The b12 vitamin It’s one of the micronutrients most important for Health, this is well known evidence. However, the functions of this vitamin in the body are numerous and many of them are probably still unknown.
Therefore, it is time to get to know vitamin B12 in depth, based on the information provided by the Linus Pauling Institute, one of the most prestigious institutions in the field of nutrition and the world of vitamins.
Linus Pauling was an American chemist, biochemist, and activist. An eminence in his field. So much so, that in 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Everything that is known about vitamin B12
The first thing to know is that vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, plays a leading role in folate metabolism and the synthesis of the intermediate citric acid cycle.
As for the deficit of this vitamin in the body, it is usually associated with chronic inflammation in the stomach, which does not allow proper absorption. These cases usually lead to pernicious anemia. In addition, the deterioration in the absorption of vitamin B12 can also lead to neurological disorders and the appearance of megaloblastic anemia.
From the Linus Pauling Institute, they report that vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in people over 60 years of age, linked to the aging of the body and an impaired ability to properly absorb this vitamin.
On the other hand, having low levels of vitamin B12 during pregnancy has also been associated with an increased risk of developing neural tube defects.
The importance of vitamin B12 in health
Regarding the effects of vitamin B12 on health, from the Linus Pauling Institute report that this vitamin and folate are two important nutrients for homocysteine metabolism.
Specifically, elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. “Although vitamin B supplementation has proven effective control of homocysteine levels, current data from intervention trials have not shown that lowering homocysteine levels lowers a risk of CVD,” they argue.
On the other hand, it should be noted that vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient for the preservation of the myelin sheath around neurons; as well as the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Thus, while hyperhomocysteinemia may increase the probability of developing a cognitive defect, it is not proven that vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to an increased risk of dementia in the elderly.
In this context, depression and osteoporosis are two health conditions that have been associated with vitamin B12 status and also with elevated homocysteine levels.
As a source of obtaining, the experts of the Linus Pauling Institute highlight foods of animal origin as the richest in vitamin B12. Therefore, elderly people or those who follow a vegan diet are advised in certain cases to use supplements.
Finally, an important detail is that certain medications, such as stomach acid secretion inhibitors, can adversely affect the absorption of this vitamin.