(Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, Methylcobalamin, Cobamamide)
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is water soluble. It is also very commonly found in numerous different kinds of foods, such as dairy products, fish, meat and shellfish. Frequently, vitamin B12 is used in conjunction with other vitamin B types in a complex formulation.
The vitamin serves to keep nerve cells healthy, as well as the red blood cells, and it is also needed in order to make DNA, which is the genetic material that is found in every cell. Vitamin B12 is bound to food by way of the protein. During digestion, the stomach releases the B12 from protein using its own hydrochloric acid, and upon its release, it mixes into the intrinsic factor, another substance, prior to being absorbed into the blood.
It is extremely rare to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency because the human body works to store several years worth of the nutrient. As such, those who are elderly are the ones who are the greatest risk to experiencing deficiency. However, deficiency is also possible when a person is not able to use the vitamin.
Pernicious anemia is an example of a type of disease that makes it impossible for a person to absorb this essential vitamin from their intestinal tract. Furthermore, a vegan or a strict vegetarian may be prone to a state of deficiency if they are not taking in the correct dosages of B12.
A person can easily get a full day’s worth of vitamin B12 simply by eating a cup of milk with a cup of raisin bran, or a chicken breast with a hardboiled egg and a cup of yogurt, plain and low in fat.
Vitamin B-12 is also known as:
- B Complex
- B Complex Vitamin
- Vitadurin and
- Vitamin B-12.
Evidence of Successful Vitamin B12 Therapy
The following uses have been previously tested in animals or humans however, neither the safety nor the effectiveness have always been proven in these studies.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Previous scientific research have shown that when a person has a deficiency of the vitamin B12, it may lead to complications such as abnormal psychiatric and neurologic symptoms. Some of these such symptoms in question may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Ataxia, which is shaky movement and an unsteady gait
- Hypotension, which is low blood pressure
- Mood disturbances
- Vision problems
- Psychoses and
Researchers say that the previously mentioned symptoms have a tendency to occur even when the levels of the vitamin B12 are only a little bit lower than they are supposed to be, and when they are considerably higher than levels that are considered to be normal for those with anemia.
People who are at risk for developing deficiency of vitamin B12 include those who:
- are strict vegetarians
- are elderly
- are breastfed infants
are people who need more vitamin B12 due to pregnancy, hemolytic anemia, thyrotoxicosis, hemorrhage, liver disease, malignancy or kidney disease.
Uses Based on Tradition or Theory
The uses as described below are based upon scientific theories and tradition. Caution is warranted because not every supplement or herb has been fully and extensively tested, meaning that the effectiveness and the safety thereof has not yet been proven. It is important to read the labels on the products, as well as to discuss the dosages with a qualified provider of healthcare prior to starting any new therapy.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Cognitive function
- Depressive disorder
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Energy level enhancement
- Growth disorders
- Improving concentration
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Male infertility
- Malignant tumors
- Memory loss
- Mouth and throat inflammation, or atrophic glossitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myoclonic disorders, or spinal myoclonus
- Neural tube defects
- Peridontal disease
- Poisoning by cyanide
- Protection from smoke by tobacco
- Psychiatric disorders
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Seizure disorders by way of West syndrome
- Thyroid storm, or adjunct iodides
The below figures are solely based on traditional use, scientific research, expert opinion and publications. Caution is warranted because not every supplement or herb has been fully and extensively tested, meaning that the effectiveness and the safety thereof has not yet been proven. Each brand will probably be made differently, even within its own brand, using a variety of different ingredients. Not all brands may make their products to match the below dosages, so it is important to read the labels on the products, as well as to discuss the dosages with a qualified provider of healthcare prior to starting any new therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
The recommended dietary allowance for any adult and adolescent over the age of 13 is 2.4 micrograms on a daily basis. Pregnant females, whether adult or adolescent, should take 2.6 micrograms on a daily basis. Females who are lactating, whether adult or adolescent, should take 2.8 micrograms on a daily basis.
Because, more often than not, 10 – 30 percent of elderly people do not efficiently absorb enough vitamin B12 through food consumption, it is recommended for those over the age of 50 years to meet their recommended dietary allowance by way of eating foods that are fortified with B12 or by way of taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
To maintain the levels of vitamin B12 in elderly people, they should consider taking 25 – 100 micrograms of supplementation per day. Other indications will require the consultation of either a doctor or a pharmacist. Vitamin B12 may be taken by way of the mouth or provided by a qualified professional in health care and by way of intramuscular injection.
Children (under 18 years old)
Not all pediatric age groups have had recommended dietary allowances established for them. For this reason, there are instead Adequate Intake levels used. Infants are between the ages of newborn and six months should only have 0.4 micrograms. Infants between the ages of seven months and twelve months should take 0.5 micrograms.
Children between the ages of one and three years should take 0.9 micrograms. Children between the ages of four and eight years should take 1.2 micrograms. Children between the ages of nine and 13 should take 1.8 micrograms.
The United States Food and Drug Administration does not typically regulate supplements and herbs. As such, there are no guarantees with regards to the purity, strength or the safety of the products, and the effects will likely vary. Therefore, it is important to read the labels on the products. Consult a doctor if there is a medical condition present or if any other supplements, herbs or drugs are being taken, especially when considering new therapy. Consult a doctor if any side effects occur, especially as described below.
Anybody who is sensitive or allergic to colbat, cobalamin or any other kind of product ingredient should avoid taking any vitamin B12 supplements.
Side Effects and Warnings
Patients who are undergoing angioplasty are advised to take caution with vitamin B12. This is because an intravenous loading dose of vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid on a daily basis after coronary stenting has shown to potentially increase the rate of restenosis. Because of the risk of harm, it is recommended not to take this combination of vitamins for those who are obtaining a coronary stent.
Other side effects have been reported from taking vitamin B12, such as transitory exanthema, itching, rash, diarrhea and urticaria. Cases of rosacea fulminans have been associated with vitamin B12 and pyridoxine, which is hallmarked by erythema with nodules, pustules and papules. These symptoms have the potential to persist upwards of four months once the supplement usage has been stopped, and it may need to be treated using topical therapy and systemic corticosteroids.
Peripheral vascular thrombosis is another side effect to be reported. By treating a deficiency of vitamin B12, it is possible to unmask polycythemia vera, hallmarked by an increase of how many red blood cells there are, and it increases the volume of blood. Attempting to correct megaloblastic anemia using vitamin B12 in susceptible individuals may lead to the onset of fatal hypoklameia or gout. Additionally, it might obscure the folate deficiency of megaloblastic anemia, so caution is warranted.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is likely safe to take vitamin B12 orally provided pregnant and breastfeeding women do not exceed the dietary allowance that is recommended for them to take. Currently, there is an insufficient amount of information available with regards to the safety of taking a larger amount of vitamin B12, so it is not recommended.