What is vitamin B12 - cobalamin
Vitamin B12, which is also known as cobalamin, is a hydrophilic, i.e. water-soluble vitamin. In food, the B vitamin is present bound to proteins or in free form. If the vitamin is bound, it is dissolved in the stomach by stomach acid and a digestive enzyme (pepsin). It is then largely attached to glycoproteins. If the vitamin is already unbound, it is stored in saliva. This compound reaches the upper small intestine, where it is split again by a digestive enzyme. After binding, it is transported to the lower small intestine where it is absorbed by the cells of the intestinal mucosa. In the cell, the pH is lowered and the complex is then broken down. The free compound ultimately reaches the blood. In the human body the main storage organ is the liver, in which about 60 & of the body's own vitamin B12 is stored. The skeleton stores about 30 percent of the B vitamin. The rest is stored in the remaining tissues such as the heart and brain. The body has a total stock of about 2-5 milligrams.
Due to the relatively high body stocks and the low turnover rate of the vitamin with 2 micrograms per day, a vitamin B12 deficiency becomes clinically noticeable for the first time in years. Therefore the supply of the B vitamin should be constantly controlled and sufficient. The requirement should always be considered individually and depends, among other things, on gender, lifestyle, age and weight. The reference value is 2.5 µg per day. Particularly noteworthy amounts are found in the following foods: all types of fish (eel, oysters, herring, tuna, mackerel, perch), pork liver, lamb liver, brie, egg, Edam, camembert and whole milk. Vitamin B12 is found neither in pulses nor in fruit and vegetables. Vegans and vegetarians should therefore make sure that the level of vitamin B12 in the blood is checked regularly so that a deficiency can be corrected as quickly as possible. This can be compensated by vitamin B12 drops or tablets.
- contributes to a normal function of the immune system
- helps to reduce fatigue and tiredness
- contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells
- contributes to normal mental function
- has a function in cell division
- contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system