Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble nutrient and is available in four forms:
Once consumed, either as a supplement or naturally, the body converts it into 5-deosiadenosyl cobalamin and methylcobalamin. Next we will explain in a simple and detailed way what methylcobalamin is and its differences with cyanocobalamin.
Methylcobalamin can be defined as a form of vitamin B12. Physiologically, it is equivalent to this one and can be used as a treatment or prevention of certain pathologies due to its lack. In addition, it is particularly important in the treatment of certain diseases such as diabetic neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
✅ Molar mass: 1344,40 g/mol
✅ Number CAS: 13422-55-41
✅ Other names: Mecobalamin
✅ Semi-developed formula: C63H91CoN13O14P
Methyl is one of the forms of vitamin B12 that uses the enzyme methionine synthase. It also plays a key role in Wood-Ljungdahl’s Roadmap, whereby certain organisms use carbon dioxide to produce their own organic compounds. This coenzyme is produced by certain types of bacteria.
Both with the taking of B12-methyl supplements and in its natural form, it has many benefits for the body, one of them, the production of red blood cells. Once the body absorbs cobalamin coenzyme, it is generated.
The deficiency of the methyl form can lead to relatively serious health disorders, such as pernicious anaemia or various pathologies related to the nervous system.
Methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin? Their differences
Sometimes both concepts are confused. Let’s explain the differences between the two:
This nutrient is found especially in those foods of animal origin, such as beef, eggs, fish such as tuna or sardine or dairy products.
Meanwhile, the methyl form is the result of the cyan’s transformation into the organism. Therefore, when we consume food, we ingest cyanocobalamin and, when it transforms into our digestive system, it gives rise to methylcobalamin.
Methylcobalamin, in comparison to cyanocobalamin, is better absorbed by the body; it is also better retained in tissues. It metabolizes the liver, brain and nervous system. Thus, it is considered to be the methyl form of vitamin B12 is more advisable to care for mental health and vision both in the medium and long term.
Functions of methylcobalamin in the body
This form of cobalamin transformed, performs various functions in the body, especially in relation to the immune system, nervous and circulatory. One of its main functions is that it helps the body to better synthesize melatonin; therefore, it plays a leading role in regulating sleep patterns and circadian rhythms of the body.
In addition, it is of special relevance in the regeneration of nerve tissue, being this function very important in people suffering from diseases such as glaucoma or multiple sclerosis.
In general terms, methyl helps to strengthen the immune system, so that it acts as a protective shield against external aggressions that may affect the state of health in general to a lesser or greater extent.
B12 supplements with methylcobalamin
Supplements of both formulations can be found on the market, both in cyano and methyl formats. However, in the vast majority of cases it is more advisable to take cyanocobalamin because it has more benefits for the body; in addition, supplements are more affordable, if we also want to consider the economic point of view.
It is recommended for…
Methyl supplements are recommended for some specific cases:
People who have difficulty in transforming cyanocobalamin into their digestive tract should take them, as the methyl form is already in place.
This is the case of people suffering from certain kidney diseases, celiac disease or pathologies related to the digestive tract. Also in those over 50 years of age; after this age, the body does not absorb nutrients very well.
People suffering from specific symptoms for which methyl form is more advisable.
Supplements of this coenzyme are usually in tablets that dissolve in the mouth, called sublingual, so that tissues absorb a useful part of the nutrient. On the time to be taken and the amount per tablet, it is best to ask the opinion of a medical expert or nutritionist to advise us the most appropriate dose for each individual case.
It should be noted that…
It should also be taken into account that supplementation in methyl format may have a contraindication: the risk of excess blood, because the appropriate dose is not known in each case, sometimes reaching high levels of B12 in our body, is why this should only be prescribed by a doctor, either nutritionist or doctor. Therefore, those people who do not have any of the above health problems are more likely to take cyanocobalamin supplements.
We hope that the differences between methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin, two compounds that are essential for the proper functioning of the body, have become clear. Methyl is one of the most important forms of vitamin B12 for the body. It performs a wide selection of functions for the cardiovascular system, as well as for respiratory and mental health.
However, we have to say that artificially created cyanocobalamin is less advisable than cyanocobalamin because of its also existing negative effects. The solution? Ask for advice from an expert who will know, depending on our situation, whether we should opt for one or the other formulation.