Do you have trouble sleeping? Maybe it’s because you are having a B12 deficiency… or maybe it’s because you’re not taking the right kind of B12. Do you have trouble with your nerves, neuropathy, and thus possibly having trouble with numbness, tingling, loss of feeling sensation, burning sensations, muscle cramps, nerve pain and slowness of reflexes. All of these can sometimes be fixed with B12. However, did you know there are even 2 different types of B12’s? Let us break this down a bit…

There are essentially 2 types. One is called Methylcobalamin B12 (abbreviated Methyl B12) and another form is called Cyanocobalamin B12. The first kind, is the type of B12 that your body can actually use without having to convert it and therefore your body is able to get more of what it needs to repair. The second kind, Cyanocobalamin B12 is much harder for your body to use and consume. Very often the second kind is used more because it is cheaper and much more accessible.

These are the differences between what is often called “active form” B12 and then just a normal B12 that you often would find in health food stores or the pharmacy brand.

Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly supplemented form of B12 and its not actually found to occur in plant or animal tissues. This compound is actually almost impossible to be found in nature. Cyanocobalamin actually contains a cyanide molecule. Many people know cyanide as an item that can actually kill someone, however the amounts in this B12 are so small that they don’t have that power. However, your body does have to work a little harder to remove this from the vitamin you are putting in your body and can play a part in this kind of B12 becoming less effective than B12 should be for you.

Methylcobalamin is a certain form of B12 needed for your nervous system to be truly healthy. Because of methylcobalamin’s importance in nervous system health, it is also an important nutrient for vision. In fact, continually looking at a computer or other damaging source, often leads to a reduction in something called “visual accommodation”. Methylcobalamin can significantly improve visual accommodation, while cyanocobalamin appears to be ineffective per tests done so far.

The most well studied use of methylcobalamin has to do with sleep. Although the exact mechanism of action is not yet clear, it is possible that methylcobalamin is needed for the synthesis of melatonin. Available information indicates that methylcobalamin can modulate melatonin secretion, enhance light-sensitivity, and normalize your 24 hour clock in your body. In addition to helping with sleep, your body can simply absorb the nutrients in methylcobalamin much easier and thus of course your body can react and improve or perform much more accurately due to the easy absorbing of the nutrients.

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