Vitamin B12 is essential for the body, supports and protects the nervous and immune system, plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and genetic material, is central to the production of cellular energy.
Vitamins are essential substances for life, however, the body is not able to self-produce them and therefore they must be introduced through food. Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin, belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins B. This vitamin is able to preserve the health of the nervous system by maintaining the protective sheaths of the nerves, supports the immune system, is essential for the production of energy at the cellular level and helps the body to use the folate. But the properties of the incredible vitamin B12 do not end here, this substance also plays a role in the formation and correct maturation of red blood cells, in the production of RNA and DNA and in the cell multiplication of all those tissues that renew very rapidly as blood or intestine. Vitamin B12, although soluble in water, can be stored by the body in the liver even for a few years and can be used in case of deficiency. However, its daily intake, which in adults is about 2 micro grams, little more during pregnancy and breastfeeding, is essential. Indeed, a prolonged condition of vitamin B12 deficiency, caused, for example, by an insufficient intake with the diet, can deplete all the resources in the liver. Possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can be disorders of the nervous system and a form of anemia called pernicious (Ankar et al, StatPearls, 2017). The sources of vitamin B12 are mainly animal such as milk and dairy products, liver, eggs, molluscs and sardines. And this is why vegans and vegetarians often show a deficiency of this vitamin. However, there are also plant based sources of vitamin B12. For example, the nutritional yeast flakes in fact contain small amounts of vitamin B12 while a scientific study has indicated that the use of nori seaweed has demonstrated to be able to prevent a deficiency of this vitamin in vegetarians (O'Leary et al, Nutrients, 2010). Moreover, in addition to nori seaweed, according to a scientific study, also the integration of klamath blue green algae could also help to cover the needs of vitamin B12 as well as a portion of shiitake mushrooms and fermented products such as Tempeh (Rizzo et al, Nutrients, 2016).