Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

IUPAC structure of vit B12

Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

Cobalamin Cyanocobalamin Methylcobalamin are different names of Vitamin B12 used for maintaining a healthy nervous system. It is the only vitamin in the family of B complex which contains cobalt. B12, along with B6 and B9 work together to control high levels of amino acid homocysteine in blood because high levels of homocysteine is associated with cardiac ailments.

Methylcobalamin is the activated form of Cobalamin used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Dietary sources of Cobalamin

1.Animal liver and kidneys are best sources of Cobalamin especially lamb liver.

2.Clams, oysters and chewy shellfish are rich source.

3.Rainbow trout, Tuna, Salmon and Sardines are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, proteins and excellent sources of Cobalamin.

4.Eggs and poultry are complete sources of all the B vitamins.

5.Beef and pork are also the richest sources.

6.Fortified nutritional yeast is a rich vegan source of both vitamins and minerals.

7.Milk and milk products especially curd, cheese, yoghurt and paneer are rich sources.

8.Soymilk, almond milk and rice milk and their fortified products are nutritional vegan replacement for dairy milk. Fortified cereals are also good sources of Cobalamin.

Who are at risk for Cobalamin deficiency?

  1. People suffering from chronic gastritis or having a surgery of the whole or a part of the stomach called gastrectomy.
  2. All the vegans who do not eat poultry or dairy products.
  3. Patients who are infected with Helicobacter pylori which causes damage to the cells of gastric glands by causing gastric ulcer.
  4. Patients whose stomach parietal cells are damaged that produce intrinsic factor.
  5. People suffering from nutritional disorders.
  6. HIV infected patients.

Deficiency of Cobalamin causes

Pernicious Anemia is a disorder caused due to the inability to make intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor deficiency is disorder of Cobalamin absorption characterized by Megaloblastic Anemia. Pernicious Anemia is characterized by numbness of hands and feet causing confusion, memory loss, weight loss, diarrhoea and paleness of skin.

Age related macular degeneration which is an opthalmic disorder causing loss of vision.

Heart disease related to high homocysteine levels.

Male infertility due to low sperm count and inability of the sperm to swim.

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