Vitamin B12 contributes to the formation of red blood cells. Furthermore, as well as folic acid, vitamin B12 is involved in cell formation and regulates growth processes in the body. The importance of vitamin B12 is evident during pregnancy in particular, when a little body comes into being and is growing.
Why is vitamin B12 so important?
Good sources of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal source foods, such as liver, meat, eggs, milk and cheese. Strict vegetarians (so-called vegans), who completely avoid animal source foods, may lack vitamin B12. Vegetarians who consume dairy products and eggs in sufficient quantities will usually not have any deficiencies.
Compared to other nutrients, vitamin B12 is quite resistant to outside influences and the body requires only tiny quantities – but those are essential.
In a laboratory, a deficiency is recognised by the presence of fewer (but larger) red blood cells in the blood. Furthermore, there are problems with the formation of new cells and neurological disorders. The first signs are general symptoms such as weakness, paleness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and fast tiring.