Anisha Amirthan

What is Vitamin B12?

  • A type of vitamin found in a variety of meat products (1)
  • Is a key role in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (10)
  • Helps function the nervous system and formation of red blood cells (10)
  • Also referred to as Cobalamin (1)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Melting point 165-167°C (7)
  • Boiling Point 290-295°C (7)
  • Soluble in water, ethanol and methanol (7)
  • Red in colour (1)

Production and Cost

  • $1,800-2,500 per kg (9)
  • Supplements produced in the USA, Canada and China (8)
  • 15 million Canadians use vitamin supplements (8)
  • No exact number for the amount of Vitamin B12 produced. Based on the world's population, we can infer that at least 70% of the population take a form of B12 everyday for 365 days. Thus the amount produced per year is almost infinite.


  • Store at 4°C (7)
  • General dose per day is 1-2.5 micrograms (3)
  • Use before best before date
  • Having alcohol and sleeping pills in your system does not allow for vitamin B12 to work effectively (4)
  • Store pill supplements in a cool and dark area as light can affect the degree of how well the supplement will work (8)
  • When disposing of vitamin B12, take container to a local pharmacy (7)

Economic Importance

  • B12 is required for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves, blood cells, DNA and many other parts of the body (6)
  • Strengths all immune systems to reduce overall risk of disease
  • Protects from nutrient deficiencies commonly found in vegans and vegetarians (10)
  • Ex. Reduces risk of getting conditions like Anemia and Alzheimer's (10)

Ecological/Environmental Implications

  • When you are pregnant or breast feeding, it is important to only take a certain amount of B12. Not following this can cause serious side effects. (8)
  • Having too much B12 in your body can effect your body negatively. It causes your body to have a high number of red blood cells, also known as Polycythemia Vera. (8)
  • If you have the eye disease Leber's disease DO NOT take vitamin B12, it can lead to someone going completely blind. (8)
  • Although B12 is used to treat anemia, if you have abnormal blood cells, taking vitamin B12 can cause very strong as serious side effects. (8)
  • Other side effects of vitamin B12 include: diarrhea, blood clots, itching, serious allergic reactions etc.


  • Vitamin B12 contributes to several factors of your human body working effectively such as: the nervous system, DNA synthesis and the regulation of red blood cells (7)
  • Ex. A study was done on a vegetarian women, she stated that a few months ago, her fingers and does started tingling. She went for blood tests and doctors appointments but nothing was found to be the cause of the problem. Then, a nurse asked her if she was taking vitamin B12. Turns out that she had stopped taking vitamin B12 supplements a few months ago just when the pain began. She then went back on the supplement and within weeks she was back to feeling normal. (5)
  • Vitamin B12 can be taken in the form of a tablet, injection or nasal spray (6)
  • Vitamin B12 reduces the risk and simulates many diseases such as (8):
  1. Alzheimer's
  2. Anemia
  3. Diabetes
  4. AIDS
  5. Cancers
  6. Allergies
  7. Depression
  8. Concentration
...and more
Big image
Figure 1. A graph showing the concentration of vitamin B12 that each gender has based on their age (2)

Works Cited

1. Adams, Casey. "Vitamin B12." Vitamin B12. N.p., 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

2. Percentage of Vitamin B-12 sufficiency by age, group and sex. Digital image. Statistics Canada. Health Canada, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

3. Dietitians of Canada. "Dietitians of Canada - Food Sources of Vitamin B12." Dietitians.

Dietitians of Canada, 6 May 2014. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

4. Evert, Alison. "Vitamin B12: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of

Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

5. Graedon, Joe, and Teresa Graedon. The People's Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2011. Print.

6. Griffith, H. Winter, and Stephen W. Moore. Complete Guide to Prescription & Nonprescription Drugs: Over 6000 Brand Names, over 1000 Generic Names. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

7. MP Biomedical. "Vitamin B12, 0.1% in Mannitol." Mpbio. MP Biomedical, 2014. Web. 17

Sept. 2014.

8. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. "Vitamin B12." WebMD. WebMD, 2014. Web.

21 Sept. 2014.

9. "Vitamin B12/Cobalamin." N.p., 2007. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

10. Wait, Marianne. Food Cures: Breakthrough Nutritional Prescriptions for Everything

from Colds to Cancer. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest, 2007. Print.