How vitamin B12 could help reduce pollution

Vitamin B12 that carries out numerous important reactions internally has a bigger role to play in the outside world. Scientists have now revealed that B12 could play a crucial role in minimising pollution.

For the study, researchers from Manchester Institute of Biotechnology investigated how some organisms work to lower the level of toxicity around and shorten the life span of several notorious pollutants. They used X-ray crystallography to study in 3D how halogen removal is achieved. The study is actually a culmination of 15 years of research. Some of the most toxic pollutants contain halogen atoms and most biological systems simply do not know how to deal with these molecules. 'However, there are some organisms that can remove these halogen atoms using vitamin B12,' said David Leys, professor at The University of Manchester in Britain. 'Our research has identified that they use vitamin B12 in a very different way to how we currently understand it,' Leys added.

The findings could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins, the researchers said. (Read: Vegetarian? You are likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency)

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'Detailing how this novel process of detoxification works means that we are now in a position to look at replicating it,' Leys said. 'We hope that ultimately new ways of combating some of the world's biggest toxins can now be developed more quickly and efficiently,' Leys concluded. The study appeared in the journal Nature. (Read: 5 natural sources of vitamin B12 you need to include in your diet)

Here are 10 reasons you really need vitamin B12

1. Fights fatigue: Since vitamin B12 is required for the production of red blood cells (RBCs), its deficiency is linked to overall weakness and fatigue. Several studies suggest that vitamin B12 supplementation can be used as potential treatment to combat fatigue and tiredness.

2. Reduces the risk of pernicious anemia: Vitamin B12 deficiency is not directly linked to anemia. Pernicious anemia is a condition where vitamin B12 is not absorbed by the body properly, resulting in overall ill-effects of deficiency. However, with vitamin B12 supplements and shots, there s a good chance that your body can be protected against pernicious anemia.

3. Helps lower the risk of heart disease: Sufficient levels of Vitamin B12 are required to lower the levels of a compound called homocysteine that is linked to heart attack and stroke risk. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that increasing dietary intake or supplementation of vitamin B12 along with omega-3 fatty acids could significantly reduce the chances of blood clot formation (resulting in stroke) and heart disease, especially in vegetarians. Read more about 10 reasons you really need vitamin B12

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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