Vitamin B12 (or cobalamin) is part of the so-called essential vitamins, an adjective that in the food sector indicates the inability of our body to produce the substance independently and, consequently, the need to introduce it from the outside; is a water-soluble molecule commonly found in numerous foods of animal origin, such as
It is a nutrient of fundamental importance for the functionality of nerves and blood cells, but it is also involved in the management of DNA (genetic material present in cells) vitamin patch supplements.
A correct intake of vitamin B12 is also important for the prevention of megaloblastic anemia, a form of anemia that can cause fatigue and weakness. Once consumed with food, there are two factors that ensure proper absorption by the body:
The hydrochloric acid present in the stomach allows the vitamin to be separated from the proteins to which it is bound in food,
to be able at this point to be linked to a specific protein produced by the stomach (intrinsic factor) which allows its absorption and passage into the bloodstream.
People with pernicious anemia , a condition characterized by the inability to produce the intrinsic factor, experience great difficulty in absorbing the nutrient.vWe close this introduction by pointing out that, despite the fact that advertisements often promote vitamin B12 supplements as a way to increase energy and stamina, to date there is no scientific evidence that can actually be useful for this purpose, but there are two important exceptions. :
subjects who follow a vegan diet (and vegetarians are also strongly advised to integrate it regularly, as it is present only in foods of animal origin).
Being water-soluble, i.e. with the ability to dissolve in water, the risk of overdose is almost negligible and for this reason it is possible to resort to daily, alternate or even weekly supplements. Below is an example of a supplement easily available in pharmacies, parapharmacies or even online, to be taken every day (for example in the morning) to ensure adequate coverage of daily needs.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide range of foods of animal origin, while it is not possible to take it through the consumption of plant foods, which are completely devoid of it (unless it has been added industrially, we speak in these cases of fortified foods ).
Moreover, the fraction found in meat, dairy products and eggs is not produced autonomously even by the animal, which instead derives it in part from the microbial contamination of the food collected from the soil and in part from the synthesis of bacteria present in the intestine; it is in fact the share that the animal maintains at the reserve level.