Vitamin B12 is a vitamin. It can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a laboratory.
Foods High in Vitamin B12:
- Swiss Cheese
- Beef Liver
- Bran cereals
- Skim Milk
- Vitamin B12 deficiency, a condition in which vitamin B12 levels in the blood are too low.
- Pernicious anemia, a serious type of anemia that is due to vitamin B12 deficiency and is found mostly in older people. For this purpose, people use either a supplement that is taken by mouth or a gel that is applied inside the nose.
Vitamin B12 is also used for:
- Memory loss
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Boosting mood
- Immune system
- Slowing aging
- Heart disease
- Lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease)
- Male infertility
- Sleep disorders
- Mental disorders
- Weak bones (osteoporosis)
- Swollen tendons
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- A skin disease called vitiligo
- Preventing cervical and other cancers
- Skin infections.
- Myotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Lyme disease
- Gum disease
- Ringing in the ears
- Liver and kidney disease
- Protection against the poisons and allergens in tobacco smoke.
- Vitamin B12 is applied to the skin either alone or in combination with avocado oil for psoriasis and eczema.
- Vitamin B12 is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in various vitamin B complex products.
- Treatment and prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency, and diseases caused by low vitamin B12 levels.
- Treatment of pernicious anemia.
- Reducing a condition related to heart disease called “hyperhomocysteinemia” when taken with folic acid and vitamin B6.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Some research shows that taking vitamin B12 with other vitamins including folic acid and vitamin B6 might help prevent getting the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin B12 is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in the amounts recommended. The recommended amount for pregnant women is 2.6 mcg per day. Breast-feeding women should take no more than 2.8 mcg per day. Don’t take larger amounts. The safety of larger amounts is unknown.
- High numbers of red blood cells (polycythemia vera): The treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency can unmask the symptoms of polycythemia vera.
- ‘Abnormal red blood cells (megaloblastic anemia): Megaloblastic anemia is sometimes corrected by treatment with vitamin B12. However, this can have very serious side effects. Don’t attempt vitamin B12 therapy without close supervision by your healthcare provider.
- Leber’s disease, a hereditary eye disease: Do not take vitamin B12 if you have this disease. It can seriously harm the optic nerve, which might lead to blindness.
- Allergy or sensitivity to cobalt or cobalamin: Do not use vitamin B12 if you have this condition.
- Post-surgical stent placement: Avoid using a combination of vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 after receiving a coronary stent. This combination may increase the risk of blood vessel narrowing.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination:
- Chloramphenicol interacts with VITAMIN B12: Vitamin B12 is important for producing new blood cells. Chloramphenicol might decrease new blood cells. Taking chloramphenicol for a long time might decrease the effects of vitamin B12 on new blood cells. But most people only take chloramphenicol for a short time so this interaction isn’t a big problem.
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Source: WebMD, “Vitamin B12”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/