Vitamin B12 - supplementation necessary or not?

Especially for vegetarians important essential vitamins: B12

Some people choose to go vegetarian or vegan to avoid eating animals. However, it is important that vegetarians and vegans watch their diet and take in enough vitamins and minerals - especially vitamin B12. Because this vitamin is particularly important for our body!

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin found in animal foods such as meat, fish and dairy products. It is important for the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of the nervous system. Therefore, it is important for vegetarians and vegans to supplement their diet with vitamin B12 - either through fortified foods or a supplement.

The body needs vitamins to function properly, and vitamin B12 is one of those that our body cannot make itself. Therefore, it is important to take in enough vitamin B12 from other sources to keep the body healthy. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, memory impairment and neurological damage.

The intake of vitamins is an important part of a balanced diet. This is especially true for vegetarians and vegans, who may not consume an adequate amount in their diet, as non-animal foods contain less B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that contributes to maintaining a healthy body. Therefore, it is important for vegetarians and vegans to get enough of it to stay healthy.

Vegetarians can meet vitamin B12 needs through fortified foods

The best way for vegetarians and vegans to get enough vitamin B12 is to eat a balanced diet that includes foods fortified with vitamins. These include breakfast cereals, plant-based milks, soy products, nutritional yeast, and red meat analogs. In addition, you can also take vitamin B12 supplements

Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for a healthy and balanced diet. Therefore, it is especially important for vegetarians and vegans to make sure that they consume this vital nutrient in sufficient amounts. By eating fortified foods or taking vitamin supplements, you can ensure that your body is supplied with enough vitamin B12 and stays healthy.

Functions of vitamin B12 in the body

Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that helps us metabolize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It is also involved in blood formation and in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Because it is only produced by bacteria or found in animal foods, people who avoid these sources may not get adequate amounts of B12.

Animals can often produce vitamin B12 themselves

The body is not able to synthesize or produce its own vitamin B12, so it must be obtained from other sources. Vitamin B12 is produced mainly by bacteria found in the soil and intestines of animals such as cows and sheep. It is also often found naturally in certain foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and fortified foods.

 

Vitamin B12 must be supplied regularly

However, because vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be stored in the body for long periods of time, it must be taken often to maintain adequate levels. People who are unable to absorb enough through their diet may need to take daily supplements to meet their needs.

Vitamin B12 daily requirement

The recommended daily vitamin B12 requirement according to the DGE is between 3.0 µg and 4.0 µg.
According to findings from recent studies, however, significantly higher amounts of the vitamin may be taken without fear of harm.

Poisoning or overdose symptoms due to vitamin B12 are not known.

Poisoning or overdose symptoms due to vitamin B12 are not known. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and is therefore excreted in the urine. An overdose can only happen with liposomal products, which are generally only recommended in the case of absorption disorders and from which we advise against in most cases, as these preparations bring only minor benefits but high risks. 

Vitamin B12 is important for liver health

Vitamin B12 plays an important role, for example, in maintaining the health of the liver. It helps produce glycogen, a form of stored energy in the liver that can be used when needed. Vitamin B12 also contributes to the breakdown and metabolism of fats and proteins, helping to lower cholesterol levels and prevent fatty liver disease. It also helps keep the liver functioning properly by supporting the production of certain enzymes such as cytochrome P450. This enzyme contributes to detoxification and also helps in the production of vitamins A and D, which are essential for healthy liver function. In addition, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) may help protect against alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH), a dangerous form of fatty liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Finally, vitamin B12 can help maintain the integrity of cell membranes in the liver and regulate hormones involved in fat metabolism. Thus, it is clear that an adequate amount of vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy liver.

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to nerve problems

Vitamin B12 is not only important for energy production and nerve health, but also plays a role in DNA synthesis and the regulation of gene expression. It helps cells divide properly and supports the production of red blood cells for oxygen transport in the body. Vitamin B12, together with folate (vitamin B9), also helps in the formation of amino acids - the building blocks of proteins - which are essential for growth and development.

What happens if I take too little vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to serious health problems such as fatigue, neurological damage, anemia, memory impairment, and even vision or hearing loss if left untreated. Therefore, it is important that people who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency - such as vegans or vegetarians - take extra precautions, such as eating fortified foods or taking supplements to meet their daily requirements

Overall, vitamin B12 plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy by supporting metabolism, providing energy and helping with cell reproduction. 

Consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency

The consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency can be severe, manifesting as anemia, nerve damage, and cognitive impairment. 

 

How do I know that I have too little vitamin B12?

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • confusion, memory problems or difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation

The 5 best ways to take B12 supplements

  • Injections
  • Nasal sprays
  • Vitamin tablets
  • Tablets
  • Liquid food supplements

The 5 best ways to take B12 supplements

  • Injections
  • Nasal sprays
  • Vitamin tablets
  • Tablets
  • Liquid food supplements

12 foods that are vegan and high in vitamin B12:

Alfalfa

Excellent as a topping for the gluten free bread, they contain saponins and vitamins A, B1, 2 and 6, C, E and K.

 

Dandelion green

Besides B12, dandelion has many other advantages. In a green smoothie it is hardly noticeable, also salads can be refined very well with dandelion.
Dandelion extract also helps with Covid-19.

Parsley

Parsley supports vision and is a vitamin C bomb, but should be consumed with caution by pregnant women.

Kale

Kale contains almost as much calcium as milk, but in a better availability. Osteoporosis and dental disease can be effectively prevented.

Watercress

Watercress is rich in mustard oils, has an expectorant and antibiotic effect, blood purifying and diuretic.

Broccoli

Broccoli protects the heart and nerves and relieves anxiety. To be enjoyed in soups or raw!

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a cancer killer and also protect the stomach lining. The fiber helps with stomach and intestinal disorders.

Asparagus

Asparagus, in addition to its high B12 content, lowers blood pressure, makes you fit and is a natural aphrodisiac.

Garlic

Garlic, the Wonder tuber helps with many different ailments that are rampant in the civilized world.

Shiitake mushrooms

Much in the Traditional Chinese MThe shiitake mushroom has a wide range of effects, including its use against Candida.

Maitake mushrooms

The fungus, which is also native to Germany, is a cancer killer that attacks the formation of new and existing cancer cells.

Reishi mushrooms

The shiny spurge is a parasite of weakness, which sits at the base of the trunk of deciduous trees. It has healing effects on us humans and is very tasty.

Animal products with a lot of vitamin B

Animal sources of vitamin B12 include seafood, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereal products. Fish is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 and is particularly rich in it. Salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are all good sources of vitamin B12. Eggs are also good sources of vitamin B12 and are easy to find in the market. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter are also a valuable source of vitamin B12. In addition, some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins, including vitamin B12, making them an even healthier option for people living vegan. Cheese is also a popular source of vitamin B and can be useful in itself to meet vitamin B12 needs about completely.

Cheeses that can often meet the vitamin B12 requirement:

The following types of cheese are suitable for ensuring a sufficient daily intake of vitamin B12:

  • Gouda (4.6 µg, 80% of daily requirement)
  • Cheddar (4.1 µg, 70% of daily requirement)
  • Swiss (3.8 µg, about 70% of the daily requirement of the vitamin).
  • Brie (2.9 µg, 50% of the daily requirement)
  • Camembert (2.5 µg, 40% of daily requirement)

Zeolite regulates the balance of vitamins, including vitamin B12

Taking zeolite can have some influence on the balance of vitamins in the human body. In particular, it has only recently become known that zeolite acts as a chelating agent, i.e. it enables the binding of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12. This reduces the absorption of vitamins and minerals by the body, resulting in a he lowering of vitamin or mineral levels. This can be particularly beneficial for people who tend to over-absorb vitamins and minerals, which is one of the causes of potential toxicity problems.

 

Regulate vitamin B12 deficiency and homocysteine with zeolite

In addition, zeolite has been shown to lower homocysteine levels. This is an amino acid that is produced in the metabolism and can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease if levels are abnormally high. Since the substance is closely related to vitamin B12 deficiency, taking zeolite mineral clay can potentially help control homocysteine levels and will almost certainly improve overall health. Why zeolite is such a powerful glutathione booster and heavy metal elimination expert, you can read in our Zeolite article.

One reason why vitamin B12 deficiency puts the cardiovascular system and brain at risk

The benefits of maintaining healthy homocysteine levels are numerous. Research has shown that optimal levels of this amino acid can reduce inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, and reduce arterial stiffness - all factors associated with improved cardiovascular health. In addition, high homocysteine levels are associated with decreased cognitive function and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease; therefore, normal homocysteine levels may help protect against memory loss

other food sources that support the formation of homocysteine

In addition to the intake of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 from food or supplements, natural food sources such as dark leafy vegetables and legumes are particularly beneficial for maintaining healthy homocysteine concentrations. In addition, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly help to ensure that the body is adequately supplied with vitamins, while also promoting good blood flow throughout the body - both positive factors for overall cardiovascular health.l significant role that vitamin B12 plays in maintaining optimal health, it is important that all people - regardless of their diet - ensure that they consume adequate amounts of this important essential nutrient through their diet or through supplements as needed.

References to studies examining the relationship between homocysteine and vitamin B12 include a study published in 2001 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed that taking vitamins B6 and B12 lowered homocysteine levels in people with elevated plasma concentrations. In addition, a systematic review published by the European Society of Cardiology found that vitamins B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 have a significant positive effect on lowering homocysteine levels

Another study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that taking vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 was associated with lower homocysteine levels than in people who did not take vitamin supplements. In addition, a systematic review published by the Cochrane Library concluded that vitamins B6, folic acid and B12 significantly lower homocysteine levels when taken together or separately

In addition, a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that B6, folic acid and B12 lower serum concentrations of homocysteine when taken either individually or in combination. Additional research from Harvard Medical School shows that folic acid intake is associated with a lower risk of stroke, while higher intakes of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Overall, numerous studies have clearly shown that an adequate intake of vitamins such as vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12 helps to lower homocysteine concentrations in the body. These not only provide important nutrients for maintaining optimal health, but also play an important role in lowering the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a minimum intake of 2.4 μg/day of vitamin B12 for adults, which is involved in a large number of metabolic processes in the body. This amount can be taken in through foods such as meat, fish, dairy products and eggs or fortified foods (e.g. breakfast cereals). However, older people and vegans may require higher levels of vitamin B12 because they are less able to absorb it.

Vitamin B12 intake during pregnancy and lactation

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should pay attention to their vitamin B12 intake, as it plays an important role in the development of their unborn child. It is involved in the formation of healthy red blood cells, helps maintain normal nerve function and growth, and supports DNA synthesis. An insufficient amount of B12, especially during pregnancy and lactation, can lead to complications such as anemia, a decrease in red blood cells in the mother and fetus, which is especially risky for pregnant and nursing mothers, while adolescents and adults have been shown to have lower risks. Therefore, dietary intake of vitamin B12 should be a high priority, especially for pregnant women and the elderly, as hematopoiesis becomes less efficient with age. An undersupply is far more likely than an overdose.

After birth, it is important for breastfeeding infants to maintain adequate vitamin B12 levels. It is recommended that breastfed infants receive a B12 supplement from their pediatrician until they can absorb enough vitamins from other sources. Vitamin B12 is vital for infants because it contributes to the formation of healthy red blood cells and the development of the nervous system. Insufficient vitamin B12 intake can have consequences: a small size of the baby and low birth weight. Therefore, consuming foods rich in vitamin B12 or taking supplements can help ensure adequate nutrition for both mother and baby.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for health, but it is important to know that too much can be dangerous. Although vitamins are generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses, taking excessive amounts of vitamins like B12 can lead to serious side effects. Therefore, it is important to stick to the recommended daily doses and talk to a doctor before taking vitamins or supplements. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) specifies values which, based on experience, can only serve as the absolute lowest guideline and place an adequate vitamin B12 supply almost exclusively in connection with meat consumption. To cover the increased requirement necessary for a complete B12 supply due to the symptoms that often take years to appear and which inevitably follow if the intake of cobalamin is inadequate, blood tests should be carried out from time to time, especially from the age of 65.

 

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Simon O.

Orthomolecular expert and nutritionist
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