Taking a Look at Vitamin B12

1574 Words Feb 22nd, 2018 6 Pages
The vitamin is essential in the diet, meaning that the body is not capable of producing vitamin B12 or its derivatives without obtaining the raw vitamin through ingestion. Although animals cannot produce cobalamin, organisms belonging to the domains bacteria and archaea are capable of synthesizing it. Many foods are fortified with B vitamins in order to maintain vitamin levels in the population. The recommended intake of Vitamin B12 in order to maintain proper health for an average adult is 2.4 micrograms per day. The main dietary sources of the vitamin are fish, meat, dairy and fortified foods. The history of Vitamin B12 is very similar to that of other vitamins and cofactors, in that Vitamin B12 was discovered because of the disease that its deficiency causes in humans. In this particular case, the disease that led to the discovery was pernicious anemia. In 1855, the disease was first described by a doctor working at Guy’s Hospital in London named Thomas Addison in his article Disease of the Suprarenal Capsules. For this reason, pernicious anemia is also known as Addison’s anemia. At this point in time, pernicious anemia was considered to be a death sentence to those afflicted. Another seventy years passed before significant advances were made in the treatment of pernicious anemia. In 1920, Doctor William Murphy began working on experiments to find a treatment…

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