Herbal Supplements
Medicinal Uses of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

  1. Conditions improved by a supplement

Vital importance of vitamin B12 for the human body is an undeniable and scientifically proven fact these days. Its deficiency can lead to serious health problems and the development of quite dangerous illnesses. In order to prevent such events occurrence, to stop or reduce the aggravation of the already existing diseases, cobalamin supplementation may become an effective and safe option.

One of the conditions significantly improved with the use of vitamin B12 is megaloblastic anemia – a state when immature enlarged red blood cells are formed in the body. The matter is that B12 deficiency is actually responsible for the disease development; that is why its supplementation indubitably improves the condition. Moreover, B12 deficiency due to the lack of intrinsic factor in the digestive tract causes a specific type of anemia called pernicious or persistent anemia. Lifelong therapy is usually required to reduce the symptoms, but the treatment is said to practically always give positive results.

Vitamin B12 helps preserve healthy brain and nerves, thus allowing to avoid or postpone brain atrophy and dementia with its most common form – Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, the use of vitamin B12 (especially in elderly) is known to be a valuable factor of preserving mental abilities, memory, concentration, coordination and other functions. Patients with multiple sclerosis are also said to benefit from B12 supplementation. 

Chronic fatigue syndrome is another condition, stated to be effectively relieved with the help of vitamin B12 supplements, as this element plays an important role in the energy production in the body.

Cobalamin and pyridoxine combination is sometimes used after balloon angioplasty – widening of the narrowed blood vessels. This treatment helps avoid the recurrent narrowing (restenosis) of the previously operated vessels.

Recent studies suggest that the combination of vitamins B12, B6, and methionine may have a protective effect against breast cancer in women, ensuring proper DNA replication and repair. Cobalamin is also said to be important for preserving of the healthy cardiovascular system, as it is associated with the lowering of high homocysteine (amino acid) levels in blood. Vitamin B12 is also used as a treatment option for cyanide poisoning.

HIV/AIDS patients benefit from cobalamin due to its positive influence on the nerves, which are known to be damaged by the illness.  

In addition, such conditions as osteoporosis, neuritis, tinnitus, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, cataracts and even obesity are suggested to be improved by vitamin B12. However, further studies are needed to prove these statements.

  1. Recommended daily dose

Vitamin B12 requirement increases with age. It is, however, the highest among the pregnant (2.6 mcg a day) and breastfeeding (2.8 mcg) women. Adults are recommended to take 2.4 mcg of the vitamin per day. Children daily requirements are defined as follows:

-         0-6 months – 0.4 mcg;

-         7-12 months – 0.5 mcg;

-         1-3 years – 0.9 mcg;

-         4-8 years – 1.2 mcg;

-         9-13 years – 1.8 mcg.

  1. Precautions and interactions

In general, cobalamin is a safe element, not associated with any side effects and even its large doses appear to be harmless. Nonetheless, people known to be allergic to cobalt and those suffering from the hereditary optic nerve atrophy are not allowed to take vitamin B12.

Moreover, a lot of medications may interact with this supplement, either interfering with its absorption, depleting it, reducing its amount in the body, or affecting its normal functioning in the organism. The most common interactions include:

-         antacids,

-         antibiotics and antiviral agents,

-         anti-diabetes drugs,

-         histamine blockers,

-         oral contraceptives and sleeping pills,

-         cholesterol lowering medicines,

-         HIV/AIDS drugs,

-         antiepileptic pills.

Potassium supplements are not recommended to be combined with vitamin B12. Finally, folic acid may mask cobalamin deficiency, at the same time not improving all its negative influence on the body.

To make a conclusion, a healthy person may get all the necessary amount of vitamin B12 from the well-balanced diet. When it comes to taking cobalamin supplements, it is better to consult a specialist in order to prevent undesirable effects of the therapy.

About Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 General Information

What it is B12 is the last discovered and structurally most complicated vitamin from the B-complex. It has cobalt ...

2011-04-08 12:55:33
I am taking Provochal, neurontin, sudafed and valtrex (for only 5 more days) . My cardiologist ordered for me to take B12 sublingual 1000mcg over the counter. Will these interfere with B12 absorbtion?
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About Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 General Information

What it is B12 is the last discovered and structurally most ...

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