In the human body, vitamin B12 plays a central role in various metabolic processes. The need can be easily covered by animal foods, such as meat, fish, or dairy products. Vegans, however, need dietary supplements.
What is vitamin B12 and what are its functions in the body?
The term “vitamin B12” refers to a group of compounds with a similar structure and with the same biological effect in the body. They are components (cofactors) of important enzymes. Since they carry a so-called cobalt ion inside, they are also called cobalamins. Vitamin B12 also helps new red blood cells to form and mature. It supports the development of nerve cells and is also required for the metabolism of amino acids and nucleic acids (the components of cell nuclei).
Why is the supply of vitamin B12 particularly important during pregnancy?
As can be seen in the daily requirement table, women need more vitamin B12 during pregnancy. Vegetarians and vegans in particular should therefore have their blood levels determined. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to developmental disorders in the child or even an unwanted termination of pregnancy.
Is an overdose of vitamin B12 possible?
Anyone who eats a purely vegan diet needs dietary supplements (supplements) to avoid a vitamin B12 deficiency. By the way, if used correctly, there is no need to fear an overdose of vitamin B12. Because the intestine only absorbs the required amount. Excess is therefore simply excreted by the body.