A Healthy Nervous System and Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12: An Overview
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, as it is a necessary cofactor for the production of healthy red blood cells. The human body is capable of storing vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 and Blood Cell Production
Vitamin B12 is associated with blood cell production. Cell division requires the synthesis of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). B12 is a necessary cofactor for this synthesis. DNA synthesis is especially essential in areas of the body where blood cells are required to divide rapidly. This rapid division is particularly necessary in the bone marrow tissues where red blood cells are formed. Red blood cells, scientifically referred to as erythrocytes, are comprised mainly of hemoglobin. Red blood cells are common throughout the body, responsible for the proper delivery of oxygen through the blood stream to the tissues. Hemoglobin is primarily responsible for the binding of the oxygen molecules to the red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 and a Healthy Nervous System
Vitamin B12 is associated with the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Myelin, a complex protein, is found wrapped around nerves as an insulation. It is responsible for the protection and aids in maintaining proficient speeds of nerve signaling. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper sustainment of myelin, as it is required for the metabolism of fatty acids associated with myelin production. Alzheimers disease and dementia have been associated with low levels of vitamin B12.
How Much Vitamin B12 Do I Need?
Both male and female adults have approximately the same requirement for daily intake of vitamin B12 of 2.4 micrograms. This varies based on the individual and their particular needs. Children require smaller amounts of vitamin B12.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is commonly found in many foods, particularly organ meats, mollusks, fish and nuts. The preparation of foods is an important consideration for vitaminB12 levels, as it is common for cooking to significantly decrease amounts. The following is a list of foods that provide abundant amounts of vitamin B-12. Listed are the names, the amounts, and the micrograms ingested.
- Steamed Clams, 3 ounces, 134 micrograms
- 1 Slice Beef Liver, 3 ounces, 95 micrograms
- Steamed Oysters, 3 ounces, 77 micrograms
- Steamed Octopus, 3 ounces, 44 micrograms
- 1 Leg Steamed Crab, 8 ounces, 24 microgram
- Grilled Bluefin Tuna, 3 ounces, 12 microgram
Vitamin B12 Deficiencies and Toxicity
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are cause for disruption of the required efficiency of rapid DNA synthesis causing abnormalities. Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are associated with adults over the age of 60. This typically results in a condition known as anemia. Anemia is a deficiency in levels of red blood cells within the system. It is associated with several distinct signs and symptoms; loss of breath, extreme tiredness, and autoimmune disorders (decreased ability to fight and prevent infection). Deficiencies in vitamin B12 lasting for extended periods of time are associated with neurological symptoms, such as degeneration of the nerves, which is typically irreversible. Toxicity associated with vitamin B12 is extremely rare.