Vitamin B12 Facts
This water-soluble vitamin is used to treat a number of deficiencies and illnesses such as cyanide poisoning, B12 deficiency, and transcobalamin II deficiency, a hereditary illness caused by lack of the said vitamin. It is also used to detect pernicious anemia thru the Schilling test.
Other than that, this vitamin, also called cobalamin, also has an important part in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Sources of B12
Vitamin B12 may be found in foods that come from animals that have directly or indirectly obtained vitamin B12 from bacteria. Good food sources of this vitamin are pan fried liver, oysters, clams, eggs, cow's milk, cheese, and other similar produce. It may also be found in lakes that have not yet been sanitized.
Food supplements containing vitamin b12 are also sold in the market, usually in the form of a pill or a tablet. Also, it may be given in liquid form, or through patches, nasal sprays, or injection, similar to Garcinia Cambogia.
Vitamin B12 for the Elderly
High doses of vitamin B12 in elderly persons are said to help protect them against brain atrophy, or damage in the brain cells, which is associated with impaired cognitive function and Alzheimer's disease.
In recommended doses, there are no adverse effects of Vitamin B12 in healthy individuals since it has an extremely low toxicity level, and even if there are present side effects, these are typically mild.
Those that receive B12 through injection experience side effects more than those who take it orally, and can range from mild to more serious, but the latter is less likely to occur.
Some common side effects are as follows:
• Mild digestive disturbances like diarrhea
• Tenderness in the injected area
• Burning sensation in the injected site
• Swelling all over the body
These side effects should dissipate in a short period of time. On the other hand, a physician should be consulted if the side effects persist for a long time.
People who are sensitive or allergic to cobalamin, cobalt, and any other related ingredients are given caution
when taking this vitamin, although, cases where direct allergy to B12 are very rare and are usually attributed to other causes. Some skin-related side effects are:
• Skin irritations
• Skin redness all over the face and/or body
• Inflammatory acne (in individuals who took high doses of B12)
• Swelling in the legs, feet, arms, or hands
More Serious Side Effects
These are extremely rare cases which occur after receiving a shot of vitamin B12. Individuals who experience these side effects should immediately seek medical attention:
• Heart palpitations similar to a cardiac arrest
• Chest tightness
• Chest pains
• Cold-like symptoms amid minor physical work;
• Low energy
• Difficulty breathing
• A tingling feeling
• Sore muscles
• Muscle cramps
• Weak feeling
Pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctors first before taking vitamin B12 for benefits or possible risks to their babies.