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091: Does it matter what form of B12 you take?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 91


Cyanocobalamin is cheap and there's not really any clear evidence that it's harmful, but I just don't like the idea that it is cobalamin bound to cyanide. It's not found in the food supply. Forming cyanocobalamin and peeing it out is actually one of the main ways you detoxify cyanide.

Hydroxocobalamin is also relatively inexpensive. It's relatively easy to get as injections. It is not an end product of detoxification. It is found in very high concentrations in the food supply. The normal forms of vitamin B12 that you find in the diet from food are hydroxocobalamin and methylcobalamin in milk, and hydroxocobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in meat. Hydroxocobalamin is the most universal food form of cobalamin, and it is always a substantial part of the food supply. I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than methylcobalamin, so I would use intramuscular injections of hydroxocobalamin.

Most B vitamins start their absorption in the stomach and then mostly absorb in the small intestine. In the case of B12, when you're dealing with food, you're absorbing it in the small intestine almost exclusively with intrinsic factor that's produced in your stomach.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:

Harnessing the Power of Nutrients
Recording and Transcript of Ask Me Anything About Nutrition | March 8, 2019
Watch now (159 min) | Below you will find the time stamps for specific questions, the relevant links, the private podcast audio version, and the transcript. The time stamps are available to everyone but everything else is reserved for Masterpass members. Learn more about the Masterpass…
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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
We use Zoom, a video chatting software, in webinar mode. You can ask your question anonymously in text, but you can also ask it publicly, and you can even get "on stage" and share your mic, web cam, or screen with everyone.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD