Vitamin B12: Benefits, Sources and Deficiencies
What is Vitamin B12 and where does it come from? Are our children getting enough?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which is naturally found in foods including oily fish (salmon, sardines and mackerel), eggs, milk and cheese. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement as well as a prescription medication. It is involved in fatty and amino acid metabolism, red-blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide range of problems.
The importance of Vitamin B12
Cyanocobalamin is a form of vitamin B12 which is used to treat low blood levels of the vitamin. This is an ingredient used in ActiKid® Magic Beans Multi-Vitamin.
Vitamin B12 keeps the body healthy in several ways:
- Maintaining energy levels – Vitamin B12 boosts the digestive system by transforming starches from carbohydrates into glucose for energy production. Individuals with a deficiency regularly become fatigued.
- Maintaining a Healthy Heart – Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Vitamin B12 reduces high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid) which is considered a major risk factor for heart disease
- Healthy Hair and Skin – Vitamin B12 is important for healthy skin, hair and nails since it plays a vital role in cell production. It improves skin wellbeing by decreasing redness, dryness, irritation and skin inflammation all of which are causes of psoriasis and dermatitis. It can also diminish hair breakage and help strengthen nails
- May help avoid the risk of cancer – Vitamin B12 is being studied as a preventative treatment for types of cancer including cervical, prostate and colon. One of the treatments under examination is it’s effect when taken with Folate (vitamin B9).
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Tiredness of chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Poor memory
- Psychological problems such as depression and anxiety
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth ulcers
Recommended Intake per day Of Vitamin B12:
- Infants 0-6 months: 0.4 micrograms (mcg)
- Infants 7-12 months: 0.5mcg
- Toddlers 1-3 years: 0.9mcg
- Children 4-8 years: 1.2mcg
- Children 9-12 years: 1.8 mcg (Source: Dr. Josh Axe DNM, DC, CNS)
Infants, toddlers and young children can also get their recommended intake of vitamin B6 and other vitamins from supplements such as ActiKid® Multi-Vitamin Drops and ActiKid® Magic Beans Multi-Vitamin. They are available in all good pharmacies, health stores and online.