Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin
Vitamin B12 deficiencies have been mainly related to blood deficiency diseases, such as macrocytos and pernicious aneamia. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are followed by neurological and psychological disorders, such as disturbed sense of co-ordination, loss of memory, abnormal reflexes, weakness, loss of muscle strength, exhaustion, confusion, low self-confidence, incontinence, impaired vision, frequent need to pass water, psychological deviances.
Deficiencies can be caused by low intestinal B12 uptake (intestinal disorders), low intrinsic factor (a substance essential for its transport to the blood) in the stomach, deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juices (increasing with old age), regular use of laxatives or medicines like Losec (for treatment of peptic ulcer), low uptake in the central nervous system (CNS) or excessive B12 degradation. Lack of calcium in the food can also reduce the uptake and so can heavy metals.
The transport of vitamin B12 to the brain can be disturbed or interrupted by heavy metals such as inorganic mercury, which affects the blood-brain barrier by causing leakage and hampering the active transport of nutrients. Non-anaemic vitamin B12 deficiencies also play a role in diseases like Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Schizophrenia, a psychotic condition, has been successfully treated with B12 injections in combination with other supplements. There also seems to be a connection between B12 deficiencies and cardiovascular diseases. Methylcobalamin acts as a cofactor for methionine synthase in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, thus lowering blood levels of homocysteine. Methylcobalamin acts as a methyl donor and participates in the synthesis of SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine), a nutrient that has powerful mood elevating properties.
Vitamin B12 comes in many different forms methylcobalamin, cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, being the most common. They are freely transformed into each other in the body however, vitamin B12 in the brain and CNS is only present as methylcobalamin. Supplemented Vitamin B12 in its active form, methylcobalamin, gives a much better result than other forms which have to be transformed into methylcobalamin. It is possible that the process of transformation itself is inefficient in many patients.