Methylcobalamin vs Cyanocobalamin
There are two forms of vitamin B12 available on the market today. They are and cyanocobalamin.
The latter is much more common in multivitamins and B12 supplements. That said, there are many arguments to replace this ingredient with methylcobalamin.
Methylcobalamin is gaining popularity and will one day dominate the industry. But what is it that makes methylcobalamin a superior health supplement?
The Difference Between Methylcobalamin And Cyanocobalamin
These different form of B12 are very similar. The only chemical difference between them comes down to one small part of the molecule. Methylcobalamin has a methyl group (carbon and hydrogen). Cyanocobalamin has a cyanide group.
Cyanide isn't something you would expect to find lurking in your multivitamin! In fact, cyanocobalamin isn’t something nature ever intended your body to deal with. It exists only as a chemical synthesized in laboratories. It doesn’t occur in any living organism.
How Your Body Deals With B12
Your body actually has no use for the cyano compound itself. It will set about converting any cyanocobalamin into methylcobalamin as soon as possible. It is the methyl compound that the human body needs to function.
This means that cyanocobalamin is an inefficient way to ingest vitamin B12 intake. You also face the problem of what happens to the cyanide group as it is converted to the active (useful) form of B12.
Cyanide is famous for being a poison. Your body needs to remove this unwanted substance. The amount of cyanide released in the conversion process isn’t large enough to cause any damage.
Some common foods will also introduce small amounts of cyanide into your system. Still, it's fair to say that most people would prefer not to start ingesting cyanide!
Where Methylcobalamin Outperforms Cyanocobalamin
Methylcobalamin has a few other explicit benefits over its cyanide-containing sibling. Research shows that methylcobalamin remains in the body for a longer period of time, and at higher levels, than cyanocobalamin.
This means that your body gets B12 for longer if you use methylcobalamin.
Methylcobalamin may well also improve visual accommodation. There is no evidence to suggest that the cyano compound has the same effect.
Visual accommodation is the ability to shift your focus from something nearby to something further away. It's often impaired by things like staring at a computer screen. It is affected by methylcobalamin because it is related to the nervous system.
Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The greatest benefit of methylcobalamin comes when you consider the problem of B12 deficiency. In most cases, this isn’t actually caused by not getting enough of the vitamin from your diet. It is caused by being unable to absorb the vitamin properly.
The lack of absorbency can be caused by a variety of medical problems.
Taking sublingual methylcobalamin, or with an injection, allows the body to bypass the problem of absorption. It is used by the small intestine and your body will use the vitamin immediately.
This ensures that your body gets exactly what it needs. If cyanocobalamin is used, there can be problems with converting the chemical into the active methyl form.
Heavy smokers may struggle to process cyanocobalamin because of heavy metals and toxins that build up in the liver.
An Inconvenient Truth
Why do pharmaceutical companies use cyanocobalamin in the first place? Why does it ever appear in multivitamins, and why do so few people know about the better alternative?
The answer is disappointing: money. Synthesizing the unnatural cyano form is far cheaper than making or obtaining methylcobalamin.
Most businesses are more focused on increasing profits than making the best possible supplementation.
Methylcobalamin is what your body actually wants and needs. Cyanocobalamin is the substandard and unnatural substitute brought to you by the laboratories of big pharma.
It doesn't perform as well and even releases a known toxin into your body. Next time you buy a multivitamin, or a B12 supplement, check the ingredients and make sure you're getting the superior methylcobalamin.
Vitamin B12 Supplements
We’ve highlighted a few methylcobalamin products that are available on Amazon. Please take a look at our Recommended B12 Supplements if you want to give your body the best!