Vitamin B12 or chemically known as cobalamin is a naturally occurring water-soluble vitamin, present in a number of animal foods. Vitamin B12 can also be a part of foods or dietary supplements if anyone wants to boost its level in their bodies. The water-soluble vitamin B12 is very important to carry on several bodily functions, the most crucial ones include the production of DNA and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 also acts a key player in the development and function of nerve cells and brain. However, excess amounts of vitamin B12 supplements are not a good choice to consume without checking with your doctor first.
Vitamin B12 tends to bind with the proteins that come from the foods we eat. In the digestive tract, enzymes and hydrochloric acid leave the vitamin B12 molecule alone into its innate form. Then, vitamin B12 moves forward from there to combine with a protein known as intrinsic factor to further carry on the absorption process in the small intestine. Supplements and foods with fortifications also have vitamin B12 in its free form to ensure the easy absorption of the vitamin in the body. There is wide range of vitamin B12 supplements available in the market.
In addition, vitamin B12 is a part of vitamin B complex and is water-soluble in nature so any additional amount of it will leave the body through the urine. Typically, the doctors consider the use of up to 1000 mcg per day of an oral vitamin B12 tablet to treat the deficiency. According to the Institute of Medicine, there is no apparent association of excess vitamin B12 consumption with causing adverse effects. Whether you take vitamin B12 rich foods or dietary supplements, there is no advent of health disorders due to excess intake if you are in a healthy state. Doctors might advise people to take vitamin B12 injections or supplements in cases of severe anemia.
Furthermore, the vitamin B12 tablets are present all over the market in high dosages that are generally far above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), but these additional amounts are not typically the amount that absorbs as there might not be enough amounts of intrinsic factor in the body. Although there are reports that certain types of vitamin B12 such as the sublingual tablets or liquids that you place under your tongue absorb more easily through the mouth tissues and give better absorption than the conventional tablets. In patients with severe vitamin B12 deficiency, there is development of pernicious anemia, which is mainly due to the inadequate supply of intrinsic factor.
In addition to red blood cell production, vitamin B12 also helps in elevating mood and energy levels. Several studies suggest that a vitamin B12 supplement often helps in boosting energy and mood in a lot of people. Most of the vitamin B12 sources are from animal origin but purple laver or Nori is a form of dried edible seaweed, which happens to be a good plant source of vitamin B12. Although the amount of vitamin B12 is very small but it can help people with vegan diets to incorporate seaweed into their recipes to boost their levels of vitamin B12.