Vitamin B12 plays an important role in enhancing a person’s overall health. This chemical compound is very essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. It boosts the production of red blood cells. It is water soluable. It is present in animal but not in plant food products. Having said that, it can only be produce by bacteria. The human liver stores vitamin B12 for future use. Which for this reason, B12 deficiency is not common in the general population, at least according from the current knowledge and mainstream medical institutions.
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What is it?
Vitamin B12, also called Cobalamin, is composed of compounds that displays the qualities of a normal vitamin. Cobalamin gets its name from the presence of Cobalt, an essential trace mineral needed by the human body. During a meal, B12 attaches to proteins. When food enters the stomach, B12 is released because of stomach acid. Then it combines with “intrinsic factor” a protein produced by the cells in the stomach. It is in this bonding of the intrinsic factor and b12 how it enters into the blood, which is now available for use by the body. The fact that this vitamin is involved in the generation of DNA of our cells itself attests to its importance. It also plays a vital role in ensuring the overall health of our nervous system.
The Following are the different forms of Vitamin B12.
It is the more active form of the B12 Vitamin. It is the form which is better absorbed and readily available for use by the body. Methylcobalamin does not require any conversion to be utilized and is more effectively used than the cyanocobalamin form. Methylcobalamin supplements are more expensive to produce compare to cyanocobalamin. Hence more cyanocobalamin are available and used in many commercial multivitamins supplement and individual vitamin B12 supplements.
The Methylcobalamin form of B12 is directly invloved in homocysteine metabolism. Latest findings with homocysteine is that a high level of it is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Methylcobalamin together with folic acid is shown to lower down the level of homocysteine.
Cyanocobalamin is the most common form of vitamin B12 supplement available. The cyanocobalamin form does not occur in nature and is only produced in laboratories from hydroxocobalamin bacterial fermentation. It is semi-synthetic but can be converted by the human body to the usable methylcobalamin and other B12 forms with the right body chemistry situation. Cyanocobalamin is also the most stable form of B12. But it could be due to it synthetic nature that the cyanocobalamin form have to cause side effects.
Many individuals have not reported serious or any side effects, but here are what’s have been on record such as headache, join-pain, diarrhea, rush, allergic reactions and others. Some independent and government publications are giving warning that the cyanocobalamin form are toxic and contains poisonous cyanide molecule which human being should not take and avoid at all cost. See more on Cyanocobalamin B12 Side Effects and Cyanocobalamin Injection Form Side Effects. The cyanide content of cyanocobalamin is very small and considered not significant, but the cyanide molecules are still needed to be removed by the human body’s elimination and detoxification system.
A vitamin B12 form that is known for it’s use in treating cyanide poisoning , and it used to only come as an injectable form. These days it is also now used as a supplement which is available in sublingual tablets as well. Hydroxocobalamin is similar to cyanocobalamin that it needs to be converted in the body to a usable form of either methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin. According to studies and cases, Hydroxocobalamin is superior to Cyanocobalamin in terms of effectiveness. At the time of this writing there is no strong or clinical studies indicating whether Hydroxocobalamin or Methylcobalamin are more beneficial compared to each other as a supplement.
But definitely Hydroxocobalamin and Methylcobalamin have a lot of benefit in their own right. There is a speculation going on that Hydroxocobalamin is safer because by taking it the body can regulate and produce the right amount of Methylcobalamin for what just the body needs. But taking Methylcobalamin straightup can have the chance of overdosing on it, and would result in hypermethylation and excitotoxicity situation.
Also Hydroxocobalamin can get stop on it’s path in converting to Methylcobalamin and the other form. It depends on body chemistry and situation at the time the supplement is taken. Research are still going on. At the moment Methylcobalamin is proven to be very effective as a B12 supplement either as an injection or sublingual tablets. More discussion on Vitamin B12’s methylcobalamin vs hydroxocobalamin. Studies show that Hydroxocobalamin does not have any major side effects. And it is highly recommended as a treatment for those who happen to inhale cyanide smoke.
To benefit from vitamin B12, your body should get a constant supply of this vitamin in adequate quantities. This too becomes futile if your body find itself unable to properly absorb this vitamin. Experts advise that a healthy woman needs up to 2.4 mcg B12 vitamin a day.
And, a breast-feeding mother requires up to 2.8 mcg. If you are someone who is not averse to animal product, you would not be getting vitamin B12 in sufficient quantities. The items like fish, meat and milk are great vitamin B12 food sources. Reports say that a majority of the women in the US consume vitamin B12 through diet in adequate quantities. But, a number of factors prevent the body from absorbing it. Some of them may include the following.
- An unhealthy gastrointestinal system:
- A healthy stomach is a must for the absorption of vitamin B12. It also needs a well functioning exocrine pancreas to produce the required enzymes, and your stomach to produce intrinsic factor to be able to digest vitamin B12 properly.
Excessive consumption of alcohol:
- Excessive amounts of alcohol would adversely affect your body’s capability to get the Vitamin B12 benefits. This happens because alcohol leads to inflammation of the stomach causing a decrease in the production of acid. Even though small in quantity, the acidity in the stomach is a must for the proper absorption of vitamin b12.
- Ageing affects the body’s capability to absorb vitamin B12. As you grow old, your stomach loses its ability to produce acid and intrinsic factor in adequate quantities, leading to poor absorption of this essential vitamin which helps you remain alert, have a sharp mind, stay focus and generally still have a good health in your later years.
There are a lot of studies and cases about vitamin b12 deficiencies. Some interesting reads can be found on the following websites.
Please see Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Symptoms and Treatments page.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Vitamin B12 deficiency neurological syndromes: a clinical, MRI and electrodiagnostic study
The biggest benefit of a vitamin B12 injection is that the vitamin goes straight into your blood stream where it can be used by the body straightaway. Just like a dextrose where you don’t have to ingest food in your mouth to be able to nourish your body. B12 injection is an easy solution for someone suffering from the body’s inability to absorb the vitamin. However, you are advised to consult a doctor before opting for B12 injections. A vitamin B12 injection kit can be purchased over the counter of your local chemist. You do not need a prescription from your doctor to obtain it. But as mentioned earlier consult your doctor first.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Injections Side Effects
When it comes to dosage, let your doctor give you an advice. The amount needed can vary from person to person. Although there is no known reported case of vitamin B12 overdose, due to the fact that the extra B12 ingested will get washed away through your urine. It will be a good practice to start in a low dosage then gradually increase as your symptoms starts to fade and your health goes back to normal. Keep in mind that the body generally stores B12 in the liver for future use. It would be good to ensure a constant supply through diet or B12 supplements.
There is a relationship between vitamin B12 and weight loss, but not directly. When you supplement with B12, weight loss will not happen until you start physically moving your body. Taking vitamin B12 supplements will boosts your energy prompting you to exercise more. When you burn out more calories than you consume, weight loss happens quite naturally. Weight loss is one of the indirect benefits of vitamin B12 supplementation.
Vitamin B-12 injections for weight loss: Do they work?
Weight Loss Centers in the USA and around the world, uses Vitamin B12 specially in the form of injection, for their clients, to give them the energy that they need, to be able to go through the regular fitness workouts, design to burn fats and to achieve the main goal which is to lose weight. Now we can understand why the b12 weight loss is becoming popular.
Technically taking vitamin B12 supplements will not make you lose weight overnight, but it indirectly helps you lose weight by providing you the needed energy and motivation. The same holds true with regards to vitamin B12 and bodybuilding. Vitamin B12 is needed by our body in small quantities. But beware, every single cell in your body needs it to survive.
Vitamin Brands and Stores in Australia
Popular vitamin brands are Swisse, Blackmores, Nature’s Own, Cenovis, Centrum, Nature’s Way, Blooms, Ethical Nutrients, Healthy Care, Bioglan and Bio-organics.
Popular Vitamin Stores are Chemist Warehouse, Priceline Pharmacy, Amcal Pharmacy, Woolworths Supermarket, Coles Supermarket, Vitamin King, Mr Vitamins, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin Warehouse and GNC.
More Information and Resources:
The information written here is not meant as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to following what is written on the article or taking herbal supplements of any kind.