This Vitamin is the only cobalt containing substance essential to life. It is absorbed from the ileum, with the help of a muco-protein enzyme called as the ‘Castle’s Intrinsic factor’ and stored in the liver.
1. It helps in the synthesis of nucleic acid and nucleoprotein.
2. It is also essential for the maturation of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
3. Its presence is even essential for the metabolism of nerve tissues.
Vitamin B12 is present in foods of animal origin only-milk, meat and liver. Hence, people living on vegetable foods are prone to suffer from the deficiency of this vitamin.
The daily allowance of Vitamin B12 range from 0.5 to 2 mg. depending on age and physiological state.
Deficiency of this Vitamin leads to a disease called Pernicious anemia, which is characterized by macrocytic anemia, glossiest and neurological disturbances as irritability, drowsiness and depression.