Vitamin B12 is a compound containing cobalt. It is produced by intestinal microorganisms. It is found in soil and water. As one of the B vitamins, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It means it dissolves more readily with water than nonpolar solvents. This vitamin is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. It is also involved in producing red blood cells. It is also important in keeping the nerve cells healthy. It may also function as as a co-enzyme in intermediary metabolism for the methionine synthase reaction with methylcobalamin, and the methylmalonyl CoA mutase reaction with adenosylcabalamin.1 Its vitamers include cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and methylcobalamin. It can be obtained from eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk and milk products.
Deficiency in vitamin B12 results in a macrocytic anemia, augmented homocysteine, peripheral neuropathy, memory loss, and other cognitive effects. Too much vitamin B12 in the diet can, in turn, cause skin and spinal lesions as well as acne-like rash.
IUPAC name: α-(5,6-dimethylbenzimidazolyl)cobamidcyanide
Chemical formula: C63H88CoN14O14P
1B vitamins. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved from []