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The Importance of Vitamin B12

Feb 24

Simply put, Vitamin B12 is also referred to as cobalamin; it is a vitamin soluble in water that influences our body’s metabolic processes. It is part of the eight essential B vitamins.

 

Benefits of Vitamin B12

Vegans and vegetarians stand the risk of developing deficiency due to a lack of vitamin B12. This is because vitamin B12 is naturally occurring and is not present in plant-based foods. Vegans and vegetarians should complement their diet with vitamin B12 supplements. Cobalamin is found in naturally occurring foods like fish, meat, dairy products, and beef liver. Vitamin B12 is beneficial for enriching our body with cobalamin (mineral cobalt) which helps create new red blood cells, helps in DNA synthesis, the metabolic process of protein and fat, and all neurological/brain functions. It’s essential for synthesizing blood cells and making sure blood cells are healthy.

 

One of the most common vitamin B12 deficiency disorders is anemia. Vitamin B12 deficiency also comes with the loss of weight, fatigue, constipation and severe loss of appetite. The effects of low vitamin B12 also includes damages to the body’s nervous system which ultimately can lead to confusion, depression, and dementia in a longer period.

 

Whenever the topic of DNA methylation is being discussed, it is brought up in direct association with vitamin B. Here are some noteworthy points on the topic.

 

The process of methylation is purely biochemical and involves the transfer of a chemical component called methyl (CH3) from one substance to another. After the process, the area of occurrence in the DNA is then said to be methylated. The process of methylation has a crucial impact on several biochemical and metabolic reactions that are of great importance to neurological (brain and nervous system), cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels), detoxification (toxin removal), and reproductive regulation in relation with:

 

 

  • Fat metabolism

 

  • Liver health

 

  • Histamine metabolism

 

  • DNA production

 

  • Estrogen metabolism

 

  • Neurotransmitter synthesis

 

Methylation is an important process for a system’s functionality. Humans are complex organisms with bodies that require a wide range of procedures and functions to perform in a prime condition. The methylation and demethylation process allows the body to take command of these procedures and functions to conserve balance between cellular reactions and bodily functions.

 

SUBVERTING METHYLATION DEFECTS WITH VITAMIN B12

 

Studies conducted in the United States show that around 60% of the population has a genetic mutation that affects the formation of 5-MTHF (Active folate or Methylfolate) negatively. 5-MTHF is an important part of a system that creates SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) that gives its methyl group to other substances, aiding neurological, cardiovascular, detoxification, and reproductive to perform in peak conditions.

The genetic methylation defect hampers a person’s ability to produce much-needed molecules. Some of these important molecules are:

 

  • Melatonin
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Serotonin
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Taurine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutathione
  • L-Carnitine

 

Thankfully, supplements have been made available for individuals with this defect. These supplements include:

 

  • Active vitamin B2 (Riboflavin 5’-Phosphate)

 

  • Active Folate (5-MTHF)

 

  • Active vitamin B6 (Parydoxal 5’-Phosphate)

 

  • Active vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

 

Methylcobalamin is a much-needed form of activated vitamin B. It is used as a treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency. It is important in the maintenance of a healthy brain, red blood cell production, and the nervous system. Methylcobalamin is regularly endorsed in the treatment of diabetic patients, pernicious anemia, and other health issues.

 

B VITAMINS AND THEIR HEALTH IMPORTANCE

 

B vitamins majorly affect health maintenance and human body functionality.  A disorder in B vitamin level can cause drastic health issues, with various related problems. Caution should be taken with regards to activities that can cause a lack of these important essential nutrients. Drugs like Methotrexate and Phenytoin are known to facilitate vitamin B9 (foliate) deficiency. Likewise, patients suffering from diabetes using medicates for glucose control (Metformin) or individuals using PPIs (Pantoprazole, Esomeprazole, and Omeprazole) face a higher risk of drug-induced lack of vitamin B12. The effects lead to complications associated with colabamine deficiency, faulty DNA synthesis, hyperhomocysteinemia, hematopoiesis, and impaired cell division among others.

 

Nutrition imbalances caused by my medication are commonly noticed among patients following the prescriptions. That is why these patients have to be closely monitored to evade severe health issues.

Patients on such medications should ensure to frequently consult professional medical personnel. Blood tests should be carried out to monitor vitamin levels and relevant supplements would be administered if needed.