Skip to main content

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is one of the major nutrients needed for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is easily absorbed into and metabolized by the body. Vitamin B12 is crucial for preventing megaloblastic anemia, a blood condition that makes people tired and weak.


Vitamin B12 plays numerous essential roles in the body, such as:

  • Red blood cell formation
  • Hemoglobin formation
  • Brain function
  • DNA formation
  • Nerve cell maintenance
  • Assists in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine

Food sources

Vitamin B12 is bound to protein in foods. The richest dietary sources are beef liver, lean meat, clams, oysters, herring, and crab. Vitamin B12 is stable throughout ordinary cooking processes.  Please take note that Vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods so vegetarians must watch out for their body’s Vitamin B12 requirement.

Deficiency and Excess Intake

Being a water-soluble vitamin, it is important to consume sources high in vitamin B12 daily. Not doing so significantly increases the risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency. If an individual develops a vitamin B12 deficiency then this deficiency results in a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia which results in a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Neurological damage
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor balance
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Sore mouth
  • Sore tongue
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

A big concern of vitamin B12 deficiency is the neurological damage that it results in. This damage can begin to occur before a vitamin B12 deficiency progresses to anemia. While anemia can be corrected with vitamin B12 supplementation, neurological damage is irreversible. A vitamin B12 deficiency can result in additional symptoms during infancy, these include failure to thrive, developmental delays and movement-related disorders. Certain individuals are at a higher risk for developing a vitamin B12 deficiency and should pay close attention to the potential development of these symptoms and may have to consider vitamin B12 supplementation. These individuals include:

  • The elderly
  • Those with pernicious anemia
  • Those with gastrointestinal disorders
  • Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery
  • Vegetarians
  • Vegans
  • Pregnant and lactating women who are vegetarian or vegan put their infants at risk


To find out if you have a higher vitamin B12 requirement according to your genes, take your EatwellgxTM+  test today.


Medicine, J. (2017, March 2020). YouTube. Retrieved from Vitamin B12 Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism:


Leave a Reply

Secured By miniOrange