A) ESSENTIAL COENZYME AND METHYL DONOR
In its active coenzyme forms, methylcobalamin and dibencozide (adenosylcobalamin), B12 is needed fc the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Active B12 is one of the most effective donors of methyl, a compound required for the manufacture and recycling of numerous essential substances in tl body, including the brain’s chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) and the amino acid methionine (recycling of methionine leads to lowering of the destructive compound homocysteine). Replication of DNA, and thus proper cell multiplication, is also dependent on B12.
B) BLOOD BUILDING
The role of B12 in the DNA replication is especially cells (which carry oxygen throughout the body) and cells enlarge and do not mature properly, leading to pernicious (megaloblastic) anaemia.
important in the production of healthy red blood haemoglobin. Without adequate B12, the red bio the potentially dangerous condition known as
C) NERVE FUNCTION
B12 is needed for the manufacture of the phospholipids in cell membranes (required for proper nerve transmission) and the myelin sheath (which covers and protects nerve cells and enhances conduction < nerve messages). The adverse neurological implications of a B12 deficiency are vast and range from isolated symptoms (e.g. numbness and tingling sensations) to degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which is associated with nerve de-myelination. High-dose B12 (especially in the coenzyme form) may be of some use in treating certain degenerative processes seen in MS and diabeti neuropathy.
Please note: Neurological damage caused by long-term B12 deficiency can be irreversible. It is vital ti ensure adequate consistent intake, especially as deficiency signs may not manifest symptomatically fo, several years.
D) MENTAL FUNCTION AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
The beneficial impact of B12 on mental function and emotional health is greatly dependent on its rol in fatty acid synthesis, nerve cell health and methyl donation. As mentioned, B12 donates methyl groups, thus facilitating the manufacture and recycling of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are responsible for memory, mental clarity and alertness, mood and many other processes. B12 deficiency can cause depression and many symptoms of cognitive decline (manifesting similarly to Alzheimer’s Disease). In fact, elevated homocysteine, which can be reduced by B12 supplementation, has been shown to be a causative factor in Alzheimer’s Disease. Research on elderly patients with mental impairment caused by inadequate B12 intake highlights the urgency of early detection of a deficiency For example, one study showed that only those who had been suffering such impairment for less tha one year experienced improvement after B12 supplementation.
E) CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Elevated homocysteine is also a major risk factor in the development of atherosclerosis, the primary trigger for cardiovascular disease. B12, especially along with folic acid (also a methyl donor) and vitamin B6 can help protect blood vessel walls by facilitating the recycling of homocysteine back int< the amino acid methionine (B12 and folic acid) and the metabolism of homocysteine into cystathion and cysteine (B6).
- Pernicious (megaloblastic) anaemia
- Nervous system disorders (e.g. diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis [MS]) Depression (especially in the elderly) Insomnia (especially in the elderly)
- Memory loss/reduced cognitive function (i.e. Alzheimer’s Disease and senile dementia) Cardiovascular disease (when associated with elevated homocysteine levels) Hives (urticaria)
- Asthma (especially when associated with sulfite sensitivity)
- Male infertility (low sperm count)