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Vitamin b 12 deficiency affects a group of the population, especially the elderly. There are two kinds of sufferers from vitamin b 12 deficiency. The first group consists of asymptomatic vitamin b 12 deficiency and the other one is composed of hematologic vitamin B12 deficiency. The type of deficiency you have may possibly rely upon how your body absorbs the nutrients from foods. The body’s pattern of absorbing vitamin B12 from foods is quite complex,and that is the reason why a defect in the absorption process can quite simply cause a vitamin b 12 deficiency.
More than often,the absorption of vitamin b 12 transpires in the stomach where the discharge of gastric acid and pepsin help release cobalamin from animal proteins. Vitamin B12 absorption may also occur in the mouth where it binds preferentially to salivary R protein. Pancreatic enzymes and an alkaline pH may also react with vitamin b 12 and contribute to its rate of absorption.
Causes These two compounds digest the R protein-cobalamin complex,but before it is absorbed,vitamin b 12 firstly binds to intrinsic factor (IF) secreted by the intestines to form an IF-cobalamin complex. One cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is certain medical conditions that affect vitamin B12 absorption. These conditions include low consumption of vitamin B12 because of eating foods that lack vitamin B12. The cause of this vitamin B12 deficiency is veganism, or strict vegetarians that eat only plants and vegetables that do not contain any cobalamin.
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The failure to digest food protein is also a leading cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. This may possibly be caused by the decreased release of gastric acid,which is in turn caused by an underlying health condition. As briefly mentioned earlier,absorption of vitamin B12 by the body is attained when all the factors – that is,the compounds necessary are present.
Vitamin B12 combined with salivary R protein is required to bind with intrinsic factors in the small intestine in order for the vitamin to be correctly absorbed. If there are no intrinsic factors,then absorption fails and as a result,this shortage of a vital compound can be a cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Circumstances that lead to absence of intrinsic factor include pernicious anemia and gastrectomy. On the whole,the obvious solution to preventing vitamin B12 deficiency is to eat food high in vitamin B12. Numerous reports from around the world indicate that many long-term vegetarians (vegetarians who do not use any eggs,meat,fish, poultry,or dairy products) are especially susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency. Since they cannot eat the regular food high in vitamin B12 that other people eat,they often resort to supplements.
Besides lack of adequate consumption of food high in vitamin B12,an additional factor that might lead to a deficiency in this vitamin is lack of adequate absorption. Although, the fact that the body does not need to consume a lot of food high in vitamin B12, the vitamin is actually testing to absorb. With this logic, even with a diet of food high in vitamin B12,people may still suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. Poor absorption of the vitamins found in food high in vitamin B12 can be due to an underlying condition,including a lack of B12 in diet because of poor food selections,a lack of intrinsic factor secretion due to aging,gastritis,or the partial removal of the stomach by surgery (gastrectomy),lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach,especially in the elderly, or ileal resection or ileitis.
Although vitamin B12 is made by bacteria and fungi,they are not normally found in yeasts or higher plants. Most of the friendly bacteria reside in large quantities in the gastrointestinal tracts of animals and humans and because of this,food high in vitamin B12 are mostly meat products. Food rich in vitamin B12 are very significant because vitamin B12, along with B6,is a key contributing factor to the promotion of the body’s metabolism of folic acid. Furthermore,foods rich in vitamin B12 also contain essential nutrients that perform a range of principal roles in endless activities,as well as cellular repair,digestion, the immune system and the production of energy.
Treatment Putting right the deficiency simply means increasing the amount of vitamin B12 that you take. Treating the underlying disorders that cause vitamin B12 deficiency in conjunction with the intake of vitamin B12 supplements is also an added approach to correcting the deficiency. Besides, vitamin B12 supplementation seems to alleviate the symptoms of folic acid deficiency. This is, of course, granted that folate supplements are also provided to the patient. The reason for this is that there may be unsuspected B12 deficiency along with the lack of folate and the sudden availability of folate may use up the remaining B12, which is known to potentially be harmful to the nerves of the spinal cord.
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin B12? The main benefit of vitamin B12 in food is to function as a methyl donor. By working with folic acid, it plays an important role in the synthesis of DNA (the genetic material of all cells). It also seems to promote and maintain the normal function of healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 in food is also significantly important in maintaining the health of the insulation sheath or the myelin sheath that surround all nerve cells. Therefore,lack of vitamin B12 in the body may sometimes result in neurologically related conditions.