Essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals help keep the body healthy whether they are consumed in sufficient amount. So essential nutrients can be obtained from food stuffs; however vitamins which are essential for body, not available in sufficient quantities. The vitamin which cannot be obtained from food is vitamin b12.
Vitamin b12, also termed coalmine is a water soluble vitamin essential for normal functioning of brain and nervous system via synthesis of myelin and formation of red blood cells. It reduces the risk of breast cancer, heart disease and prevents kidney stones and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin b12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red bloods cells .It is believed that supplementation of vitamin b12 whether combined to folate and vitamin b6 can help improve memory for people with Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin b12 is often called an “antistress “vitamin because it is believed to enhance the activity of immune system and improves the body’s ability to withstand stressful conditions.
Vitamin b12 deficiency can take place due to many reasons. Vitamin b12 deficiency can lead to low red blood cell count, nerve damage and degeneration of spinal cord. A lack of vitamin b12 damages the myelin that surrounds and protects nerves. Vitamin b12 deficiency is associated with risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pernicious anemia due to lack of intrinsic factor occurs in about one per 1000 people. Intrinsic factor (IF), also known s gastric intrinsic factor (GIF), is a glycoprotein produced by the parietal cells of stomach. It is necessary for absorption of vitamin b12 later on ileum of small intestine and failure to produce or utilize intrinsic factor results in condition pernicious anemia.
It is said that vitamins are organic compound that are essential in very small mounts for supporting normal physiologic function. We need vitamins in our diet because our body cannot synthesize them quickly enough to meet our daily needs.