Vitamin B12, known in professional circles as cyanocobalamin, is important for cell division and blood formation as well as for the functioning of the nervous system.
Function & Details
The daily minimum requirement, compared to most other vitamins, is much lower with only approx. 3 micrograms for an adult. Vitamin B12 is important for muscle activity, the brain and nervous system as well as the growth and formation of red blood cells, bone formation, fat conversion and the mucous membranes. To this comes a positive effect against stress and better mental freshness.
The first signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency in adults may include tingling and coldness in the hands and feet, exhaustion and a feeling of weakness, concentration disorders and even psychoses.
The human and animal body cannot produce vitamin B12 by itself. The requirement for vitamin B12 is met by consuming microorganisms which produce vitamin B12. But the consumption of meat and innards can also have a positive effect on the vitamin B-12 balance.
It is believed that herbivores meet the bulk of their requirement through a symbiosis with microorganisms in their bowels. Microorganisms which produce vitamin B12 are also found in the bowels of humans, but humans cannot sufficiently meet their requirement for vitamin B12 in this way. That's because in people, vitamin B12 is produced mainly in the large intestine, but absorption can take place only in the terminal ileum (just before the large intestine). This way, vitamin B12 generated in the large intestine is excreted.
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The Function section & Details of this article are based on the article Vitamin B12 from the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is under the GNU-license for free documentation. In the Wikipedia, a list of authors can be found.