The REAL Reason to Avoid Synthetic B12 (Cyanocobalamin)



The REAL Reason to Avoid Synthetic B12 (Cyanocobalamin)


Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including energy production, nerve cell health, and red blood cell formation. Many people rely on fortified foods, such as cereals and snack bars, as well as synthetic vitamin supplements to meet their B12 needs. However, there is one form of B12 that experts recommend avoiding: cyanocobalamin. In this article, we will explore the real reason behind this recommendation and why opting for a natural form of B12, such as methylcobalamin, is a better choice for your health.

The Problem with Cyanocobalamin

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of vitamin B12 that contains a cyanide molecule. While proponents argue that the amount of cyanide is insignificant and can be easily detoxified by the liver, there are concerns about the potential harm it can cause, especially in large amounts. Consuming cyanocobalamin through fortified foods, energy drinks, and synthetic supplements can lead to an accumulation of cyanide in the body. Cyanide inhibits the delivery of oxygen to the mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, and can harm their function.

Cyanide Poisoning and Mitochondrial Damage

When someone experiences cyanide poisoning or carbon monoxide poisoning, one of the remedies used in emergency rooms is methylene blue. This compound bypasses the mitochondrial damage caused by cyanide and provides the necessary oxygen to the mitochondria. Interestingly, some B12 injections also contain cyanocobalamin, which means that individuals receiving these injections may be inadvertently exposing themselves to potential harm from cyanide.

Genetic Factors and Detoxification

Detoxification is a vital process that allows our bodies to eliminate harmful substances. However, some individuals may have genetic mutations or variations that affect their ability to detoxify efficiently. One such genetic issue is related to methylation, a process that helps with detoxification and overall health. The MTHFR gene mutation is one example of a genetic problem that affects methylation. If you have this mutation, consuming the wrong form of B12, such as cyanocobalamin, can worsen your detoxification problems.

The Benefits of Methylcobalamin

Methylcobalamin is a natural form of vitamin B12 that offers several advantages over synthetic cyanocobalamin. It is an active form of B12 that stays in the body for a longer duration, allowing for better absorption and utilization. Let's delve into some of the benefits of methylcobalamin:

Improved Sleep and Wakefulness

Methylcobalamin has been shown to positively impact sleep quality and wakefulness. People who take methylcobalamin often report feeling more alert and refreshed upon waking. It can also help regulate sleep patterns and prevent insomnia, making it an excellent choice for those who struggle with sleep-related issues.

Nervous System Support

Methylcobalamin plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. It is particularly beneficial for the myelin sheath, the protective covering around nerve cells. A deficiency in B12 can lead to problems such as numbness, tingling, and paresthesia. By supplementing with methylcobalamin, you can promote the health of your nervous system and alleviate these issues.

Visual Accommodation

Another remarkable benefit of methylcobalamin is its positive impact on visual accommodation. Many individuals who start taking methylcobalamin notice an improvement in their vision, reducing their dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Heart Health and Homocysteine Levels

High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Methylcobalamin helps lower homocysteine levels, promoting cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of these serious conditions.

Stress Management

Chronic stress can take a toll on our bodies, particularly the adrenal glands responsible for producing cortisol, the stress hormone. Methylcobalamin has been found to help regulate cortisol levels, potentially reducing the negative impact of stress on our overall well-being.

Factors Affecting B12 Absorption

While cyanocobalamin may be present in fortified foods and supplements, it's important to note that deficiencies in B12 can occur for various reasons unrelated to the choice of B12 form. Factors such as stomach inflammation, H. pylori infection, low hydrochloric acid levels, gastric bypass surgery, and intestinal inflammation can all impair B12 absorption. If you have any of these conditions, it's crucial to ensure you are taking the right form of B12 for optimal health.

B12 Deficiency and Anemia

Insufficient B12 levels can lead to anemia, a condition characterized by a shortage of red blood cells. Anemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms that can significantly impact daily life. It's important to address B12 deficiency promptly to prevent or treat anemia effectively.

Choosing the Right Form of B12

When it comes to selecting a B12 supplement or ensuring adequate dietary intake, choosing the right form of B12 is crucial. While cyanocobalamin may be the most commonly available form, it is clear that natural forms such as methylcobalamin offer numerous benefits. Methylcobalamin is the active form of B12, making it readily available for the body to utilize. Its extended duration of action and positive effects on sleep, nervous system health, vision, heart health, and stress management make it an excellent choice for those looking to optimize their B12 intake.


Synthetic B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin, while widely available, may not be the best choice for your health. The presence of cyanide in cyanocobalamin raises concerns about potential harm, especially in large amounts. Additionally, genetic factors and detoxification issues can further complicate matters, making the choice of B12 form even more critical. Opting for a natural form of B12, such as methylcobalamin, can provide numerous benefits for sleep, nervous system health, vision, heart health, and stress management. By prioritizing the right form of B12, you can support your overall well-being and ensure optimal functioning of your body's vital processes.


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