I discovered something rather interesting the other day. You see, I have always picked up my vitamin B12 methylcobalamin on Amazon because, well it’s convenient. Oh, why the methyl B12 you ask? I’ve always read that the methylated form of vitamin B12 is more bioavailable.
But what does that really mean?
It turns out most B12 in multi-vitamins, enriched foods and even stand alone B12 is a synthetic form called cyanocobalamin. It’s slightly cheaper, that’s why it is so common.
Well, it turns out many of us cannot use it. Cyanocobalamin is completely worthless to around 60% of the US population! SO why do they put it in food and multis then? Well, its cheaper like I said. Even though methylcobalamin may be made in a lab it is still the active form, and one our bodies can actually use.
Now back to the interesting part. It turns out there is a pretty famous scientific study that discovered that so many of us cannot use cyanocobalamin. How do they figure this out?
Well, the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2014 was related to how our body makes use of vitamin B12. The study participant was an 83 year old woman who was noticing several symptoms of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
She was seeing signs of cognitive impairment, insomnia, tiredness, and even paranoia and psychosis. Like I said pretty severe symptoms.
The strange thing was that when tested her blood levels of vitamin B12 were perfectly normal!
How could that be?
As a test she was directed to take 3,000 micrograms of methyl B12 and 1,200 micrograms of folic acid. Within a coulee weeks her cognition improved dramatically, her paranoia went away and the rest of the symptoms were gone.
When she improved, her doctors switched her back to an inactive form of B12 called hydroxocobalamin. Can you guess what happened?
You guessed it, all her previous symptoms returned after a couple months. After switching to methyl B’s normal functioning came back.
Pretty interesting huh?
The tricky thing with determining if you have a B12 deficiency is that the symptoms of B12 deficiency are so varied. You may notice any or some of the following:
-Shortness of breath
-Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet
-Difficulty walking (problems with balance)
If you experience a few or many of those symptoms it might be a good idea to switch to the methylated version of your B vitamins and see if you notice some improvements. Of course, asking the advice of your medical doctor is the best course of action, but a switch to active B vitamins is an easy test that really has no downside.
For me, I think I’ll stick to my regular order of methyl B12 from trusty old Amazon. I guess, now I can’t really blame my irritability on the B12 anymore. Time to fess up, and maybe get outside and enjoy some fresh air.