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Vitamin B12

Cobalamin, Dibencozide

Vitamin B12 and its deficiency syndrome, pernicious anaemia, was recognised and described as early as 1855. Vitamin B12 is a bright red crystalline compound because of its high content of cobalt. Vitamin B12 works with folic acid in many processes, including the synthesis of DNA, red blood cells, and the myelin sheath (surrounding nerve cells). Dibencozide is the coenzyme form of vitamin B12.


A standard dose to treat pernicious anaemia is 2mg (2,000mcg) daily of vitamin B12 for 1 month, followed by a daily intake of 1mg. Due to poor dietary availability, a vitamin B12 supplement is recommended for vegetarians and vegans. No clear toxicity from large doses of vitamin B12 has ever been recorded.

Potential applications

Depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis), diabetic neuropathy, AIDS (10-35% of all patients have low B12 status), Alzheimer's Disease, asthma and sulphite sensitivity, multiple sclerosis, low sperm count, tinnitus, and pernicious anaemia, fatigue, and red blood cell production. Pernicious anaemia - vitamin B12 deficiency, results in impaired nerve function, which can cause numbness, pins-and-needles sensations, or a burning feeling. It can also impair mental function and lead to a demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system.

Known contraindications

None known.


A high intake of folic acid may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. Those using the anti-diabetic drug Metformin should supplement with folic acid and vitamin B12. Oral contraceptive drugs are likely to deplete vitamin B12 amongst other nutrients.

Use in conjunction with

  • Jet lag - Rhodiola, B complex, pycnogenol/grape seed extract


In order to absorb the small amounts of vitamin B12 found in food, the stomach secretes intrinsic factor, a special digestive secretion that increases the absorption of vitamin B12 in the small intestine.


© Cheryl Thallon at Viridian

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