Saturday, July 26, 2014

B-12 - What Type is BEST for You?

Everyone knows that B-12 is the "energy" vitamin. And it also can be used as a hangover preventive. (Yes, I know, I am an enabler). Since I don't drink alcohol of any kind, and I hate it when my husband wakes up with a hangover because of a party we went to the night before, I bring B-12 and give it to him throughout the night.

What I found out that it does, is prevent your body from becoming dehydrated.... and that is the number one cause of hangovers. Between B-12 and drinking a glass of water for every two alcoholic drinks you consume, you should be fine the next morning (well, at least not with a severe hangover headache).

But that is not what this post is about. I want to tell you a teeny bit about methylation, and why you may be experiencing chronic fatigue, neuropathy in your nerves (numbness, tingling, and even pain) and other symptoms of B vitamin deficiencies.

Doctors and researches have concluded that up to 45% of the population has methylation issues. This is a genetic factor, where some genes disrupt the normal cycle. The most common being MTHFR gene mutation. But what does that mean in layman's terms?

  • If you take B-vitamins, they most likely are the form of folic acid (vs. methyl folate), cyanocobalamin (vs methylcobalamin), B9 (vs. P-5-P) and so on. Go ahead, check your vitamins.... 
  • If you don't methylate correctly, no matter what your serum levels are of these tests, you may be experiencing deficiency -- because your body cannot convert these vitamins into their active forms -- a part of your body's methylation cycle that should normally be able to convert those vitamins, and allow your body to use them.
  • If your doctor is not aware of these issues (many doctors aren't, as the MTHFR genes have only recently been discovered this generation, thanks to the Human Genome Project), then you may be sent away with a prescription you don't need, to try to mask your symptoms. 
One of the biggest examples is peripheral neuropathy. There are three main causes of this debilitating disease:

1. Alcoholism
2. Diabetes
3. B-12 deficiency.

Let's take my family history as an example. My grandmother had severe peripheral neuropathy, my dad currently has it pretty bad, and my brother and I started showing symptoms a few years ago. (Me, about 9 years ago when I was around 30, although my brother started showing symptoms in his 20s).

So, when I went to the doctor, we ruled out #1 and #2. And we did a B-12 blood test. Came back normal. Of course it did, I was taking my vitamins every day! I was sent on my way, diagnosed as idiopathic neuropathy (idiopathic is just a label they throw on when they don't know what causes the symptoms).

Neither my brother or my dad have alcoholism, diabetesm or a B-12 deficiency as caused by  lack of B vitamins. However, I am willing to bet that they have methylation issues (they haven't gotten tested, although I have, and I have a ton of mutated methylation genes. Some of them are homozygous (meaning I got one risk allele from each parent) so for sure my father has some.

So what is one possibility that is going on with this neuropathy? Simple. My blood has enough of the B vitamins but is UNABLE TO CONVERT THEM TO THEIR USABLE FORM. So the blood test is no good for people with methylation issues.

What do you do? Simple. Take the B-vitamins in their ACTIVE FORM. There are many types of B-12:

1. Cyanocobalamin (Non-active form, but most common)
2. Methylcobalamin (Most common active form)
3. Adenosylcobalamin (Active form - harder to find)
4. Hydrosylcobalamin (Active form - also hard to find)

The one I want to talk about is methylcobalamin. When you order B-12 from the health food store or online, most likely it is cyanocobalamin. But your body cannot use that form very easily, especially if you have methylation issues.

So my recommendation is to use methylcobalamin or one of the other active forms of B-12 listed above. Avoid the cyanocobalamin.

Another important B-vitamin to take in its active form is folate (B-9). Avoid folic acid, which is a synthetic version your body cannot assimilate.

And one more B-vitamin to take in active form is B-6, or P-5-P (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate).

These three B vitamins are extremely important to take in their active form.

Apex Natural sent me a bottle of Methyl B-12 lozenges to try out. They taste great, have methylcobalamin, but they also have folic acid and B-6 in their inactive forms. Which to me, sort of defeats the purpose of taking the active form of B-vitamins.

Since I am not a doctor of methylation, and I am only a layman who has studied and has interest in this subject for my own personal health, I would have to say that this brand is ok, but definitely not for someone who has the MTHFR gene mutation, and needs to stay away from folic acid.

It would have been better if this only included B-12 (methylcobalamin). But, if you only want to focus on the methyl form of B-12, this is an awesome option for you.

About Me: Hi! I am Rebecca :) I am the owner of Purify Your Body Detox Foot Pads. I love natural health and wellness, and I love to eat real food. :) 

I love my family, and my pets. I actually love all animals -- they are much nicer than most humans! I don't watch TV and haven't watched a movie in the theater for more than 9 months. I would much rather read a book!

I love to garden and make homemade products -- body butter, toothpaste, perfume, cheese, yogurt, etc. It tastes better when it's made from scratch!  Contact me here:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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