VITAMIN B12, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

4 different types of Vitamin B12 exist, and, when it comes to genetic mutations MTHFR and COMT; they are not all equal and not all types of B12 can be easily changed to what is needed for critical reactions in the body. Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin includes hydroxyl B12, methyl B12, cyano B12 and adenosyl B12. Many vitamins, normally found in food, are not present in the active form but need to be converted in a form the body can use directly.

B12 is needed for the proper functioning of many of different enzymes in the body.  The MTR enzyme, in particular, is very important as it uses the active form of B12 and the active form of Folate created by your MTHFR enzyme to create Methionine and will feed the methylation cycle.

Hydroxy, Methyl and Adenosyl are the 3 forms of B12 that are used directly in the body. Cyano B12 must be converted for use in the body and as the name suggests, cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule.

METHYL B12

Can be used in the body, though it cannot be tolerated by everyone. Those who get jittery from caffeine, coke, tea may not react as well to methylb12. Many adults don’t feel well with Methyl B12 in spite of their nutrigenomics and so it is fine to choose an alternative form.

ADENOSYL B12

Is a special form of B12 used by your mitochondria, the energy factory inside each cells of our body. It is important to have adenosyl B12 but it is not as versatile as other forms of B12 so it is usually used in lower doses and in combination with another form of B12

HYDROXYL B12

Also named Hydroxycobalamin is a unique form of vitamin B12, which is more easily converted to the form that is actually used for reactions in the body (adenosyl B12 and Methyl B12. So why not use high dose Hydroxyl B12 in their formulations?

Well, Hydroxycobalamin is more difficult to work with, harder to keep in an active form and more expensive than some other forms of B12, such as cyanob12. For this reason, many supplements (especially the OTC ones) do not contain Hydroxyl B12 and instead use Cyano B12.

CYANO B12

Contains a cyanide molecule. When you take Cyano B12 your body must first convert it into Hydroxy B12 in order to use it, and then must find a way to get rid of the toxic cyanide molecule. We all know cyanide is a poison even if the rest of the B12 molecule is good for you. The body actually uses Hydroxy B12 in order to detoxify cyanide! So, not only is Cyano B12 not the form your body ultimately needs, but taking higher doses of Cyano B12 may actually deplete your hydroxy B12.

So why would anyone use Cyano B12 if it can be toxic? In low doses it may be helpful for the eyes, but for to be honest Cyano B12 is used because it is much less expensive, and a form of B12 that is easier to keep in a stable.

 

WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE A FORM OF VITAMIN B12 THAT YOU CAN TOLERATE

  • Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that it doesn’t stay in the body for a long period of time and that more frequent support with B12 may be needed to maintain healthy B12 levels in the body.
  • Vitamin B12 is important for energy, for balance related sports, for endurance sports, for healthy red blood cells, for memory, among other roles in the body
  • Vitamin B12 can be depleted by drinking alcoholic beverages, a poor diet, certain medications and as we age.
  • Lack of B12 has been associated with fatigue, alcoholic liver disease, anemia, cancer, ulcers, dementia, neural tube defects, depression and memory loss.
  • Higher levels of B12 correlate with improved balance, energy and endurance in athletics.

Adapted from Amy Yasko

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