Can Vitamin B12 Be TOXIC?
Typically, there are two major forms of Vitamin B12:
Cyanocobalamin is the most common form of Vitamin B12. This is the form that is usually in multivitamins and B-complexes and is thought to be nearly the best form of Vitamin B12.
However, cyanocobalamin is also thought to be the less-then-optimal form of Vitamin B12.
This is because cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of Vitamin B12, which does not occur in normally in nature, as it can’t be synthesized by humans or by other animals. It must first be converted to a usable form of Vitamin B12 which is methylcobalamin, and then into adenosylcobalamin.
It is these latter forms that our body can use.
Some B12 Vitamins contain Cyanide
So, since the body can break down cyanocobalamin, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is in order for the conversion to take place, the cyanide bond must be released.
Of course, cyanide is toxic.
Now if you read about Vitamin B17 (laetrile), you’ll find that cyanide is the basis of banning that particular “vitamin”, despite the fact that we eat cyanide-containing foods everyday such as broccoli and cauliflower.
This synthetic form of Vitamin B12 has had the cyanide essentially added as a by-product of charcoal filtering. The FDA has deemed the cyanide by-product as “insignificant.”
So apparently, according to the FDA, some cyanide is fine for human ingestion. Well, many of you who know me, know that I don’t buy into anything the FDA says; I did a bit of investigating of my own.
Let’s see: Cyanide in foods and in Vitamin B12 are okay, while cyanide in Vitamin B17 is not okay. Why this double standard and is there a difference?
There is a big difference! And it is all about the bonding.
It is well known that cobalamin has a high affinity to cyanide and bonds with it. In fact, a means of counteracting cyanide poisoning is with the use of hydroxocobalamin. However, cobalamin in case of Vitamin B12, cannot bind to the cyanide molecule because it is already bound.
Though the amounts of cyanide are small, and thought to be “harmless”, when this is added to the already smalls amounts we are exposed to everyday via road salt, automobile exhausts, and even in table salt (used as a stabilizer), adding more cyanide to already elevated levels can potentially be harmful. This is not the case regarding cyanide-containing foods.
Sadly the FDA is banning the wrong substance!
There is an option, to take Vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, the active form of Vitamin B12, instead.
Methylcobalamin is an active form of cyanocobalamin. It is this form that is necessary for the synthesis of the amino acid, methionine; from homocysteine. Methionine is important for the DNA methylation; essential for normal human development as well as development or inhibition of carcinogenesis (prevention of cancer.)
Interestingly, Proper functioning DNA methylation is being linked with longevity.
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