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Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) molecule

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) molecule

A614/0085

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Credit

DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Vitamin B12. Molecular model of the form of vitamin B12 known as cyanocobalamin. This variant is not found naturally, only made synthetically and added to manufactured vitamin supplements. Its chemical formula is C63.H88.Co.N14.O14.P. Atoms are represented as balls and are colour-coded: carbon (blue), hydrogen (gold), cobalt (dark red), nitrogen (dark blue), oxygen (red) and phosphorus (purple). Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that humans are unable to produce and so need to obtain from their diet. It is found in meat, fish poultry and dairy products. It is needed for producing red blood cells and for a healthy nervous system. Deficiency can lead to pernicious anaemia, with symptoms including tiredness, dizziness and a reduced sense of taste.

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