Vitamin B12 Nutrition

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Vitamin B12 Nutrient functions and diet Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin has a few keys functions. Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin and a coenzyme for a critical methyl transfer reaction which is an essential biochemical reaction in fat and protein metabolism. Vitamin B12 not only helps with metabolism, it also helps with red blood formation, neurological functions and DNA synthesis (The Standing Committee, 1998, p.307). Unlike most B vitamins, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. Since Vitamin B12 is bound to protein in food the richest sources come from shellfish, organ meats, some game meats and then a few types of fish (The Standing Committee, 1998, p.343). Most of our vitamin b12 consumption in the United States comes from a category of mixed foods. For example, Sandwiches that contain meat, fish or poultry as the main ingredient make up most of our vitamin B12 intake in the United States. Other categories that make up the majority of our vitamin b12 intake are milk and milk products and beef products. Since vitamin B12 only comes from animal products there is another common category of consumption, this category is known as the fortified category. Products that are fortified with vitamin B12 are fortified with the synthetic version and these products include foods like breakfast cereals (The Standing Committee, 1998, p.343) Individuals at risk People who are at risk for developing a vitamin B12 deficiency include people over the age of 50 because many people over the age of 50 begin to lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods due to reduced gastric acidity. Another group that is at risk of developing a deficiency is people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Since vegans or vegetarians do not... ... middle of paper ... .... Infants do not have a set of DRIs instead they go by adequate intake (AI). These recommendations are a set of B12 values that have been observed from infants who are fed primarily human milk (The Standing Committee, 1998, p.322). Recommendations for elderly were set by assuming that since 10 to 30 percent of elderly people have gastritis with low stomach acid secretion then they may have low bioavailability of B12 from food. Therefore, since the high prevalence of this condition EAR recommendations would be higher than 2.0 micrograms (The Standing Committee, 1998, p.338). There is insufficient data on both recommendations for infants and elderly people. Some questions that may arise that would influence the DRI’s settings Experimental articles published after 1998 The first experimental article that I found that was published after the DRI report is a study

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