Sources of Vegetarian B12
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential nutrient. This vitamin is water-soluble and is stored in the liver in the human body. Vitamin B12 is usually involved in the metabolism of almost every cell in the body, and affects DNA synthesis and regulation, fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Since the human body cannot synthesize vitamin B12, fish and meat foods are the main sources of this vitamin. The recommended daily intake is 2-3 micrograms.
B12 deficiency is a common disease all over the world. There are many factors that can cause this disease. People over the age of 50 who suffer from vitamin B12 malabsorption are caused by chronic and stable parietal cell loss due to aging. People who consume low amounts of vitamins in their diets, such as vegetarians and vegans, also tend to be deficient in vitamin B12. Lack of vitamin B12 is closely related to neurological and cognitive dysfunction, and severe deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia. Although vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread, most of the illnesses are asymptomatic. Therefore, the diagnosis of B12 deficiency can only rely entirely on biomarkers. So far, there is no direct way to diagnose B12 deficiency. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include: pernicious anemia (dizziness, headache, heartbeat, numbness of hands and feet), neurological disorders (shoulder pain, low back pain, neuralgia), loss of appetite, and indigestion.