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Updated 21 May 2013

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water soluble vitamin which performs a variety of tasks within the body, maintaining a healthy nervous system and normal red blood cell formation.

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Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin which performs a variety of tasks within the body, promoting growth when we’re young and maintaining a healthy nervous system and normal red blood cell formation.

What vitamin B12 does for you

It helps keep your nerves healthy by playing a vital role in the formation and maintenance of the myelin sheath, a protective layer around each nerve, which allows for the quick transmission of nerve impulses.

It also helps promote a healthy appetite when you’re young, ensures normal growth and assists in the production of red blood cells.

Which foods have vitamin B12?

Yeast extracts such as Marmite, as well as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, unrefined carbohydrates, dairy products and fortified cereals.

How much vitamin B12 do you need?

The current recommended dietary allowance/adequate intake (RDA/AI) is 2.4 microgram per day for both men and women.

How much vitamin B12 is too much?


The safe upper limit is 3 000mcg per day.

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency


Eczema, dermatitis, fatigue, poor hair condition, poor memory or concentration, anaemia, anxiety, irritability and tension, and tender or sore muscles.

New research on vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 seems to help repair the nerve damage suffered by diabetics.

Vitamin B12 seems to play a vital role in the production of brain transmitters such as the “feel good” substances dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals help control our moods and sleep patterns, so it seems B12 really does play a role in keeping a positive mental outlook.

 
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