The Wonders of Vitamin B-12

While Vitamin B-12 is naturally present in most food, it is commonly added to others and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B-12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt. Vitamin B-12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Additionally, Vitamin B-12 is often present in the blood of  those with higher metabolisms.

Vitamin B-12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of acid in the stomach. When synthetic vitamin B-12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form. Thus, it does not require a separation step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with a protein secreted by the stomach’s cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption by the body.

Intake recommendations for vitamin B-12 and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intake Guide developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). These values, which vary by age and gender, are the general term for a set of reference used for assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. For healthy women 14 years and older, the FNB recommends 2.4 mcg Vitamin B12 daily.

Since Vitamin B-12 is not always readily available and/or easily absorbed into the body, it can also be taken through injectable. The benefits of injectable are numerous. Because of the nature of an injectable, namely injecting directly into the blood, Vitamin B-12 is absorbed quickly into the body. This process limits the quantity of Vitamin B-12 necessary to consume before effect is taken. Injections are administered by your doctor. For other benefits and side effects, talk to your doctor.