WIN-ning Wednesday: Vitamin B12

 

Vitamin B12 can be a helpful supplement especially for those who are vegetarian, vegan, those who have Gastic Reflux (GERD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis), fatigue, insomnia and/or who suspect they are not well absorbing nutrients from the food they eat.

 

The best ways to get Vitamin B12 is not through a capsule or tablet that is swallowed, but rather though a liquid supplement that can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth (sublingual B12) or through Vitamin B12 injections.  These methods are the best way to ensure B12 is being taken up by the body, and it bypasses the digestive tract, which reduces the concern over whether its been absorbed or not.

 

The type of B12 a person it supplementing with should also be considered.  There are 3 types of Vitamin B12 preparations:

1) Methylcobalamin

2) Hydroxycobalamin

3) Cyanocobalamin

 

Those using Vitamin B12, if supplemented or injected, should know which form they are taking.

Methylcobalamin is the most effective and pure form of B12.  It is retained by the tissues much longer than the other two.

Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly used form of B12 used in multivitamins, in generic oral B12 supplements and in injectable form, which is given by doctors to help correct a deficiency.  However, is the lowest grade and most synthetic of the three forms.  It’s therapeutic benefit is very low.

Whenever I prescribe a Vitamin B12 injection I use methycobalamin.  Similarly, if there is a therapeutic reason for the use of Vitamin B12, I recommend that people ensure they are taking some form of methylcobalamin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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