Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) absorbtion from food is a challenge; many things can go wrong in the process. As vitamin B12 is pulled out of food in the stomach, proteins secreted in the digestive tract, called salivary R-binders, attach to it. Acid in the stomach and pancreatic proteolytic enzymes are needed to release B12 from these binders. In order for B12 to be absorbed through the intestine into the blood the basics of the process described plus some additional complex chemical reactions are required. B12 is essential for recycling homocysteine and the formation of methyl donors that support cardiovascular function, sleep, blood cell formation, and nerve function. Deficiencies can lead to certain types of anemia. Most vitamin B12 supplements contain cyanocobalamin, which the liver must first “detoxify” by separating the cyanide molecule from the cyanocobalamin and attaching a methyl group in its place to form methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is the active form of B12 or tissue-ready form. Evidence indicates that the body utilizes methylcobalamin more efficiently than it utilizes cyanocobalamin.

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