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You’ve Been Alerted! Vitamin B-12 Supplements Contain Cyanide

Did you know that many health and food supplements contain toxins? food supplements contain toxins? Yes, you heard that right. When buying products labeled as “Natural,” little do we think they would contain amounts of potentially harmful toxins like Cyanide… That's the case when it comes to vitamin B12! This vitamin supplement contains amounts of cyanide but is it as harmful as were led to believe?

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Today we’ll explore Vitamin B12, how it works, why we need it, and if the amount of cyanide contained in these supplements is truly harmful! Before talking about Cyanide, let’s chat about Vitamin B12!

Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in your body. 

It’s known to help with different systems within the body, including energy, memory, sleep, stroke, improvement of mood, and indications of inflammation. It’s especially helpful for those with a low red blood cell count and dementia. Vitamin B12 is significant because it assists brain and nerve function. You can find primary sources of Vitamin B12 in animal products such as meat, milk, eggs, and fish. Vegetables don’t contain any Vitamin B12 putting vegans and vegetarians at a greater risk of B12 deficiency. 

There are three different types and sources of Vitamin B12.

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First, is Cyanocobalamin, typically found in packaged food where the B12 is either added or supplemented. 

The second is Adenosylcobalamin, mainly found in animal meat, especially in the liver. 

And the third is Methylcobalamin, found in naturally occurring animal products like milk, eggs, and supplements. Most of us get our B12 either from food or through supplements. 

How B12 gets absorbed in our bodies

Now that you know where your body gets B12, it's time to discuss absorption. Chewing and digesting releases B12 from the foods you ingest through stomach acid and enzyme activities. Then protein in saliva and stomach gather up B12 and take it to the gastrointestinal tract, which is your intestines. Once in the digestive system, the “Freed” B12 will go to the different cells of your body with another protein named intrinsic factor. The intrinsic factor is a vital protein that plays a significant role in the transportation and absorption of B12. The absorption process for B12 from food is quite the process. Supplements, however, are not bound to food, so they’re more manageable for the body, making them ideal for those with a deficiency.

Read this post: Top 10 High Vegetarian Protein Sources to Include in Your Diet

But, what is B12 deficiency? And when do you need supplements?

When levels of B12 are marginally lower than average, symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, poor memory, depression, and headaches may be experienced, especially in older people. B12 deficiency can cause severe and irreparable damage to the brain and nervous system, and deficient B12 levels can cause mania and psychosis. Depending on the cause of your deficiency, you may need to take vitamin B12 supplements for the rest of your life. You may have to work with a nutritionist if your deficiency is due to diet problems. They can help with a diet plan to ensure you get enough vitamin B12 and other essential vitamins. Doctors generally treat vitamin B12 deficiency with vitamin B12 shots. Cyanocobalamin is the form of vitamin B12. It contains both Vitamin B12 and Cyanide and is used in nearly all mass-market and is most common, especially in injections and supplements. 

But why use Cyanide?

This form of B12 is common because it is very cheap, stable, and long-lasting. This form is made with total chemical synthesis from animal tissue or recovered from activated sewage sludge. Yes, Cyanide is life-threatening but… Your body can handle small quantities of Cyanide. And truthfully, it's better to take these supplements than to risk deficiency. The body detoxifies the small amounts of Cyanide when it separates from cobalamin before the vitamin can perform its biologically essential roles within the body. However, Cyanide, in its non-vitamin form, is highly toxic. It only takes around 7 mg per kilogram, or approximately 2 mg, to kill an average-sized rat. Still, the margin of safety for this vitamin B12 is about 1,000 times higher. In vitamins, cyanide is relatively harmless; whatever is absorbed gets ejected through urine.

But you are at risk if... 

You are a smoker or higher in cyanide exposure. Your body is already burdened with toxins and will have high levels of Cyanide to detoxify. Consider avoiding specific vitamins and foods. This could be extremely dangerous as the body’s toxic burden will eventually hit a peak. 

Luckily you do have an option… 

Because there are terrible consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency, thankfully, there is a supplement available called Methylcobalamin which does not contain Cyanide. But always double-check products or supplements with your doctors before taking them. Your body might reject a supplement, and reactions can be life-threatening. 

Want to keep learning about Vitamin? Read The 16 Best Vitamin K - Rich Foods You Must Include in Your Diet Or 11 Foods Rich in Biotin - Foods With Biotin (Vitamin B7, Vitamin H)! Click one or why not both to keep the conversation going. 

Did you know about cyanide in B12 before reading this post? Let us know in the comments below.

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The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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