Vitamin B 12 for Kids

Vitamin B 12 is an essential water soluble vitamin necessary for building proteins in the body, forming red blood cells and proper functioning of nervous system. It is clinically known as cobalamin because it contains cobalt.

The most reliable sources of vitamin B12 are meat, dairy products and eggs. Other sources include soya products, seaweeds, algae, fish, poultry, tuna, clams, beef, salmon, chicken and pork. The best sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians are dairy products. 1/2 pint of milk contains 1.2 µg of Vitamin B 12 and 40 gm of vegetarian cheddar cheese contains 0.5 µg of the nutrient.

Vitamin B 12 for kids is very essential. The primary functions are formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. The vitamin also plays a key role in syntheses of DNA during cell division. If B 12 deficiency occurs in kids, they are at a greater risk of developing the symptoms of anemia. The most common symptoms of anemia are excessive tiredness, pallor, breathlessness, sore tongue, listlessness and poor resistance to infection.

The deficiency also affects the normal functioning of the nervous system. The absence of Vitamin B 12 disrupts the metabolism of fatty acids which in turn are essential for maintenance of myelin, an insulating sheath covering the nerves. Symptoms of nervous disorder include muscle weakness, incontinence, hypotension, vision problems, psychoses, and mood disturbances. Prolonged deficiency can also result in nerve degeneration and neurological damage.

To prevent your children from the symptoms of B 12 deficiency, it is very important to feed them with a nutritious and well balanced diet. Recommended dietary allowances of vitamin B12 for infants between 0-6 months is 0.4 micrograms, infants between 7-12 months is 0.5 micrograms, children between 1-3 years is 0.9 micrograms, children between 4-8 years is 1.2 micrograms and children between 9-13 years is 1.8 micrograms.

If in case, your children are finicky about easting and avoid some essential foods, then add some multi vitamins to their diet. These multi vitamins will help them build healthy bodies and minds.

Vitamin B12 Benefits:

Vitamin B12 benefits are many and so are the natural sources of vitamin B12 and folic acid which if consumed regularly should not allow any deficiency in the person. Vitamin B12 is essential for the metabolism and also for the maintenance of the spinal cord and brain which forms the nervous system. It is also important along with vitamin b2 and b6 for the red blood cells to be formed in the system. one should know that the red blood cells cannot be of much help unless the body has a supply of vitamin B12. This vitamin boosts energy, encourages weight loss and emotional well being. It teams up along with other B vitamins for many other health benefits.

The natural sources of vitamin B12 are beef liver, clams, fish, organic eggs, yogurt, blackstrap molasses, oysters, sardines, milk products, tongue, lamb, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pecans and various other nuts which are rich in this vitamin B.

Sources of Vitamin B12:

Some of the main sources of vitamin B12 are meat and dairy products and it is for this reason that vitamin B12 supplements for vegans are necessary. The vegan diet is deficient in vitamin B12 and this could cause severe health problems unless they are given adequate supplements to make up for the deficiency in their diet. The deficiency caused by insufficient B12 could result in serious complications. Starting with anemia which fortunately is reversible, other complications like dementia and loss of memory because of neurological problems could set in. Though such symptoms may develop over several years, once they happen they are irreversible. It is for this reason that vitamin B12 should be an important part of the diet always.

Vitamin B12 Supplements:

Vitamin b12 deficiency treatment is done by giving Vitamin b12 supplements to those who need it like vegans or as vitamin b12 supplements for children. Those who are at risk of this deficiency are vegans who do not consume any animal products including dairy products and breast fed babies of mothers who are vegans. The aged also need supplements as their gastric acid is reduced and this is required to absorb vitamin B12 in the system. Those who eat eggs and dairy products are less likely to suffer with this deficiency.

Vegans should know that a very low amount of vitamin B12 can cause severe anemia and permanent damage to the nervous system. The only foods among the vegan sources which have a reliable content of vitamin B12 are some of the cereals we have at breakfast, soy products and plant milks. Vegans should ensure that they consume a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 to minimize and avoid pregnancy risks and heart disease. For this vegans have to eat foods which are fortified at least thrice in a day, take supplements of vitamin B12 everyday and a weekly dose of 2000 micrograms of the vitamin in the form of a supplement. For those who have fortified foods it is better that they read everything about it on the label to ensure that they are getting the right amount of the vitamin in it.

Vitamin B12 Foods:

It is essential to identify vitamin B12 foods to avoid deficiencies and know the vitamin b12 benefits and side effects. This vitamin is made by fungi and bacteria though not by higher plants and yeasts. It resides in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans as well as animals. However, as the site for manufacturing this vitamin is not located in the area where absorption takes place in humans, they have to depend on the availability which is not always sufficient. A person who is a complete vegetarian has to have a reliable source of the vitamin. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian can derive this vitamin from eggs and dairy products. Total vegetarians who take a B12 supplement have to make sure that it contains hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin.

A vitamin B12 supplement is very essential for pregnant and breast feeding women who are vegans as the lack of vitamin B12 could have serious effects on the children. The infant whose mother is a total vegetarian will be at a high risk of this deficiency and could suffer with delay in proper development, anemia, lethargy, be apathetic and have seizures. Total vegetarians need a supplement as no form of plant food can give them vitamins B12.

Those who are vegans are at risk of developing psychiatric problems and neurological damage on a permanent basis. Such people should have their B12 serum levels checked regularly.

Deficiency and Symptoms:

Those who suffer with vitamin B12 deficiency are usually at fault with their diet which is the main vitamin b12 deficiency causes. The symptoms which are a clear indication of this deficiency are weakness, anemia, soreness of the arms and legs, memory problems, jerky limbs, slow reflexes, stammering, fatigue and in latter stages brain damage too. Adults require 2.4 micrograms of this vitamins everyday and children over three years of age need 1.2 micrograms per day. This is a very small amount and yet it is difficult to find this in the diet when the proper foods are lacking.

There are some symptoms which will give the person a clue to this deficiency. Vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms which are marked and should be taken notice of are vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms of anxiety and vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms of white spots. Once these symptoms show up there is the risk of other problems related to the deficiency and as this is a warning sign people should take immediate action and see their doctor about it. Delaying treatment could bring on irreversible problems which will affect the person for life and cause permanent damage. It is always good and beneficial that you check with your doctor on a good diet that with provide your body with the right amount of Vitamin B12. The symptoms arising out of the deficiency of Vitamin B12 must be checked by the doctor so as to avoid any complication that could prove harmful to the body.