The answer is: YES, YES, YES!
B12 is one of eight B vitamins. Also known as cobalamin, this water-soluble vitamin is not readily available in many plants or fungi, but does occur naturally in certain animal products such as eggs, milk, fish, and shellfish. This is why vegans take B12 supplements.
B12 is exclusively manufactured in nature by bacteria and single-celled microbes, the only living organisms that possess the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Since your body cannot manufacture B12 and it’s an essential nutrient, you must get it through a balanced diet, take it in supplement form, or as a prescription medication. In fact, B12 is the most complex in chemical structure of all vitamins. Again, since B12 is not readily available in many plants or fungi, vegans take B12 supplements.
What Does B12 Do for the Body?
B12 supports many important functions in the body. The body uses B12 for cell metabolism and cell division. B12 helps cells produce hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen throughout the body in red blood cells. In the form of methylcobalamin, B12 helps the body synthesize protein, DNA, RNA, lipids, and hormones. B12 is essential for your brain, mental health, heart, nervous system and so much more. If you don’t get enough B12, your mind and body are going to suffer.
Effects B12 has on the Body
- Boosts energy and metabolism
- Promotes heart and cardiovascular health
- Ensures healthy brain and nervous system function
- Normalizes mood
- Promotes normal bone growth and development
- Assists in DNA production
- Helps cells divide and grow normally
The Four Forms of Vitamin B12
1. Hydroxycobalamin Hydroxycobalamin (hydroxocobalamin), also called vitamin B12a, is produced naturally by bacteria and is the form found in most food sources since they contain the bacterial byproduct. This type is often used in B12 shots. Hydroxycobalamin easily converts to methylcobalamin in the body.
2. Methylcobalamin Methylcobalamin is the most bioavailable form in the human body, meaning it is the one that is used readily by the body. Methylcobalamin easily crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain and nerve cells. It also helps convert homocysteine to methionine, which is important because high homocysteine levels are linked to a variety of negative health conditions.
3. Cyanocobalamin Cyanocobalamin is a form of B12 that’s lab-synthesized via bacterial fermentation, which makes it the cheapest option to use in supplements, but it’s far from the best. It actually contains a cyanide molecule, which is necessary for stability.
4. Adenosylcobalamin Adenosylcobalamin (5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin) is a naturally occurring but unstable form of B12. It is not stable in tablet form, but some premier supplement manufacturers have been able to offer it in a stable, liquid formula.
Best-Absorbed Forms of B12
Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the best-absorbed forms of B12. If you need a B12 supplement, I recommend a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, like VeganSafe B12. Together, these two naturally occurring forms of B12 provide the best option. The liquid formula tastes great and is more stable and better absorbed than a pill. It’s a gluten-free, non-GMO, certified organic, vegan formula that’s perfect for anyone.
You can also get methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin B12 in the form of lozenges. I would recommend Seeking Health Active B12.
If you’re looking for a B12 spray I definitely recommend Mary Ruth’s Methyl B12 Organic Spray. Search B12 and use code MROAPRIL15 for 15% off! The spray is currently available in Berry flavor and it’s definitely my favorite. You just have to spray twice and you’re good to go!
I can’t stress this enough, it’s very important to know if you’re deficient in B12. Please read the post below.
- B-12 Deficiency Symptoms: Everything You Need to Know
Do you know about Cronometer? It’s a free app that allows you to log your meals and track all your macro and micronutrients in order to cut your weight in half. Health professionals can also use CronometerPRO to help their clients track and manage their diets which is awesome if you’re working with a nutritionist or dietitian.
Credits and Disclaimer x2
- Credit: Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM (Founder of Global Healing Center).
- Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
- This article contains some affiliate links. Purchases made through these affiliate links are used to help the website! (Links open in new tabs).
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