Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in many functions in the body, including DNA synthesis, energy production, nerve cell health, red blood cell formation, neurological function. B12 is present in many food sources (mainly anima-based), where it is bound to the protein molecules in the food. Vitamin B12 is separated from the protein during digestion and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Adequate stomach acid is required to release the vitamin from the protein, and a substance called intrinsic factor is necessary to ensure its absorption. People who are unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly may have pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor. The average daily intake of vitamin B12, as recommended by The Office of Dietary Supplements, is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) for men and women over 14.

In addition to getting B12 from food sources, it is possible to acquire B12 through a man-made version of the nutrient, known as cyanocobalamin. Vitamin B12 shots are injections containing high levels of cyanocobalamin. These shots, which can be self-administered or given by a doctor, can quickly boost B12 levels in someone who is deficient. Cyanocobalamin is available in liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Certain foods, such as cereals and non-dairy milk and yogurt, may be fortified with the main-made form of vitamin B12.

People who need Vitamin B12 shots include but is not limited to people who show signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency. Anyone who is displaying any of the signs and symptoms of a B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia should consult their doctor immediately.

Some common signs and symptoms include:

1) Decreased cognitive function, such as issues with memory or understanding
2) Fatigue
3) Lethargy
4) Constipation
5) Feeling faint
6) Depression or irritability
7) Headaches
8) Difficulty maintaining balance
9) Sore, swollen tongue, which may be pale yellow or very red
10) Heart palpitations
11) Mouth ulcers
12) Paranesthesia (Pins and needles)
13) Vision changes

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