7 Proven Benefits of Vitamin B12 and Which One to Take

Vitamin B12 part of the Vitamin B complex is considered to be a “Painkilling vitamin”. It helps DNA production, cardiovascular support, and Energy metabolism.

Introduction to Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 also referred to as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin (R).

It contributes to the successful synthesis of DNA, the normal functioning of the nervous system, and the production of hemoglobin (R).

The liver is the main site of storage of vitamin B12 in the human body (R). Humans obtain vitamin B12 through dietary sources, fortified foods, and supplements (RR1R2).

It can take the form of cyano-, hydroxyl, methyl, and deoxy adenosyl- cobalamin (R).

Cyanocobalamin, the most stable and unnatural form of vitamin B12, is most commonly used in supplements and does not have a direct cofactor role in cellular metabolism.

The most biologically significant forms of vitamin B12 are methylcobalamin and coenzyme B12 (5’-deoxy-5’-adenosylcobalamin) (R1 R2).

Vitamin B12 was considered as the “Painkilling vitamin” in some countries in the 1950’s (R).

The Vitamin B12 That I Recommend

There are a few forms that people can take, depending on what they’re looking for:

  • Methylcobalamin drops by Pure
  • Hydroxy B12 by Seeking Health
  • Adenosylcobalamin by Seeking Health

Health Benefits of Vitamin B12

1) Vitamin B12 is an Effective Analgesic

Methylcobalamin, a form of Vitamin B12, reduces the clinical symptoms in legs such as paresthesia (an abnormal sensation like tingling or pricking), burning pains and spontaneous pain (R).

In one study spontaneous pain, allodynia, paresthesia of patients with neck pain were improved significantly in the Methylcobalamin group (R).

Intramuscular cobalamin injection is effective in alleviating low back pain in patients with no nutritional deficiencies (R).

Cobalamin provides effective pain management for mouth ulcers (R).

Methylcobalamin treatment reduces pain symptoms in neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and lower back pain (RR1R2).

Methylcobalamin improves neuropathic pain (RR1R2R3).

2) Vitamin B12 is Essential for the Brain

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Methylcobalamin (MeCbl) is the most effectively taken form of vitamin B12 in neuronal organelles (R).

Cobalamin may have a role in the prevention of disorders of brain development, mood disorders, and Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in elderly (R).

Supplementation of cobalamin is useful in neuronal regeneration. It also repairs the negative effects of ischemia on neurons (R).

A study on rats with sciatic nerve injury supports the treatment of peripheral nerve injury with Cobalamin (R).

It also increases regeneration of axons and promotes neuronal repair (R1R2R3).

3) Vitamin B12 Improves Sleeping Patterns

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Cobalamin treatment improves sleep-wake rhythm disorders in human subjects (RR1).

It may increase the light sensitivity of circadian rhythms due to decreased melatonin levels (R).

4) Vitamin B12 Reduces Depression

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In a randomized trial performed on patients with depression and low normal cobalamin levels cobalamin supplementation improved depressive symptoms (R).

5) Vitamin B12 is an Anti-inflammatory

Methyl B12 suppresses cytokine production of T lymphocytes in cells and is speculated to do the same in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (R).

6) Vitamin B12 for the Skin

Topical cobalamin is a new therapeutic option in atopic dermatitis. It is well-tolerable and has low safety risks for both adults and children (RR1).

7) Vitamin B12 has Positive effects in Pregnancy and Lactation

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One randomized clinical trial states that oral cobalamin supplementation with 250 μg/day throughout pregnancy and early lactation elevates maternal, fetal, and breast milk vitamin B12 levels (R).

Sources of Vitamine B12

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Vitamin B12 Deficiencies

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who are prescribed Metformin, may be at risk for cobalamin deficiency (R).

Maternal cobalamin deficiency is associated with infertility and recurrent spontaneous abortion (R).

Infants born to cobalamin deficient mothers or receiving deficient amounts of animal-sourced foods are  susceptible to deficiency between the ages of 6-12 months (R).

Hormonal birth control (oral contraception and DMPA) usage among female subjects reduced B12 levels (R).

Cobalamin deficiency causes hyperhomocysteinemia, which is a proven risk factor for cardiovascular disease (R).

Individuals with cobalamin deficiency have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as heart failure, a history of transient ischemic attack, and diabetes mellitus (R).

Deficiency of cobalamin inhibits melanin transfer between melanocytes and keratinocytes, which may cause hyperpigmentation of the skin.

19% of subjects in one clinical trial manifested skin hyperpigmentation resulting from cobalamin deficiency (RR1).

Technical

  • Genes (notably TCN2) related to cobalamin deficiency may determine clinical manifestations of autoimmune gastritis (R).
  • Cobalamin is an indirect precursor (by methionine production in one-carbon metabolism) of the production of  (SAM), a universal methyl donor (RR1R2R3R4).
  • Cobalamin facilitates the conversion of methyl malonyl coenzymeA (MMA) to succinyl-CoA (R).
  • Histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), may lead to malabsorption of food-bound cobalamin due to inhibited b12 cleavage from dietary proteins (R R1).
  • A gene variant CblD (Cobalamin D) is currently speculated to be responsible for the branching of the cobalamin metabolic pathway to the mitochondrion (R).
  • TCII-B12, a cobalamin transport protein, delivers cobalamin to the mitochondria where it is used for the production of MMCoAM, a mitochondrial enzyme (RR1).
  • Allodynia is a clinical feature of many painful conditions, such as neuropathies, complex regional pain syndrome, postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, and migraine.
  • Methylcobalamin increases nerve conduction velocity, myelin regeneration, neuronal regeneration, and inhibiting peripheral pain transmission (RR1R2R3).

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