Vitamin B12 – biologically active substance containing cobalt

5 min read
Vitamin B12 – biologically active substance containing cobalt
Picture: Golovko Ivan | Dreamstime

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is a unique compound that contains cobalt. The component is involved in hematopoiesis, normalizes metabolism, stimulates the functioning of the nervous system.

Cyanocobalamin is prescribed to prevent anemia, improve the condition of hair, nails, skin. The drug is used for stomatitis, unbalanced (vegetarian) nutrition, neuralgia, cerebral palsy, radiculitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis.

Cyanocobalamin belongs to the category of biological components containing cobalt. Therefore, when asked what else vitamin B12 is called, doctors answer that its second name is cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is called cyanocobalamin and external factor of Castle.

Other designations:

  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Cobamamide
  • Methylcobalamin.

The most common name is cyanocobalamin. It is in this form that the compound enters the body.

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The component is highly soluble in water. It is an odorless crystalline powder with a dark red color. B12 is a unique element containing cobalt atoms. And the chemical interaction of carbon and metal is the only compound that does not repeat itself in living nature. Cyanocobalamin is produced by archaea and bacteria.

The production of cyanocobalamin by a chemical method is a very complex process. A small amount, insufficient to meet the daily requirement, is synthesized by the intestinal microflora. The element accumulates in the liver.

Benefits of Vitamin B12

The main functions of vitamin B12 – stimulation of metabolic processes in cells, hematopoietic effect.

Vitamin B12
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The substance is involved in a number of biological processes:

  • formation of nucleic acids, choline, creatine, methionine;
  • activation of growth, development of the child’s body;
  • stimulation of protein, lipid, carbohydrate metabolism;
  • improvement of saving processes, energy consumption;
  • protection of vessels;
  • formation of erythrocytes, hemoglobin;
  • restoration of the liver.

Why else does the body need vitamin B12, neuropathologists know. Doctors say that yanocobalamin neutralizes the action of harmful chemical compounds that affect the nervous system and increase the risk of heart or vascular disease.

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Diseases treated with vitamin B12

  • anemia (iron deficiency, posthemorrhagic, malignant);
  • CP;
  • liver dysfunction (hepatitis, Botkin’s disease cirrhosis);
  • normocytic anemia in children;
  • sciatica;
  • trigeminal neuralgia;
  • alcoholic delirium;
  • migraine;
  • Down syndrome;
  • psoriasis.

Cyanocobalamin-based preparations are used for anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or poisoning. Other indications are causalgic syndrome, sun allergy, atopic dermatitis, radiation sickness, chronic gastritis or pancreatitis.

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Few people know why the female body needs vitamin B12. But the role of cyanocobalamin is very great. Upon receipt of the daily norm of the substance, a woman experiences dizziness, weakness, and the condition of her hair improves. Vitamin B12 is good for hair – it gives them shine, splendor, prevents brittleness and thinning.

Cyanocobalamin removes muscle weakness, shortness of breath, improves vision, facilitates the course of menopause. The substance is used to eliminate pallor and bruising on the skin, improve memory, mood. For men, vitamin B12 deficiency is dangerous for the development of heart disease, muscle weakness. The substance improves sleep, calms the nervous system, helps to quickly adapt to the new daily routine.

Vitamin deficiency

If an adult receives less than 3 micrograms of cyanocobalamin per day, then we can talk about a lack of vitamin B12. It is noteworthy that deficiency often occurs due to the inability of the body to fully absorb it.

Vitamin B12
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Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, the causes and treatment of which must be determined by a doctor, causes helminthiasis and the presence of foreign microbes in the ileum, where cyanocobalamin should be absorbed. It is poorly absorbed due to lack of calcium, dysfunction of the stomach or pancreas, an excess of ascorbic acid.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

  • poor appetite;
  • nervousness;
  • personality degradation;
  • stool disorder;
  • pallor and yellowing of the skin;
  • back pain;
  • depressive state;
  • reddening of the tongue;
  • muscle numbness;
  • malaise;
  • light sensitivity.

Lack of vitamin B12 – other symptoms in adults are ulcers at the corners of the mouth, increased fatigue, difficulty walking. Other signs are itching, burning, redness of the eyes or tachycardia, shortness of breath that occurs with minimal physical activity. Cyanocobalamin is found in animal products. Accordingly, the deficiency of the substance is more often diagnosed in vegetarians.

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Lack of vitamin B12 contributes to the development of pernicious anemia, the breakdown of amino acids, and intoxication. Deficiency provokes brain damage, causes schizophrenia, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome. The lack of a substance leads to damage to the mitochondria, which increases the likelihood of infection with deadly bacteria – fecal enterococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Excess vitamin

When using large doses of cyanocobalamin, its toxicity was not detected. But in the presence of individual intolerance, an excess of vitamin B12 contributes to the mutation of DNA cells, increases the risk of developing heart failure, pulmonary edema.

Other consequences are a predisposition to thrombosis, prostate or lung cancer in men. Other signs of hypervitaminosis – urticaria, anaphylaxis.

What foods contain vitamin B12

The best way to eliminate hypovitaminosis is to use natural products that contain cyanocobalamin. What foods contain vitamin B12, nutritionists and doctors know.

Vitamin B12
Picture: Tetiana Kreminska | Dreamstime

The optimal amount of the element is found in beef liver (60 µg/100 g). In second place is pork liver (26 mcg / 100 g). The third place is given to the octopus (20 mcg / 100 g). What other foods contain vitamin B12?

The element is present in seafood:

  • mussels;
  • cod;
  • perch;
  • keta;
  • shrimp;
  • mackerel;
  • herring;
  • carp

Cyanocobalamin tolerates heat treatment well. Therefore, the substance remains in the products even after cooking.

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Where else is vitamin B12 found? Cyanocobalamin is also present in beef kidneys, lamb, sour cream, turkey, eggs, broiler chickens, cottage cheese. Other foods containing a valuable element are pork, Swiss cheese, chicken heart, yogurt, cheddar, milk.


There are approximately 1 billion vegetarians worldwide. People who eat plant foods are more prone to vitamin deficiency than others. Therefore, supporters of all natural must necessarily “feed” the body with a synthetic form of vitamin B12. But it is important to take such drugs only for medical purposes. Otherwise, the substance cyanocobalamin will not be absorbed or hypervitaminosis will develop, which is more harmful than beriberi.

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