, sometimes referred to as cyanocobalamin, is a key component in cell formation and longevity, proper digestion, protein synthesis, absorption of food, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It also helps maintain fertility, and, along with the other B vitamins, helps produce neurotransmitters, chemicals that facilitate communication between nerves. This latter function makes B12 helpful in the prevention and treatment of depression and other mood disorders. Vitamin B12 aids in the formation of red blood cells; helps maintain the central nervous system; and helps the body use folic acid.
Good Food Sources:
Milk and milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, liver, oysters, shellfish, and other animal products.
Signs of Deficiency:
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anemia, which may be caused by inadequate consumption of B12 or an inability to absorb it properly. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 is common and may be caused by certain diseases, such as colitis or celiac disease, by an insufficient amount of stomach acid, abnormal bacterial growth in the intestines, or previous stomach or intestinal surgery. A deficiency of B12 can take many years to become apparent, because the body stores this vitamin-up to 10 milligrams at a time and very little is excreted. Signs of deficiency, in addition to anemia, include memory loss, abnormal gait, nerve damage, decreased reflexes, hallucination, eye problems, and digestive disorders.
Uses of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is used to treat Alzheimer's disease, anemia, and depression