Overview About Vitamin B12: The 4 Different Forms and Which One Suits You Best - Enlighten Functional Medicine

Overview About Vitamin B12: The 4 Different Forms and Which One Suits You Best

Overview About Vitamin B12: The 4 Different Forms and Which One Suits You Best

Most people know that Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining energy and a healthy nervous system, but many don’t know that there are different forms of Vitamin B12. Depending on your needs, one form of B12 may be better for you than another. In this post, we’ll give an overview of the four different types of Vitamin B12 and help you decide which one is right for you.



Imagine this scenario: You’re in a store. You’re looking at the back of a vitamin bottle and you have no clue what you’re looking at. What you are mindful about is that you’re looking for B12. There are many forms of B12. Some types of vitamins are easier for your body to absorb than others. Some are cheap and easily accessible through the food we eat. 


Vitamin B12 is medically known as cobalamin. We must be looking at the prefix to “cobalamin” when checking the back of that nutrient label. You’re looking for the vitamin that’s going to be the best absorbed into your body.




This is a cheaper, more cost-effective method of adding B12 into a vitamin supplementation.  Cyanocobalamin takes the term from ‘cyanide’. Your body needs to detox the cyanide molecule off of the cobalamin component to enable the use of the B12 in your body.


Do you want to be taking something that you have to detox a cyanide molecule off to utilize it? It’s going to be more work and use more energy. I believe we don’t want to do that. We want to be smart about how we’re taking our vitamins. 


Just so you know, cyanocobalamin is in lots of prenatal supplements. It’s in lots of multivitamins out there because it’s just cheap to make.


  1. Methylcobalamin


Maybe you’re looking to support methylation. Maybe you have MTHFR. Or maybe your B12 plasma came back low and you’re needing to support the methylation component.


Maybe methylation is way too big of a term to even know what that is. Let’s take a look at the second form of B12, which is methylB12 or methylcobalamin. It has a methyl group attached to the cobalamin and that methyl group is something that’s very bio available.


We convert it to make it and we need it to get to more processes in the body. It’s a naturally occurring and good form of B12. It’s found in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, milk, and eggs. It is readily available in many people’s daily diet. However, sometimes you need to add a little bit in a supplement form.


There are some things to look out for people who take methylcobalamin including sensitivity to  methyl groups. Meaning that you get a little bit anxious, have headaches,itching and stomach cramps if you start taking a B-vitamin.


So methyl donors are going to be the component for causing that. Yes, it’s more bio available, but there is a risk that you could have a negative response to it.Don’t let that scare you, though. It may mean that we need to titrate down a little bit. Or we may need to switch to a different form of B12, which we’re going to go over next.


  1. Adeno Cobalamin


Now, there is another component of Vitamin B12 which is a non methylated form. Adeno Cobalamin is the third kind of cobalamin. Adenosyl cobalamin is the fancy name for it. It’s really important to protect and support the mitochondria. Maybe you’re someone that needs more mitochondrial health. You need that low layer of just cellular support to give you energy. In the mitochondria is where we are making energy. It is known as the powerhouse of the cell.


You need B12 to make that happen. Adeno cobalamin is a source for targeting specific mitochondrial health. The other thing is that it’s not methylated. For those who have issues who are a little bit more sensitive to a methylated B12 or methylated B’s in general, typically this form is a safer choice.


  1. Hydroxocobalamin


This other component, which is called hydroxocobalamin iis also a very safe non-methylated form of B12. You can find some of these blends in different lozenges with adeno cobalamin and  the hydroxocobalamin paired together. This is the oral form of this vitamin B12 component. Generally, hydroxocobalamin is available in intravenous (IV) and shots (injection) forms. 


Just a quick safety tip: If you are sensitive, start by sucking on a lozenge. Spit it back out if you want, but gradually increase the dose over time. You may also consider taking it a few times instead of multiple times a day to avoid overload. Or maybe you just need to do it two or three times a week. Perhaps you only need to take some Vitamin B12  when you’re stressed or when your estrogen surges. These are a few considerations. 


I sure hope this post resonates with you so you can best pick and be more educated on what’s on the back of your supplement bottle. Which form of Vitamin B12 is right for you depends on your individual needs. If you’re not sure what those are, or if you want to learn more about the different forms of B12, schedule a free discovery call with us. We can help you figure out which type of B12 is best for you and how to make sure you’re getting enough in your diet. Thanks for reading!


So I hope these, this, this overview of the B12 is going to resonate with you so you can best pick and be more educated on what’s on the back of your supplement bottle.



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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 

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Known for her successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Dr. Emily Hecker and her team at Enlighten Functional Medicine combine an integrative, functional medicine approach with the appropriate lab testing.

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