Many a times we feel loss of appetite , tiredness , premature whitening and falling of hair.This may be an indication of decreased metabolism which is triggered by the deficiency of vitamin-B12.This vitamin is one of the 8 vitamins of vitamin-B complex.It is also called cobalamin due to the presence of cobalt in it.It helps in the proper functioning of brain and nervous system and production of red blood cells.B12 is responsible for metabolism in cells which is important in creation and control of DNA.This complex structured vitamin helps in creation of fatty acid and release of energy.
Sources of B12
Interestingly , this vital nutrient is found only in animal products which includes fish , meat , eggs , milk and milk products.Curd and fermented food like tofu is a good souce of B12.It is understood to be a stable vitamin which is not lost easily. While a boiling of meat for 45 minutes destroys only 30% of b12 , a 2-5 minute boiling of cows milk destroys 25-35% of it.
Importance of B12
- It increases endurance capability and energy levels.
- This water soluble vitamin helps to improve concentration and keeps brain healthy.
- Prevents stress and sleeplessness
- Important for repair and development of body cells.
- It is necessary for proper functioning of your immune system.
Lack of B12
- In old age people the digestive system gets weaker which is unable to absorb B12 from the diet.
- Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from the deficiency of this vitamin.
- To save the child from neurological damage pregnant vegetarian women should consume it as a supplement.
- The lack of b12 is responsible for improper functioning of lever and heart.
- People who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery (weight loss) also have problem in digesting B12.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency
- Loss of appetite ,indigestion and weight loss.
- Premature whitening of hair
- Getting nervous on petty things
- The deficiency of B12 results in destruction of brain cells which results in depression,dementia,memory loss.
- B12 deficiency increases homocysteine in blood which triggers the threat of heart attack or stroke.Homocistin increase is directly related to alzimer and dementia.
- Tiredness,irregular periods in women , weakness
- Mood swings due to nervous system disorder.