Thursday, September 10, 2015

B12 For Strong Bones

B12 For Strong Bones

Like I had promised, I’m back with my bone-building series. This time it is vitamin B12 for your bones. This vitamin is required in small quantities - Recommended dietary amounts (RDAs) are 2.4 mcg daily for 14 year-olds and above, 2.6 mcg for pregnant females, and 2.8 mcg for breastfeeding women.
But often, many are found lacking in this vital vitamin. The reasons are varied. Read on to find out. Also, vegetarians beware! Vitamin B12 is found only in foods of animal origin.
Find out if you show any of the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Also find out the rich sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 facts
About 2 mcg of this vitamin is needed daily
Its absorption takes about 3 hours
Only 30% of a food’s vitamin B12 content is lost on cooking
Excess alcohol coupled with unhealthy diet robs your body of B vitamins, especially B12
Milk powder has lost 90% of its B12 content; pasteurization loss is only 10%. Low fat milk is best

Good Sources 
Liver and milk. Not contained in vegetarian food. Vegetarians must receive it in supplement form
Deficiency in body occurs usually due to malabsorption from intestine rather than from malnutrition
Presence of sufficient quantity of gastric juice is essential for its absorption in the intestine
Calcium and protein rich foods greatly help its absorption from the intestines
The amount of B12 which is not needed immediately is stored in the liver
About 30 mcg of B12 is excreted in normal urine daily
Since its absorption does not take place in the colon, much of the unabsorbed B12 is excreted in the stools
It is destroyed by sunlight, alcohol, estrogen and sleeping pills

Some More Good Sources 



Functions of vitamin B12
Nerve cell maintenance
For proper functioning of GI tract, bone marrow and nerve tissue
Improves concentration, memory and balance, and relieves irritability
Necessary for proper utilization of fats, carbs and proteins for body building
Promotes growth and increases appetite in children
Helps in maturation of immune cells
Helps bronchial asthma, coordination, fatigue, growth, some skin problems and inability to think
Critical for growth and division of RBCs and gastro-intestinal cells
For normal hemoglobin levels and oxygen supply
Manufacture and maturation of RBCs, deficiency causes pernicious anemia

Signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Sore tongue, weakness, weight loss, back pain
Memory loss, confusion, delusion, fatigue
Loss of balance, decreased reflexes
Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
Ringing in ears
Can cause shortness of breath
Raises homocysteine levels

Note: High homocysteine levels have been linked with increased risk of Coronary heart disease (CHD). This is an independent risk factor. It leads to heart disease even in the absence of other factors. Infants with increased homocysteine levels have died of premature heart attacks.
Although Hyperhomocysteinemia affects both sexes, it's more common in men. It is genetic but main is deficiencies of the three B vitamins; especially folic acid. As we age, homocysteine levels increase. Its level can be controlled by adequate intake of the 3 B vitamins. The three work best together.

High Homocysteine levels:
Causes plaque to grow
Responsible for rupture of plaque and subsequent formation of blood clots
Precipitates heart attacks
Increases collagen production, a major component of plaque

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