Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that fuels food into energy. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt , so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 that are active in human metabolism.
This essential nutrient, mostly available from animal sources, protects nerve and brain cells from free radical damage. B12 has also been shown to reduce pain associated with neuropathy. The vitamin contributes to the creation of healthy DNA and RNA (the human body’s genetic material). It also works with other B vitamins to form red blood cells, support immune system health, improve mood, protect the cardiovascular system, and maintain overall energy levels.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read product labels to determine which added nutrients they contain.
Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12 and The 4 Types Of B12
- It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
- It helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
- It helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
- It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
- Vitamin B 12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Read more: Top 5 Benefits of Vitamin B12
What are the 4 Types of B12?
(mecobalamin, MeCbl, or MeB12) is a cobalamin, a form of vitamin B12. It differs from cyanocobalamin in that the cyano at the cobalt is replaced with a methyl group. Methylcobalamin features an octahedral cobalt(III) centre and can be obtained as bright red crystals. From the perspective of coordination chemistry, methylcobalamin is notable as a rare example of a compound that contains metal-alkyl bonds. Nickel-methyl intermediates have been proposed for the final step of methanogenesis.
Methylcobalamin is not sufficient as a singular source of vitamin B12. Hydroxocobalamin and cyanocobalamin can both be split by the body into methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin on the other hand is not converted into adenosylcobalamin. Deficiency of adenosylcobalamin disturbs carbohydrate, fat and amino-acid metabolism, and hence interferes with the formation of myelin. Thereby it is important to treatvitamin B12 deficiency with hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin or a combination of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.
is a man-made form of vitamin B12 used to prevent and treat low blood levels of this vitamin. Most people get enough vitamin B12 from their diet. Vitamin B12 is important to maintain the health of your metabolism, blood cells, and nerves. Serious vitamin B12 deficiency may result in a low number of red blood cells(anemia), stomach/intestine problems, and permanent nerve damage.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur in certain health conditions (such as intestinal/stomach problems, poor nutrition, cancer, HIV infection, pregnancy, old age, alcoholism). It may also occur in people who follow a strict vegetarian (vegan) diet.
(also hydroxycobalamin, OHCbl, or B12a) is a natural form, or vitamer, of vitamin B12. It is a member of the cobalamin family of compounds. Hydroxocobalamin is produced by many bacteria that are used to produce the vitamin commercially. Like other forms of vitamin B12, hydroxocobalamin has an intense red color. In humans, it is rapidly converted to usable coenzyme forms of vitamin B12. Hydroxocobalamin is used as an injectable solution for treatment of the vitamin deficiency and for treatment for cyanide poisoning. It has been tested as a scavenger of nitric oxide.
“Vitamin B12” refers to a group of compounds called cobalamins that are available in the human body in a variety of mostly interconvertible forms. Together with folate, cobalamins are essential cofactors required for DNAsynthesis in cells where chromosomal replication and division are occurring—most notably the bone marrow and myeloid cells. As a cofactor, cobalamins are essential for two cellular reactions:
- the mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase conversion of methylmalonic acid (MMA) to succinate, which links lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and
- the activation of methionine synthase, which is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of methionine from homocysteine and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.
is one of the two active forms of vitamin B12. It plays an essential role in the production of blood and the maintenance of normal cerebral and nervous functioning in the human body. Also known as cobamamide or dibencozide, adenosylcobalamin occurs naturally in animal derived food types such as fish, meat, eggs, and milk. Vitamin B12 is synthesized commercially for use as a dietary supplement by a process of bacterial enzyme production. A deficiency of adenosylcobalamin can cause a variety of disorders in humans including pernicious anemia, infections, fatigue, and depression.
Vitamin B12 is actively present in the human body in the form of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin. This complex vitamin is an important dietary component and plays an critical role in several essential biological functions. These include cellular metabolism, DNA synthesis, energy and blood production, fatty acid synthesis, and healthy brain and nervous system functioning. Adenosylcobalamin occurs naturally in a number of food types derived from animals such as eggs, milk, meat, and fish. Synthetic forms of the vitamin are produced from bacterial enzymes and include cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin.
When choosing which vitamin b12 supplement to take and is the best for you is really up for debate. Methylcobalamin specifically absorbs easily since it is the principal circulating form of B12. As the circulating form, it can cross into the bloodstream. Methylcobalamin is the most bioavailable form, as this form requires little to no conversion and crosses easily through every aspect of B12’s metabolic pathway. Cyanocobalamin contains cyanide, but in very small amounts and cyanide is actually found in the foods we eat like apples and almonds. Cyanocobalamin is the most popular because it is cheaper than Methylcobalamin and is regarded as the best form because of all the science and documentational studies behind it’s effectiveness, and is actually more environmentally friendly, as well, since animal products are the only significant sources of B12. Also note you only have to take 2500 mcg per week of Cyanocobalamin to achieve your weekly RDA of vitamin b12 rather than 1000 mcg daily if you opt to take Methylcobalamin. However sometimes Cyanocobalamin cannot be properly absorbed by smokers, older people, people with kidney disease and alcoholics. In these cases it might be better to opt for Methylcobalamin. The differences are really minuscule in my opinion, so it really is just a personal preference when you decide to take Vitamin B12. I take both Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin for me it doesn’t really make a difference. I take BioActive Complete B-Complex (Methylcobalamin) if your looking for Cyanocobalamin checkout Goyin, Hydration or Daily Build by Genesis Pure.
If you would like more info on b12 check out these videos: http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=b12&fwp_content_type=video
Whole Health Coach & Humanitarian
Decide Abundance INC