Methyl – cobalamin

Graph - B12 Lozenges vs B12 Shots
Graph - B12 Lozenges vs B12 Shots
Methyl-B12 Lozenges work better than B12 Injections

Methylcobalamin, or Methyl-B12, is the form of vitamin B12 our bodies use. Cyanocobalamin, an older form, is common in many B12 supplements but must be changed into methylcobalamin before our bodies can use it. In the conversion some potency is lost.

The effectiveness of methylcobalamin lozenges in treating vitamin B12 deficiency is confirmed in findings presented at the 2012 Conference of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. 

In this clinical trial, 10 patients with newly diagnosed cobalamin deficiency were randomly assigned to receive either once-a-week B12 injections (1,000 mcg) or daily 10,000 mcg (10 mg) methylcobalamin lozenges for eight weeks.

Jarrow Methyl B12, 5000 mcg, 60 Lozenges

Jarrow Methyl-B12 5mg

The study showed that vitamin B12 lozenges were as effective as injections. Both treatments resulted in complete normalization of serum cobalamin levels in all patients. Importantly, homocysteine levels returned to normal and general symptoms improved regardless of the type of treatment.

Results showed that taking high-dose daily methylcobalamin lozenges is a viable and convenient alternative to vitamin B12 shots and should be considered equally effective. Additionally, lozenge supplementation offers a significant cost advantage.  Effect of Daily High-Dose Methylcobalamin Lozenge Regimen or Weekly Injections in Patients with Cobalamin Deficiency. A Single-Center Prospective Randomized Open-Label Trial. Culik DA BL, Sharpee RL, Pacholok SM. AANP 2012 Conference. Read more.

Lozenges replace B12 effectively

The sublingual form of B12 is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, via blood vessels under your tongue and in your cheeks, bypassing your liver and allowing for quick entry into your system.

If you have signs of vitamin B12 deficiency and begin using Methylcobalamin lozenges, you may say, “Bingo! Most of my symptoms are gone!”

Bingo Card with "B 12". Bottle of B12 lozenges is in the center square
B 12, Get it? Or should I say, Get It!

If your multivitamin contains cyano-cobalamin and you’re young and have few or no low vitamin B12 symptoms your body will make enough methyl-cobalamin for you to benefit.

If you are older, have nerve damage or are battling stress, your body won’t be able to make as much methyl-cobalamin as you need to recover.

Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency ~ Read more.

If you have B12 malabsorption or have pernicious anemia, then sublingual lozenges or B12 injections are efficient ways to increase your B12 level. There are also sprays and patches, but I haven’t seen convincing studies on their efficacy.

If you don’t know if you have malabsorption, then using lozenges is a good choice. As you use the lozenges your symptoms of B12 deficiency will go away or diminish, thus effectively proving the problem was low B12 levels. In fact, before B12 tests were developed, doctors prescribed B12 shots, then if the symptoms went away, they diagnosed B12 deficiency.

B12 Malabsorption ~ Read more.

Dose conversion

Methylcobalamin lozenges vs B12 shots. Dissolving one 1,000 mcg (1 mg) methylcobalamin lozenge under your tongue each day for a month will equal one B12 injection a month. Dissolving a 5 mg lozenge under your tongue each day for a month will equal, at the end of the month, five B12 shots in that month.

When I had a B12 shot a day that equaled 30 mg a day, or 6 of the 5 mg lozenges. When I switched from daily injections to lozenges I forgot that the lozenges had to be for a whole month in order to equal the injections, so my health deteriorated when I stopped my shots and switched to only lozenges. If I had remembered about the time required for the lozenges to work equally well, I wouldn’t have had my symptoms increase. Now I’m using lozenges every day with no injections. (9/23/07)

Become familiar with “methylcobalamin”, read vitamin labels to see whether that is the vitamin B12 form in the supplement you are buying.

Normal nerve cell activity and tissue formation need vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin is the only form of B12 that your central nervous system can use. Other forms of B12 must be converted to methylcobalamin. In the conversion some cobalamin is lost. Your liver can’t completely transform common cyano B12 into the superior methylcobalamin.

Methylcobalamin is effective in providing healthy brain and spinal cord support. It is required for your DNA to accurately replicate, and it’s needed for the production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe).

There are many advertisers who sell cyanocobalamin and make it sound effective despite the fact it’s not as effective as methylcobalamin.

Methylcobalamin is the active form of vitamin B12 used by your central nervous system and works immediately. Years ago a doctor put me on antidepressants, “to help your neurotransmitters.” The side affects were weight gain and hair loss. (What’s more depressing than weight gain and hair loss?) When I found B12 and began replacement my depression went away. It wasn’t the first symptom of low B12 to go away, but though it took longer to resolve, my depression did go away.

No Side Affects

Methylcobalamin helps neurotransmitters without unwanted side affects. However, be aware that as your blood cells heal and begin properly dividing you need more potassium to support the additional work your blood cells are doing. Without additional potassium you may experience muscle spasms.

Potassium is Essential ~ Read more.

How does methylcobalamin work? The geek answer is: Methylcobalamin “functions in accelerating transmethylation reactions in the manufacture of nucleic acids, neurotransmitters and phospholipids.”


B12 has the largest, most complex structure of the vitamins.

“Vitamin B12 is unique among vitamins in that it contains a metal ion, cobalt. For this reason cobalamin is the term used to refer to compounds having vitamin B12 activity. Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosyl cobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 used in the human body.” Brody T. Nutritional Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 1999.

B12 is famously available in meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. But these are less healthy for you today when factory farming adds antibiotics and BP has polluted much of the sea. Today an understanding of B12 must include that cobalt is in cobalamins (B12), and that the basic chemical structure of B12 is the corrin ring. B12 corrinoids are among the most complicated molecules in nature, involving over 200 atoms. It is bacteria and some algae that synthesize and contain the corrinoids. The fact is that Vitamin B12 originates exclusively in microorganisms. When you know this, it’s easier to understand that there are other, but less famous, sources of vitamin B12 like tempe, mushrooms, miso and some teas.

Foods containing vitamin B12 ~ Read more.

Vitamin B12 levels decline with age. Several investigations have shown a B12 decline in older people. Low vitamin B12 impairs nerve function, leading to pins-and-needles sensations, a burning sensation, leg and back pain, less clear vision, and/or impaired mental function.

Vitamin B12 replacement has reduced my back and leg pain. Significantly!

Jarrow Methyl B12, 5000 mcg, 60 Lozenges

Jarrow Methyl B12

General information: Vitamin B12, cobalamin, is water-soluble and essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. It is vital for neurological activity, including your DNA replication, and B12 aids in production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine(SAMe), which benefits your joints and mood.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells, which are linked to your energy levels. Low B12 can cause you to feel fatigue. Because B12 is vital for metabolism and your energy production, it is useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.

Studies show vitamin B12 provides support for the cardiovascular system. Together with vitamin B6 and folic acid, B12 maintains normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid found in your blood. Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and additional health concerns, including Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Plus, elevated homocysteine damages coronary arteries and leads to excessive clotting. Read more.

Small amounts of B12 are found in common foods. The amounts of B12 are so tiny that despite eating abundantly of these foods anyone with a malabsorption condition, including bacterial overgrowth in the intestines and stomach, may be low on B12. In these cases, additional B12 may be not only desirable but necessary.

Bacterial overgrowth ~ Read more.

Absorption ~ It’s said that about 10 mcg of a 500 mcg vitamin B12 oral supplement is actually absorbed. (US gov website attributes this to researcher Ralph Carmel, but when I read the piece they cite it doesn’t say this.)

Is it safe to take vitamin B12?

My neurologist told me three important things:

  1. “It can’t hurt you.” He said, repeatedly.
  2. “Take more when you’re under stress, it will help your body deal with the stress.”
  3. And, he said that years ago they diagnosed pernicious anemia, a form of B12 deficiency that is deadly if untreated, by prescribing B12 injections, watching to see if they helped, and then if they did, diagnosing the vitamin B12 illness, pernicious anemia, (because it must have existed if B12 made the symptoms go away).

My neurologist had me keep a Time Line for this very reason, to see if there were changes in my health. The changes were significant.

My Time Line ~ Take a look.

Memory loss is linked to low vitamin B12, so keep a Time Line. Record your daily symptoms, doses and any serum test results you get. That way you will be able to tell how much you actually improve as well as how much B12 you need to improve. If you don’t improve, something else is wrong.

If you have symptoms of low B12, you owe it to yourself to take Methylcobalamin. If your symptoms don’t go away, which rarely happens, then you have some other problem and for sure should go to a doctor for clarification.

In most cases the symptoms will go away or become very much reduced.

You’ll Sleep Better with a Healthy B12 Level ~ Once your B12 levels are restored a small amount of Melatonin will give you a solid night’s sleep. You are going to love this~ and there’s no drugged feeling the next day. Note: research shows that a small dose is more effective than a larger dose.

Melatonin is a natural substance made by the pineal gland located in the brain. Adequate melatonin levels help establish healthy sleep patterns. It is released primarily during the night. Malatonin levels decrease as you get older.

B12 prevents major birth defects

March 2, 2009 ~ Before becoming pregnant, women need to get enough vitamin B12 in addition to folic acid to cut their risk of having a baby with a serious birth defect of the brain and spinal cord, researchers said.

“Vitamin B12 is essential for the functioning of the nervous system and for the production of red blood cells,” says Duane Alexander, MD, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study. “The results of this study suggest that women with low levels of B12 not only may risk health problems of their own, but also may increase the chance that their children may be born with a serious birth defect.”

Irish women with the lowest vitamin B12 levels were five times more likely to have a baby with a neural tube defect than those with the highest levels, the researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics.

As an aside, I used to tell people about B12 on any forum I could find. On an Irish forum I received many responses, but then my posts were deleted and I saw that the forum displayed advertising from drug companies. Karen 3/2/09

Night Shift work ~ Cancer link

Victoria harbor, from Victoria Peak - Hong Kong SARScientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have found a possible link between night work and tumor formation. Although numerous studies suggested a link between night shift work and cancer, this is the first time it has been evaluated by the IARC, said Aaron Blair, scientist emeritus at the U.S. National Cancer Institute and chairman of the IARC Working Group that evaluated the shift work-cancer link.

On the epidemiological side, “there’s human data — nurses, airplane flight attendants, different groups that engage in shift work — that have an elevated risk of breast cancer, and that’s the strongest finding,” Blair said. “There’s lesser evidence, but some positive evidence, for [increased risk of] prostate cancer, and a little less, but still positive, evidence, for colon cancer.” In animal studies, rats exposed to light during their nocturnal, active phase, also displayed spikes in cancer incidence, Blair said.

In investigations into possible biological mechanisms linking working through the wee hours to heightened odds for malignancy, the strongest theory involves melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain’s pineal gland. Shift workers interrupt their natural melatonin formation. 2007

Researchers in Hong Kong report that the hormone melatonin, more commonly used to reduce the effects of jetlag, could protect the brain from the effects of stroke. March, 2003

Gray’s Attorney Textbook of Medicine, says, “On physical examination… those with B12 deficiency frequently look flabby.” I believe the textbook says that to alert lawyers to the fact that a person does not have to be skinny, to be B12 anemic.

I know I looked flabby. (When I began eating for my blood type, as per D’Adamo, I lost 5 lb. a month by eating brown rice instead of pasta and bread, even though I ate more. I tried it because D’Adamo talks about how research showed that his diet guidelines reduce the symptoms of pernicious anemia. The diet reduces swelling at cell level. Also, the diet ended my diarrhea.) You can check it out at There is a food database.

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If you have signs of vitamin B12 deficiency and begin using Methylcobalamin lozenges, you may say, "Bingo! Most of my symptoms are gone!"
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