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg
- Adults: 2.4 mcg
(Next, let’s look at the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency).