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Cobalamin (B12) is needed for normal nerve cell activity. DNA replication and production of the mood-affecting substance called SAM (S-adenosylmethionine).
It is needed to remove the methyl group from methyl tetrahydrofolate so that tetrahydrofolate can be used for the synthesis of DNA. In the absence of B12, DNA is not produced and the cells grow without dividing, becoming megaloblasts.
B12 plays a key role in a nerve cell activity and with folic acid regulates homocysteine levels. Methyl-B12 is used to transfer the methyl group onto homoxcysteine to form methionine. Methionine is an essential sulphur-containing amino acid that is converted in the liver into S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), which is considered to be the activated form of methionine. Methionine is important in methyl transfers and is necessary for the synthesis of myelin sheaths. SAMe plays an important role in detoxification processes, the synthesis of antioxidants and the regulation of emotional states.
B12 is also involved in carbohydrate metabolism. It has been noted that lactic acid and pyruvate increased from 50% to 100% during B12 deficiency.
Neurological problems often occur when there is a B12 deficiency because the nervous system relies on carbohydrates as its main source of fuel.
All foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, meat, fish, and poultry. Inconsistent but small amounts occur in seaweed (including Spirulina) and tempeh.
GRAS- Generally recognized as safe. No adverse reactions, side effects or overdose symptoms expected when taken within the recommended amounts.
No adverse effects have been reported as a result of taking B12 supplements during pregnancy or lactation.
After several years, vegans (vegetarians who also avoid dairy and eggs) frequently become deficient. People with malabsorption conditions suffer from B12 deficiency. Individuals suffering from pernicious anaemia require high-dose supplements of Vitamin B12.
Some sources suggest that Vitamin C may damage or diminish the effectiveness of B12 if taken together. Supplementation with folic acid may mask a deficiency of B12. Testing of B12 status by a physician is appropriate whenever anaemia is suspected and the combined supplementation of folic acid and B12 is usually advisable.
The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. Neither the information provided nor products supplied or offered should be construed to be in any way substitutes for medical attention or prescribed medication. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or herbal remedies if you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness or if you are on prescribed medication.