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What is Vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment


Vitamins are organic compounds necessary for body cells to regenerate, grow and develop, and produce energy. Vitamins that cannot be synthesized or even deficient in the human body should be supplemented with foods or supplements from outside. The word vitamin, first used in 1912 by Casimir Funk, a Polish biochemist, means amine necessary for life. Divided into two as fat-soluble and water-soluble, vitamins are vital for the human body. The most remarkable vitamin group among the water-soluble vitamins is the B vitamins. There are a total of 8 B-group vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflovin (B2), niacin (B3), B5 pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), cobalamin (B12), and folic. acid.


What is Vitamin B12?

Being a water-soluble vitamin, B12 can be stored in small amounts in the body. Also known as cobalamin due to its cobalt mineral content, the vitamin is stored in the liver of a healthy person, about 2 mg, and in other body parts, up to a total of 4 mg. Since it is low in storage, vitamin B12, which is recommended to be taken daily, is found in foods of animal origin. The vitamin, which can be synthesized in small amounts in the large intestine and small intestine in the human body, loses its function when exposed to high temperatures. B12 is involved in many mechanisms in the body:

  • It works with folic acid in the production of red cells in the blood and the synthesis of DNA and myelin.
  • Vitamin B12, which plays a role in the synthesis of myelin sheaths surrounding nerve cells, increases the speed of electrical signal transmission.
  • It plays a role in the reabsorption of amino acids and vitamin B12 synthesized by the body. It is effective in the functions of minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

  • B12 deficiency can cause anemia. Due to the anemia defined as pernicious anemia, palpitations, decreased effort capacity, rapid fatigue and weakness, concentration disturbances and blackout may develop.
  • Diarrhea and burning sensation in the tongue, mouth sores and nocturnal spasms in the legs can be seen.
  • A sensation of mental dysfunction as well as tingling and numbness in the feet, legs, arms and hands.
  • It can cause memory loss and forgetfulness, especially in the elderly. Decrease in B12 absorption and body storage is observed with age. B12 deficiency plays an effective role in depression in individuals over the age of 65.
  • B12 deficiency prevents the synthesis of new cells and causes the metabolism to slow down.

What is Vitamin B12?

In a normal healthy person, the amount of B12 in the blood is about 150 pg / ml. When this amount falls below 80 pg / ml, B12 deficiency can be mentioned. It is recommended to take 2.4mcg of vitamin B12 daily with foods. B12 deficiency is usually seen after the use of drugs such as malabsorption disorders, inadequate and unbalanced nutrition, omeprazole, glyphor, metmorphine and stomach surgery. In case of deficiency, it is recommended to consume foods rich in B12. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin.



  • Offal such as liver and spleen
  • Shellfish such as mussels, oysters, shrimp
  • Trout, herring, mackerel, and tuna
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese
  • Eggs are among the richest sources of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment

In the treatment of B12 deficiency, the cause of the deficiency should be determined. If the deficiency is due to a dietary B12 deficiency, this is common in vegan diets, for example. Vitamin B12 pills or sublingual tablets are recommended. However, if the patient is inadequate due to vitamin B12 absorption, using tablets or pills will not contribute to treatment. In case of insufficiency caused by absorption problems, vitamin B12 supplements should be given with a needle. B12 pills produced as 1000 mcg or 500 mcg tablets exceed the daily B12 requirement. It is sufficient to use 1000 mcg tablets twice a week to prevent deficiency.

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