Vitamin B12 An Introduction
Vitamin B12 is a member of the B-complex vitamin family. One of the most active ingredients of vitamin B12 is cobalt, so it is also known as cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is only produced in nature by bacteria, and no other plant or organism can manufacture it. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in meat, eggs and dairy products. The main plant sources for vitamin B12 are fermented soy products, seaweeds, and various classes of algae such as spirula. But due to the complex nature of the absorption of vitamin B12 from plant sources, they are considered unreliable sources of the vitamin. Therefore, many vegetarian foods now available have been supplemented with vitamin B12. This is because vitamin B12 is one of the essential components required by the human body for the synthesis of red blood cells, maintenance of nervous system and growth and development in small children.
Nasal Vitamin B12
The latest innovation in vitamin supplementation is Nasal vitamin B12. This is an effective treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency. The vitamin is administered in the nose, usually once a week or as directed by a doctor. Nasal vitamin B12 is mainly aimed at those who have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12. Internal absorption of vitamin B12 takes place in the gastro-intestinal tract and depends on a special protein made in the stomach known as the intrinsic factor. Nasal vitamin B12 is an alternative for people with gastro-intestinal problems. It should not be used without the advice of a pharmacist or physician, as there are some side effects, and blood tests are needed to monitor the effect of the vitamin.