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B12 Consultation

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45 mins.
Jedburgh, Gateshead, Ireland £55.
London £99.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. Here are some important aspects of vitamin B12:

1. Function:

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It helps in preventing a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, which results in fatigue and weakness.

  • It is also involved in the synthesis of DNA, which is crucial for the normal functioning of cells, particularly in the nervous system.

  • Vitamin B12 supports the maintenance of healthy nerve cells, aids in the formation of the myelin sheath (a protective covering of nerves), and is crucial for neurological function.

2. Sources:

  • Natural dietary sources of vitamin B12 primarily come from animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

  • Plant-based sources of vitamin B12 are limited. Some fortified foods, like cereals, plant-based milk alternatives, and nutritional yeast, may contain added B12.

3. Absorption:

  • Vitamin B12 requires a compound called intrinsic factor, which is produced by the stomach lining, for proper absorption.

  • Absorption of vitamin B12 mainly occurs in the small intestine.

4. Deficiency:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, poor memory, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. It can also lead to neurological problems if left untreated.

  • People at risk of B12 deficiency include strict vegetarians and vegans, older adults (due to reduced stomach acid production), individuals with pernicious anemia (a condition affecting intrinsic factor production), and those with certain gastrointestinal disorders.

5. Supplementation:

  • In cases of deficiency, vitamin B12 supplements or injections may be recommended by a healthcare professional.

  • Some people, especially those following a vegan diet, may choose to take B12 supplements as a precautionary measure.

6. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

  • The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 varies by age, sex, and life stage. For adults, the RDA is typically around 2.4 micrograms per day.

7. Safety:

  • Vitamin B12 is generally considered safe, even at high doses, because excess amounts are usually excreted in the urine.

8. Interactions:

  • Vitamin B12 can interact with certain medications, particularly those used to lower stomach acid or treat acid reflux. It's important to consult a healthcare provider if you're taking medications and considering B12 supplements.

9. Health Benefits:

  • Adequate intake of vitamin B12 is crucial for overall health, particularly in supporting a healthy nervous system, preventing anemia, and maintaining optimal cognitive function.

10. Consult a Healthcare Provider:

  • If you suspect you have a vitamin B12 deficiency or are considering supplementation, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

 

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