Is your B12 right for you?
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the normal functioning of all cells, including cell growth and cell replication. Our diet provides most of the vitamin B12 we need from animal protein products such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products.
However, for individuals consuming predominantly plant-based diets, adequate amounts of vitamin B12 can be lacking.
Vitamin B12 is available in a few different forms, including cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, hydoxocobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin are the most common forms of vitamin B12 found in supplements, while hydroxocobalamin is the form used in Australian in vitamin B12 injections. While methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the two active coenzyme forms of vitamin B12, the body readily coverts between the two.
There are generally three different options for increasing your vitamin B12 levels if your dietary intake is inadequate.
Oral vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is available as oral tablets and most commonly contains the cyanocobalamin form. To be useful in the body, cyanocobalamin must first be broken down into one of the two active coenzyme forms – methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin. There are four separate metabolic steps required for this process, each of which require both good digestive and enzyme function.
Vitamin B12 injections
Vitamin B12 injections may be recommended by a doctor following a diagnosis of low vitamin B12 levels. The injections are given intramuscularly and need to be administered by a health professional. Vitamin B12 injections in Australia commonly use the hydroxocobalamin form of vitamin B12. Hydroxocobalamin is a precursor to the active form so still requires some conversion.
Sublingual forms of vitamin B12 work by placing a small tablet under the tongue where it dissolves, allowing absorption to occur through the oral mucosa and then into the bloodstream. Sublingual delivery bypasses the digestive tract and the need for good digestive function, offering an alternative to oral vitamin B12 supplements when digestive function is compromised. Herbs of Gold Sublingual B12 1000 provides 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12 in a sublingual form.
Sublingual B12 is also available in the active, coenzyme form, methylcobalamin. By taking the active form of vitamin B12, you bypass any necessary conversion steps, providing ready access to the active form of vitamin B12. If you’re looking for an active form of vitamin B12, Herbs of Gold Activated Sublingual B12 contains 1000 micrograms of activated sublingual B12 that conveniently dissolves under the tongue.