Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 that are active in human metabolism.
Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. When synthetic vitamin B12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form and, thus, does not require this separation step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption within the distal ileum by receptor-mediated endocytosis.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read product labels to determine which added nutrients they contain.
Vitamin B-12 is crucial to the normal function of the brain and the nervous system. It is also involved in the formation of red blood cells and helps to create and regulate DNA.
Applications of Vitamin B12
The most-commonly used man-made forms are cyancobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin.
1- Vitamin B12 is an Effective Analgesic
2- Vitamin B12 is Essential for the Brain
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 and mood disorders as well as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in the 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 injuries supports the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries with Cobalamin (R).
B12 also increases regeneration of axons and promotes neuronal repair (R1, R2, R3)
3- Vitamin B12 Improves Sleeping Patterns
4- Vitamin B12 Reduces Depression
5- Vitamin B12 is an Anti-inflammatory
6- Vitamin B12 for the Skin
7-Vitamin B12 has Positive effects in Pregnancy and Lactation
Depending on its form and the dose, vitamin B12 has two different safety profiles for pregnant women.
Vitamin B12 tablets that you swallow or let melt under your tongue are considered safe during pregnancy.