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Cyanocobalamin Vs. Methylcobalamin

Wrote by Stephanie Oswald Certified Health Coach (IIN, graduated 2014) and an Registered Holistic Nutritionist. 

Vitamin B12 is such an important essential nutrient for human health and wellbeing. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in Red Blood Cell formation, the utilization of iron in the body, neurological function and DNA synthesis. It’s estimated that 40% of our population is deficient in Vitamin B12 and many reach for a supplement to help correct this deficiency. Land Art sources their Vitamin B12 naturally from fermentation. Because it is in liquid form which is widely accepted as the most absorbable supplemental form, it is Cyanocobalamin which is the only stable B12 form as a liquid. There are some common myths and misconceptions about the different supplemental forms of B12, Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin.

Here are some of the most common myths about the different supplemental forms of Vitamin B12:

  • Cyanocobalamin is toxic because it contains arsenic.
  • Methylcobalamin is natural.
  • People with methylation issues should take methylcobalamin because it is already prepped for utilization in the coenzyme form.

Debunking these myths:

  • Cyanocobalamin is NOT toxic, it is a very safe form for supplementation.
  • Eating just one whole almond, you ingest 15 times more cyanide then in one serving of cyanocobalamin.
  • Most studies using B12 to resolve deficiency use Cyanocobalamin, and with no toxic effects found. It is actually the safest and most studied form of B12.
  • The CDC indicates that B12 is a natural chemical containing cyanide, it binds to the B12 in a way that does not serve as an exposure to cyanide and is not harmful to you.
  • Supplementing Methylcobalamin is unlikely to be advantageous when compared to Cyanocobalamin.
  • Both Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin follow the same route in the body for intracellular processing.
  • Oral Methylcobalamin in the cofactor form has to be remethylated in the body, it is not in a ready-to-work form.
  • Methylcobalamin can be extracted from animal material or produced by Genetically Modified Micro-organisms (GMMs).
  • The starting materials for chemically synthesized Methylcobalamin is Cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin, which are then methylated.
  • There is No difference between Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin to function in the body.
  • There is no added benefit to taking Methylcobalamin for those with methylation issues.

Vitamin B12deficiency can cause various symptoms including fatigue, weakness, pernicious anemia, constipation, tingling and numbness in fingers and toes and nerve problems. Because there are very few sources of active B12 in plant-based food sources, Vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency and most often benefit from supplementation. Those who have a restricted diet, make poor food choices or do not produce enough intrinsic factor in the stomach for the absorption of B12 are also at a higher risk. Cyanocobalamin is not only a safe form of Vitamin B12, but is very effective for correcting Vitamin B12 deficiency.

References:

  1. “Staying Healthy with Nutrition.” Author: Dr. Hass, MD. USA; 2006 edition. Pg. 109-134
  2. Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Professionals; National Institutes of health [NIH]
  3. “Prescription for Natural healing, Fifth Edition.” Author Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. USA; 2010. Pg. 20-26
  4. “Cyanocobalamin Vs. Methylcobalamin” Health Resource Shaklee [Shaklee]
  5. Obeid R, Fedosov SN, Nexo E. “Cobalamin coenzyme forms are not likely to be superior to cyano‐ and hydroxyl‐cobalamin in prevention or treatment of cobalamin deficiency.” Journal: Molecular Nutrition Food Research; 2015 [PUBMED]

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