This vitamin has a range of different uses within the body, it is required in the processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, it helps make all the blood cells in our body and functions as a coenzyme in the synthesis and repair of DNA.
This vitamin though cannot be directly absorbed by the body, for absorption to occur vitamin B12 must combine with a mucoprotein that is produced in the stomach called the intrinsic factor. Once the molecules are bonded together absorption occurs in the small intestine.
Deficiencies of this vitamin do not often occur as a large supply of B12 is stored in the liver that can last for many years. But it has been known to occur in strict vegetarians due to cyanocobalamin only occurring in meat sources. The deficiency results in diseases such as pernicious anemia, which causes weakness, numbness of the extremities, pallor and fever, and if left untreated it can result in brain damage. All these problems maybe easily reversed by shots of high concentration B12. Good sources of B12 are meat, eggs and milk.
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