Monday, June 21, 2010

Why Vitamin B12 is So Important and How You Can Ensure That You Are Getting Enough

There are many vitamins which your body requires in order to survive on a daily basis. Each one of these vitamins has its own level of specific importance. Vitamin B12 is one of these critical vitamins and it is very important for effective metabolism. The formation of red blood cells also requires an influx of vitamin B12. These red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body by way of the blood stream. Without this constant supply of oxygen to our cells, our body functions would cease and we would die very quickly.

Vitamins as a whole can be divided into two broad categories. The first category is known as the fat soluble vitamins and vitamins K and E are two examples out of several which fit into this group. Your body can store and sometimes even produce the fat soluble type, so deficiencies are not common with these. Now vitamin B12 is known as a water soluble type. Generally speaking, the water soluble types cannot be stored. Vitamin B12 actually can be stored, however, in some instances, it cannot be utilized by the body properly. As a result, eating foods everyday which contain vitamin B12 is really important. If we fail to do this, then our body will not function very well at all. If you suspect that you are deficient in B12, then visit your family doctor. He or she can give you advice regarding a vitamin supplement that will get you back on the right track.

Now first and foremost, the best way to get an adequate amount of vitamin B 12 is through a proper diet. The levels of B12 within your body should remain reasonably stable as long as you are consistently eating a balanced and healthy diet. If, on the other hand, you are forced to eat a restrictive diet due to medical or other reasons, then you may actually need to take a vitamin supplement. Some of the foods which contain high levels of vitamin B12 include, shellfish, dairy products, poultry, pork, beef and eggs among others.

Vitamin B12 has the ability to be stored within the body so, as a result, deficiencies in B12 are rare. Now if your body for some reason is not using B12 properly, you may need to take supplements to help things along. The same situation can arise if vitamin B12 isn't absorbing properly through your intestinal tract. Vegans tend to be B12 deficient and are advised to take supplements. This is because the majority of B12 which we derive from our diets comes from meat. A medical condition which is known as pernicious anemia can occur if you do not get an adequate amount of vitamin B12. Some of the symptoms of this condition are loss of balance, general weakness, numbness and tingling in the legs and arms and several others. If you have a concern that you may be at risk for pernicious anemia or just B12 deficiency in general, then check in with your family doctor to see if you may be a candidate for vitamin B12 supplements.

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