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Scientists: Vitamin B12 Shapes Microbial Communities

Scientists: Vitamin B12 Shapes Microbial Communities

Of course we are not microbes, but your intestinal tract is the host to about 100 TRILLION bacteria, about three pounds worth. These microbes make up a complex ecological system, that when in balance, provides us with protection from the “outside” elements.

So, when I read this article about how Vitamin B12 helps shape microbial communities, I was intrigued.

“Vitamin B12 has an importance to microbial communities even greater than has been anticipated,” said chemist Aaron Wright of the Department of Energy’s Northwest National Laboratory.

Wright’s team found that B12 is central to the regulation of folate, ubiquinone, and methionine. These are nutrients that that microbes need to create energy, build proteins, repair DNA, and to grow.

It’s amazing that Vitamin B12 also changes the instructions it sends to genes depending on whether it’s day or night!

Enough About Microbes, What About Vitamin B12 in Humans?

In humans Vitamin B12 is needed by every cell — B12 helps make DNA, the genetic material in each cell. It also helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy and is required for proper brain development and function. Studies like this provide new information about Vitamin B12 on a biochemical level.

Animal products are the best source of Vitamin B12, but in order to absorb it you need both adequate acid in the stomach and a protein your body makes, called the intrinsic factor.

A blood test is required to know if you have sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12. Make sure yours is up to date. Low levels can be boosted with a B12 nutrition supplement. 

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