Vitamin B12, the underestimated vital nutrients for nerves and brain

Whom Vitamin B12 lack, which carries an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and dementia. We explain the signs of a Vitamin B12 deficiency and how you compensate for it intelligently, with the days plan. Because B12 is the only Vitamin that is not found in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin B12 is perhaps the most underrated Vitamin. Only recently, the German nutrition society (DGE) has increased together with the scientific societies in Switzerland and Austria, the reference value for Vitamin B12 from three to four micro-grams per day.

“This is an estimate, based on studies in which several parameters in the blood were measured,” reports Silke rest Meyer, diploma in nutritional science expert and Advisor to the DGE.

According to the data of the National consumption study (NVS II), the majority of adult men and women sufficient Vitamin B12, risk groups, however, are supplied.

Who is at risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency

It’s not about people aged 65 and over because the uptake and utilization of Vitamin B12 from the diet works so well. They produce the so-called Intrinsic Factor, only in less quantity. This is an enzyme, Transporter, the Vitamin for absorption in the intestinal cells. Only a fraction of the Vitamin can have its effect.

Other At-Risk Groups:

  • Vegans
  • Vegetarians, especially in pregnancy and lactation
  • People in whom the absorption of Vitamin B12 in the stomach and intestines is disturbed, for example for chronic inflammation in this area, such as Gastritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
  • The one who takes permanently certain medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (for stomach acid), Metformin (diabetes drug)
  • Who is constantly under Stress Because the Vitamin is involved in the formation of stress hormones. Therefore, empty in the case of a constant mental Overload, the Vitamin B12 storage.
  • Who drinks a lot of alcohol: Many people with high alcohol consumption have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is essential for low homocysteine

Here, Vitamin B12 is actually a collective term for various cobalamins, such as Hydroxy – and adenosyl cobalamin in meat and fish, in milk, Methylcobalamin. Vitamin B12 is involved as a coenzyme in various metabolic processes in the body. The Problem: The body cannot make it self and it is not necessary for life. The main tasks of Vitamin B12:

  • It is involved in cell renewal and blood formation.
  • It stabilizes the DNA.
  • It protects nerves and brain.
  • It supports protein and fat metabolism.
  • Vitamin B12 to build the unfavorable homocysteine into less harmful methionine. Homocysteine is an amino acid, the vessels damage, atherosclerosis, favors, and in connection with heart attack and stroke.

In particular, the role of Vitamin B12, as a lowering of homocysteine is interesting. Various studies have shown that an elevated homocysteine level increases the risk for heart attack and stroke increase significantly. Low levels of homocysteine, Vitamin B12, and are therefore cheap.

Vitamin B12 deficiency – the signs

According to its diverse functions, the signs of a Vitamin B12 deficiency are very diverse and rich of all the symptoms of anemia (pallor, fatigue) up to concentration problems, dizziness, muscle weakness, and neurological disorders, and nerve damage such as neuropathy with sensory disturbances in the legs. This nerve damage can be irreversible if the vitamin deficiency over a long period of time.

It will be discussed how a Vitamin B12 deficiency with an increased risk for dementia diseases such as Alzheimer’s. “Studies show that Vitamin B12 deficiency is often, the cognitive performance is reduced, but the data is contradictory, when it comes, with Vitamin B12 supplements in the Ming of these changes prevent,” notes nutrition expert rest Meyer.

Vitamin B12-Status professional can clarify

Anyone who noticed any of the above symptoms and/or belongs to the risk groups, let the doctor a corresponding blood test. “It is important to measure at least two of the biomarkers, such as total Vitamin B12 and Holo-TC (Holo-Transcobalamin) in Serum or Plasma, in addition to a descriptive function parameters, such as methyl malonic acid (MMA) or homocysteine in the Serum,” says Silke rest Meyer. The blood test costs from 16 euros.

So eat a day is sufficient Vitamin B12

The defect is not pronounced, it is usually sufficient to modify the diet plan and the B-Vitamin. Rich in Vitamin B12 are the following food: meat, fish, dairy products, eggs.

The DGE gives as an example of a daily schedule, with the reference value of four micrograms can be achieved:

  • 150 ml of milk with 1.5% fat i. Tr. = 0.6 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12
  • 1 small Cup of yogurt with 1.5% fat i. Tr. = 0.6 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12
  • 1 boiled Egg = 1,14 micrograms of Vitamin B12
  • 60 gr Camembert 30% fat in dry matter. = At 1.86 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12

Total = 4,2 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12


  • 100 gr of cooked, lean Beef = to 4.5 micrograms of Vitamin B12
  • 60 gr cream cheese 50 % fat in dry matter. = 0.3 Micro Grams Of Vitamin B12
  • 30 g of Gouda 30% fat in dry matter. = To 0.66 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12

Total = To 5.46 Micrograms Of Vitamin B12

By the way, Vitamin B12 is quite stable to heat, is lost during the Heating, Roasting and cooking.

Vegetarians and Vegans should not rely on Sauerkraut and seaweed

Who deliberately avoids meat, or even on eggs and milk products, is being compromised heavily to get a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Many Vegans and vegetarians are confident that some plant foods contain the nerve Vitamin, such as fermented vegetables, or certain algae. Because of all the other vitamins, including some B-vitamins, are contained in vegetable foods as well.

“For Vitamin B12 this is not the case, however, it is the only Vitamin present in significant quantities (almost exclusively) found in meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products – but in the vegetable,” says nutritionist.

Although Sauerkraut (through fermentation with the help of bacteria) and algae are in fact Vitamin B12, but either in such low quantities that they come as a source is hardly in question – or it is called the Vitamin B12 analogues. These forms are not act as the Vitamin, but a block in the body of the B12 Transport and even the opposite: The body can not make use of the few effective Vitamin B12, which is perhaps available.

Vitamin B12 from tablets of the body recovered is often better

“Vegans should necessarily and permanently a Vitamin-B12-oral preparation, and the supply regularly medically checked,” advises the nutritionist. Also vegetarians have higher nutrient requirements, such as in pregnancy and lactation, should ensure that an adequate Vitamin B12 intake.

A Vitamin B12 is proven deficiency, it should be appropriate dietary Supplement balanced. This can be taken orally as tablets and capsules. Tolerability and bioavailability are good. Vitamin B12 “Cyanocobalamin as a crystalline substance, as it occurs often in food supplements, is even used by patients with Gastritis better than Vitamin B12 from food,” says the expert.

Overdose with the commercially available Vitamin B12 supplements are at the basis of a reasonable handling is hardly possible. Silke rest of Meyer: “In a study of dialysis patients with a long intake of 2.5 milligrams after each dialysis were recorded (i.e., a multiple of the appraised value of 4 or 5 micro-grams), no adverse effects.” Nevertheless, important: When there is a permanent taking Vitamin B12 supplements should be monitored for Vitamin B12 Status.

Vitamin B12 as an injection

Sometimes these active supplementation is not enough, however. This may be the case, if one or more factors are present, such as:

  • The deficiency is pronounced.
  • Disruptions, for example through old age or chronic inflammation of the digestive tract
  • Drugs that prevent the absorption of the Vitamin, however, is not, or is replaced can be exposed

Then the doctor recommends a Vitamin B12-cure by injection. It is given at intervals of a few days or a week, the Vitamin muscles. Depending on the product, one injection costs around five to ten euros.

Vitamin B12 has unknown Potential

So far, Vitamin B12 is often underestimated Vitamin. The importance and wide, its effect range is to cover studies. A significant, preventive effect of Vitamin B12 in combination with B6 and folic acid has been proven to seizures.

Also on the subject of cancer the Vitamin could play a role. However, there are only a few and partially contradictory studies. Here, however, is its ability to stabilize the DNA and thus mutations prevent could come to fruition.