Vitamin B12: Which can Help and Which Can Hurt

Vitamin B12 is essential to maintaining   memory, health, hormonal balance and overall energy and wellness. Deficiency of this valuable vitamin can result in symptoms ranging from low energy to depression to poor immunity.

This essential vitamin is found in many meats, fish and milk products.  Vitamin B12 is found in milk products, poultry, eggs, shellfish, beef, freshwater and saltwater fish. Most people typically get enough but vegetarians, older people, those with poor diets and athletes (to a degree) may be deficient or experience subclinical deficiencies (meaning your levels are low but in the normal range, barely).

As such, you may need additional Vitamin B12. Sounds easy enough, but it is actually a bit more complicated. There are 3  types of B12 and the key is choosing the correct one. They are:

  • Cyanocobalamin
  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Methylcobalamin
Cyanocobalamin is the most popular. It is what is used in most doctor’s offices and found on the shelves of health food stores. It is the least expensive.  It is also by far, the worst choice. Cyano requires a much higher dosage and in several situations, is completely ineffective.
In addition, the “cyano” refers to cyanide which is used in the processing method. There is much concern among those of us in Natural Medicine that this form can be dangerous, long term.
Hydroxocobalamin is a better choice for sure. Though it is a little more expensive, there really are no safety concerns as is the case with cyanocobalamin. It is not a form normally found in the human body, but is easily converted in the body to usable coenzyme forms of vitamin B12. Bottom line. . . it is effective, but not the best.
At the top of the B12 Effectiveness List is Methylcobalamin. Only recently has this form become more readily available, despite being the most effective by far. It is used for degenerative neurologic problems which is  where methylcobalamin shows its greatest effectiveness compared to the aforementioned 2.   In fact, it is the only effective treatment for such debilitating conditions.
In addition to its effects with neurological conditions, it also helps with the elimination of toxic substances in the body. Environmental toxins as well as food additives and “fake foods” in general are detoxified (via a complex process called methylation). Methylcobalamin is the only form of B12 that is effective for such valuable detoxification processes.
Getting your B12 requirements are valuable.
Knowing WHICH TYPE of Vitamin B12 is as important.
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