Health Glossary - For Everyone

Cobalamin (vitamin B12)
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What is cobalamin (vitamin B12)?

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins that is required to ensure that there are enough red blood cells in the body and that there is sufficient haemoglobin flowing inside the red blood cells.

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is the only B-vitamin that the body stores in the liver. Normally the body just excretes the water-soluble vitamins out of the body, if there are sufficient amounts.

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Important cobalamin (vitamin B12) facts

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Why cobalamin (vitamin B12) is important

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is important for the formation of blood and for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) has an important role in the production of the protective, insulating layer around nervous tissues, called the myelin sheath, which allows nerve impulses to be quickly relayed.

Intrinsic factor, which is present in the cells of the stomach lining, is necessary for the absorption of cobalamin (vitamin B12). Calcium is also part of this absorption process, which occurs in the ileum (the third section of the small intestine). Some people do not produce any (or not enough) intrinsic factor and develop pernicious anaemia, which is normally treated with injections of vitamin B12.


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Last reviewed: 14 January 2007 || Last updated: 21 August 2007


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More information

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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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