Which Vitamin B12 Should I Take?


Deficient in vitamin B12? Trying to decide on a B12 supplement?

Cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, what form of B12 is best? The better question is what combination  of them is best.

With vitamin B12 playing a vital role in the formation of healthy blood cells, energy production, nervous system, cognitive function and homocysteine regulation, it is important to supplement with the right form of Vitamin B12 and combination for bioavailability and absorption.

One of the forms of B12 that is readily available on the market and inexpensive is cyanocobalamin. However, it is synthetic and requires methylation to be utilized and then eliminated from the body. The irony is that many people need B12 supplementation do it for the purpose of supporting methylation.

So what about hydroxocobalamin?

Hydroxocobalamin is a natural form of B12, attached to a hydroxyl group and if your body easily converts hydroxocobalamin to the active forms of B12 then this may be all you need to supplement a B12 deficiency. However, for those who need help in the conversion process or have methylation or neurological dysfunction then methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin will likely be required. That being said, if you have a lot of oxidative stress, then hydroxocobalamin is likely the form of B12 for you, even if you have methylation problems. Many people with issues with methylation, if they have exessive oxidative stress, will need to take hydroxocobalamin for a period of time before switching to the methylcobalamin. Think of this as “unclogging the cycle” and preparing the body for proper methylation.

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the best way to address a B12 deficiency is the combination of the two most active forms MeCbl (methylcobalamin or methyl B12)  and AdCbl (adenosylcobalamin or adenosyl B12).

Why this B12 combination?

  • The active coenzyme forms of B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin bypass usual mechanisms of absorption that rely on intrinsic factor.
  • The combination is effective in addressing both neurological and haematopoietic pathways.

Methylcobalamin is found in the cytosol of cells and interacts with an enzyme called methionine synthase; a critical enzyme involved in DNA synthesis and may be particularly useful for individuals with impaired methylation capacity.

Adenosylcobalamin is the mitochondrial form of the B12 vitamin found in cellular tissues and interacts with an enzyme called methylmalonyl CoA mutase, a metabolic enzyme, and may be useful for those with impaired energy production.

Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin have different functions thus providing a total solution for those with B12 deficiency.

Seeking Health provides this winning combination of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in the following supplements:

Seeking Health also has a range of Hydroxocobalamin available, and my second favorite of their products (the first one is the prenatal!), which is the “B-Minus” which is a Vitamin B complex without B12 or folate, so that you can get the rest of your B Vitamins in one capsule, and then add in the proper forms of B12 and Folate or Folinic Acid (NOT FOLIC ACID) separately.

Talk to your doctor to find out what form of the B12 vitamin is right for your body.

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