The b12 vitamin It’s one of the micronutrients essential for him organism. So much so that the absence of this vitamin can cause serious problems with Health, as the megaloblastic anemia; among other health conditions.
In this sense, the main source of obtaining vitamin B12 is food, although this vitamin has the peculiarity of being only found in products of animal origin; such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products.
We are talking about one of the most important micronutrients for health. Among its functions, it stands out its participation in the formation of DNA, the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system and prevents megaloblastic anemia.
People prone to vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the body does not get enough daily doses or is unable to absorb the necessary amount. Mainly it tends to be generated by a deficient diet.
In order for the body to properly absorb vitamin B12 from food, two fundamental phases take place. First, the hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein in which it is present in food.
After this procedure, vitamin B12 is mixed with a protein produced by the stomach called ‘intrinsic factor’, which promotes proper absorption of this group B vitamin.
Thus, some people, such as those who develop megaloblastic anemia, find it difficult to adequately absorb vitamin B12 from food and dietary supplements.
For this reason, once the laborious absorption process is known, there are certain people who find it more difficult to metabolize vitamin B12:
- People who have undergone a gastrointestinal operation. Sometimes they tend to lose the ability to absorb this vitamin.
- Person over 50 years of age who lose absorption capacity as they age.
- People who follow a vegan or vegetarian philosophy of life and do not regularly consume foods of animal origin.
Required dose of vitamin B12
To avoid a lack of vitamin B12, people need to consume a specific amount of this vitamin on a daily basis, mainly through food. Remember that the deficiency of this micronutrient can be detrimental to health and lead to different problems.
In this sense, from the United States National Institute of Health establish a guideline table to know the ideal amount that each person requires based on age and sex:
|Stage of life||Recommended amount|
|Babies up to 6 months of age||0.4 mcg|
|Babies 7 to 12 months of age||0.5 mcg|
|Children 1 to 3 years of age||0.9 mcg|
|Children 4-8 years old||1.2 mcg|
|Children 9 to 13 years old||1.8 mcg|
|Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age||2.4 mcg|
|Pregnant women and adolescents||2.6 mcg|
|Breastfeeding women and adolescents||2.8 mcg|
Thus, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet sometimes need to supplement their diet with vitamin B12 supplements, in order to avoid possible harmful effects on health.