Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin found in animal food, including seafood, meat, poultry and dairy. Your body uses vitamin B12 for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 is often an ingredient in cleanses because of the purported belief that vitamin B12 flushes out your system. Although vitamin B12 does not clean out your entire system, the vitamin can flush out specific toxins.
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Recommended Daily Intake
The Food and Nutrition Board has established a recommended daily intake of vitamin B12. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, males and females over 14 years of age should consume 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. Women that are pregnant or are lactating should increase their daily intake. Because most of the vitamin B12 is naturally in animal protein, vegans and vegetarians should take vitamin B12 supplements.
Role of Detoxification
Your body uses vitamin B12 to process fatty acids and some amino acids, according to Detox-guide.com. Vitamin B12 helps to decrease reactions to sulfites and preservatives and many cleanses recommend including the vitamin. All fat-soluble toxic chemicals need vitamin B12 to clean out the system. A study published in 2006 in Experimental Biology and Medicine examined the role of vitamin B12 in cyanide poisoning. Researchers found that vitamin B12 is an effective in cyanide detoxification.
A deficiency is vitamin B12 can cause anemia because the vitamin helps to form red blood cells. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation and weight loss. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause neurological symptoms, such as numbness, tingling in the hands, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, dementia and confusion. Although a vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively rare, malabsorption from food, anemia or dietary deficiencies are often the cause. People with a deficiency can take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Although there is no evidence that vitamin B12 flushes out your system, it can help clean out specific toxins. Because vitamin B12 is water-soluble, there is little chance for toxicity and you can take vitamin B12 supplements safely. The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine has not established an upper limit of vitamin B12 because no adverse effects are associated with excess amounts of vitamin B12. But, vitamin B12 can interact with certain medications. It is important that you consult your physician before you take a vitamin B12 supplement.