Medication and Food Supplements

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Vitamin B 12 (Cobalamins)

If you talk to a vegan or strict vegetarian about their diet, you will more then likely hear about vitamin B 12. Non-meat eaters are constantly paranoid about getting enough of this nutrient. So what does this vitamin do and what food sources can we obtain it from?

B 12 (Cobalamins) is a vitamin that is naturally produced by microorganisms, which are found in most animals. This includes humans, but where we produce B 12 we cannot utilize it so we still need to consume it from other sources. The best food sources for vitamin B 12 are beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, and egg yolks.

Now there are vegetarian sources of this vitamin, but they usually contain the inactive form of B 12, which makes them inefficient in the Cobalamins (B 12) category.

Our body depends on vitamin B 12 for many functions including the regulation of red blood cell formation, protein synthesis, digestion, nerve health, cellular structure, and the production of certain neurotransmitters.

A deficiency of vitamin B 12 can lead to anemia, bone loss, neurological disorders, spinal cord degeneration, digestive disorders, and enlargement of the liver. Lacking vitamin B 12 is not in your body’s best interest.

The recommended amount of B 12 needed in a day is very small (200-400mcg) and easily met with just a small amount of animal products in the diet. If you are a vegetarian you will find ample supply in dairy products, but if you are a vegan you will most likely need a B 12 fortified food source or supplement. No matter what kind of diet you choose, just make sure it includes vitamin B 12.

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