Vitamin B12 crystals, LM

Vitamin B12 crystals, LM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph (LM) of Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, cyanocobalamin) crystals. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a organometallic compound that is also known as cyanocobalamine or cyanocobalamin. It is an important B complex vitamin that assists various enzymes and is used by red blood cells, nerve cells and in the synthesis of DNA. It acts as a coenzyme in the synthesis of DNA and helps maintain proper cholesterol levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause of anorexia and several forms of anaemia, such as pernicious anaemia and megaloblastic anaemia. Neurological signs of B12 deficiency, which can occur without accompanying hematologic abnormalities, include demyelination and irreversible nerve cell death. It must be ingested with food, for the human body cannot synthesize sufficient quantities to maintain health. Dairy products and eggs are natural source of Vitamin B12. Magnification: x50 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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