Cyanocobalamin, commonly known at B12, is an essential vitamin needed in the body. Methylated B12 is called methylcobalamin. Vitamin B12 works along with folate in many body processes, including increasing metabolic energy and red blood cell production, supporting mood regulation and cognitive function, up-regulating methylation, increasing DNA synthesis and repair, and supporting the formation of the protective myelin sheath, the insulating exterior that speeds up nerve cell transmission.
Most B12 supplements contain cyanocobalamin. In order for B12 to be utilized in the body, the liver must first remove the cyanide molecule and attach a methyl group to form methylcobalamin, the biologically active, tissue-ready form. Research has shown that methylcobalamin is more efficiently used and retained in the body than the cyanocobalamin form.
Because of its role in the production of cellular energy, vitamin B12 deficiency is often characterized by fatigue and weakness. Supplementation with methylcobalamin and 5-MTHF has been shown to promote increased energy levels. Both 5-MTHF and methylcobalamin are required to maintain optimal homocysteine balance, which is crucial for supporting arterial and cardiovascular health. In addition, 5-MTHF and methylcobalamin support healthy arterial blood flow by increasing nitric oxide production. Both are also required nutrients for the biosynthesis of melatonin-the hormone that helps induce sleep. Several studies have demonstrated that supplementation with methylcobalamin modulates melatonin secretion and helps to normalize the sleep-wake cycle.
Vitamin B12 has been shown to be beneficial for maintaining a positive mental outlook because it acts as a methyl donor and increases the synthesis of SAM-e, a nutrient that has powerful mood and sleep-cycle regulating properties. Because of its ability to increase the production of neurotransmitters and nerve cell transmission, B12 has also been shown to improve cognitive function.
B12 serves many purposes and is used to treat several conditions which include:
- Proper digestion and absorption of foods and for normal metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, energy, immune, and nerve function.
- Aids in maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is needed to make DNA.
- Heart disease
- Male infertility
- Preventing cervical cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Periodontal disease
- Canker sores
- memory loss
- circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- Alzheimer's disease
- psychiatric disorders
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- liver and kidney disease.
- improving concentration
- mood elevation
- boosting energy
- Lyme disease
- maintaining fertility
- protection against the toxins and allergens from tobacco smoke.
Methylcobalamin also interacts differently with certain neurotransmitters within the brain and appears to be helpful in treating Autism. Cyanocobalamin is converted to Methylcobalamin in the body.
The table below highlights the comparisons between cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin.
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|Class||Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12|
|Form||Not biologically active until converted to methylcobalamin by liver enzymes, which also means releasing its cyanide.||More bioavailable and active form of B12, natural co-enzyme form.|
|Safety||All cobolamin analogues are not equal and taking it with already high levels of cyanide can be harmful.||Well tolerated and has no known toxicity.|
|Doses||1000 – 2000mcg/day||1500 – 6000mcg/day|
|Key advantage||More stable therefore longer shelf life, more widely available and less expensive.||More effective since it is ready to be used by the body. Also better absorbed and retained in higher amounts within tissues|
|Indications||Cobalamin deficiency and pernicious anemia. No evidence for nervous system health||Cobalamin deficiency and pernicious anemia. Additionally also used in the nervous system and especially protects nerve tissues and brain cells because it is delivered more efficiently to nerve tissues than regular B12. It is also used for insomnia though exact mechanism is unclear. Its potential MOA is by modulating human circadian rhythms|
Source: OrthoMolecular Products