More About Vitamin B12

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We know that vitamin B12 is dissolved in water and can be found in Nature, but it is also manufactured for supplement form as well as being produced into prescription drugs. B12 presents itself with a bond to the mineral cobalt and is described as cobalamin. The most common supplement form is cyanocobalamin.

There are two forms that are classified as bio-chemically active within the human body. These are known as methylcobalmin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. Recently, a discussion about cyanocobalimin verses methylcobalamin, in supplement form, has caused quite a stir. However....

Science shows us that cyanocobalmin is somewhat slightly toxic to the liver and uses glutathione and SAMe before it is converted into one of its biochemically active forms by the body for the replenishment of vitamin B12. This is not true of methylcobalamin, and it would seem-when using a supplement, that the more appropriate choice would be methylcobalamin.

Dietary Connection

Vitamin B12 is found in the foods that are classified as proteins. The acids in the stomach, with the presence of the enzyme-protease, break the bond from the food and create the ability for the absorption of B12. Afterwards, the B12 bonds with the biochemical solution of intrinsic factor.

Intrinsic factor is a glycoprotein-a protein with a sugar bond-that allows for the absorption of vitamin B12 into the intestines. As discussed earlier, pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition affecting the gastric lining of the stomach that results in shrinkage.

This creates a chain reaction leading to destruction of the parietal cells that secrete intrinsic factor, the reduction or absense of hydrochloric acid, leading to a severe deficit of vitamin B12-known also as B12 malabsorption.

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This can then lead to more severe disorders such as dysfunctional red blood cells in the bone marrow, and neurological problems. Even if a person gets "adequate" dietary intake of vitamin B12, this disease prohibits the body from absorbing it in any discoverable amounts.

Critical Functions of Vitamin B12

The best known functions of vitamin B12 are for DNA development, neurological function, and the necessity for accurate red blood cell arrangement. We have heard a lot about the dangers of too much homocysteine in relation to heart disease.

One of the more inportant functions of vitamin B12 is that of operating as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. High levels of homocysteine are converted to the beneficial methionine, rendering the high levels of homocysteine harmless.

One of the benefits of abundant methionine is its ability to be a donor for the formation of S-adenosylmethionine-or SAMe. SAMe operates as a "global donor" for many substrates-some of which are DNA, hormones, proteins, lipids, and RNA.

In the essential biochemical reaction of fat and protein metabolism, L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase converts L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA-a degradation of propionate. Furthermore, succinyl-CoA is necessary for the development of hemoglobin.

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