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VITAMIN B12 – properties, occurrence and dosing of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a compound, the health properties of which are hard to overrate. Vitamin B12 soothes nerves, increases immunity to stress, prevents anemia and improves appetite. Moreover, it may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and mental diseases. Check out some other properties of vitamin B12, where it may be found and how to dose it.


Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin or red vitamin, is a compound, the health properties of which are invaluable. Vitamin B12, similarly to other B-group vitamins, positively influences mental health. It is also essential for the proper functioning of the circulatory and digestive system. Scientists prove that vitamin B12 may also protect from Alzheimer’s disease, cancers and mental diseases.


Vitamin B12 is responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system in a few ways. Primarily, by the active influence in the biosynthesis of nucleotides and choline being the component of the myelin sheath, which surrounds nerves. Therefore, in case of vitamin B12, there are some disturbing signals in the nervous system, such as numbness and tingling, especially in lower limbs, balance and walking disorders.


Moreover, the “red vitamin” takes part in processing proteins, fatsand carbohydrates into energy. Therefore, it counteracts weakness and the feeling of fatigue. Moreover, it prevents memoryloss and increases concentration abilities.


Vitamin B12 also takes part in the synthesis of serotonin – a neurotransmitter, which, in proper concentration, has anti-depressant effect. If the level of vitamin B12 (and consequently – serotonin) is too low, irritation, fatigue and bad mood appear.

Increased need for vitamin B12 is observed in bowel diseases (Whipple, Zollinger–Ellison syndrome), disorders of the intestinal flora (also in case of the presence of parasites), in atrophic gastritis, overproduction of hydrochloric acid, deficiency of the Castle factor and in case of using some drugs.

In case of the increased need for vitamin B12, daily doses are higher, e.g. in case of Addison’s anemia without neurological symptoms: 250–1000 μg/d every second day for 1-2 weeks. In case of vitamin B12 deficiency after stomach resection or as a result of absorption disorders: 250–1000 μg 1 ×/month.

Vitamin B12 may prevent anemia and atherosclerosis.

Vitamin B12 takes part in the production of erythrocytes in bone marrow. Therefore, its deficiency may contribute to the appearance of anemia resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency (Addison’s anemia).


Moreover, vitamin B12 along with folic acid and vitamin B6 prevents the aggregation of homocysteine – a substance occurring during reproducing proteins in the organism, the excess of which may be harmful to health and cause circulatorydiseases. Homocysteine contributes to the creation of atherosclerotic plaques in the inner parts of blood vessels and consequently – it increases the risk of cardiovascular system diseases: heart attach, stroke or thromboembolic lesions.


It is worth knowing that in order to prevent hyperhomocysteinemia, it is recommended to use 400 μg of folic acid, 3 μg of vitamin B12 and 2 mg of vitamin B6 per day.


Vitamin B12 may support the treatment of liver inflammation.

Vitamin B12 may support the treatment of viral hepatitis type C, as Italian scientists claim in the “Gut” journal. According to them, vitamin B12, when included to standard therapy, i.e. interferon and ribavirin may increase the chance to get rid of HCV virus from the organism. Standard treatment eliminates HCV virus from the organism in ca. 50% of patients with genotype 1 and in 80% of patients with genotype 2 or 3.


Vitamin B12 – the symptoms of deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes:


disorders in the nervous system

pernicious and megaloblastic anemia

degenerative lesions in the mucous membrane of the stomach

absorption disorders


Vitamin B12 – where are the highest amounts of this vitamin?

Vitamin B12 may be mainly found in products of animal origin, i.e. meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese and cooked meats. The largest amounts of vitamin B12 are in pike as well as liver and kidneys (more than 20 µg/100 g). A little less is found in other fish, such as herring, trout, mackerel and in rabbit’s meat (from 5 to 20 µg/100 g). The lowest amount (less than 1 µg/100 g) of vitamin B12 can be found in egg pasta, cooked meats, gammon, milk and its products (yogurt, kefir, curd cheese, cream).

B-group Vitamins Folic Acids Methylation Problems MTHFR

Folic acid (vitamin B9): properties. What is the role of folic acid?

Folic acid, also called vitamin B9, vitamin B11 or folacin, is essential for each human being and all cells of the organism. Unfortunately almost all people suffer from deficiencies of this vitamin. Lack of folic acid is especially dangerous to pregnant women, as it may cause serious fetus defects.


Folic acid (vitamin B9, vitamin B11, vitamin M, folacin or folate) is essential for all cells of our organism, from conception to old age. It is not a chemical compound, but the whole group of compounds encompassing ca. 20 pterin derivatives – a substance, which i.a. stains the color of wings of butterflies.

Folic acid: its role in the organism

Folic acid takes part in the synthesis of nucleic acids, from which DNA is produced, i.e. our genetic matrix. By the same token, it regulates the growth and functioning of all cells. Folic acid with vitamin B12 also takes part in the creation and maturation of red cells, therefore it has a blood-forming effect. We are in danger of anemia without folic acid. Scientists also claim that vitamin B9 most probably protects the organism from the development of cancer, decreases i.a. the risk of cervical cancer.


Folic acid and homocysteine level

Folic acid along with other B-group vitamins also influences the level of homocysteine – an amino acid our state of health is dependent on. Although average and low concentrations of this amino acid are not dangerous to us, its high concentration may disturb physiological processes of cells. It is especially related to tissues that intensively develop.


The level of folic acid in the organism drops when we live in stress, drink coffee and alcohol, smoke cigarettes, take acetylsalicylic acid and some kinds of contraception. Its supplies are depleted by bad diet and constant weight loss.

Recent studies prove that increased concentration of homocysteine also accompanies heart diseases, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. This amino acid may facilitate the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol, which in such a form has larger influence on the creation of atherosclerotic changes. Moreover, homocysteine accelerates the development of atherosclerosis, damaging blood vessels and decreasing the level of nitric oxide – a compound which widens them.


The organism has two mechanisms of maintaining proper homocysteine level. It may transform it in cysteine appearing in almost all proteins, especially in hair creatine or in methionine. In the course of transformations, soothing serotonin is produced from methionine, thanks to which we fall in a deep and relaxing sleep and noradrenaline that influences our daily activity. Both these compounds are classified to the so-called happiness hormones, play an important role in the nervous system and take care of well-being. It was proven that e.g. deficiency of folic acid often appears in people with depression.

Folic acid – symptoms and effects of deficiency

Deficiency of lactic acid in the organism may lead to anemia, degenerative disorders, circulatory system diseases, osteoporosis or even cancer. Among women in the early stage of pregnancy, deficiency of this vitamin increase the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus.

Take folic acid before you get pregnant!

For the health of your child you need to take folic acid. As early as between 17th and 30th day after conception, the fetus starts to develop the nervous system, called neural tube. It is later transformed into spinal cord and brain.

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the result of disturbing the process of “closing” it. In such a situation, amniotic fluid reaches the brain and spinal cord. The development of these organs is stopped. It leads to the development of cleft spine, anencephaly and myelomeningocele. A child born with anencephaly may survive only for a few hours. Cleft spine, on the other hand, often causes paralysis of the lower body part, often in connection with mental impairment.

In Poland these defects appear quite often, on average 1-2 cases per 1000 childbirths. In order to prevent them, all women before planned pregnancy should take 0.4 mg of folic acid per day. Thanks to this, they may decrease the risk of neural tube defects by 75%.