What is it?
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin which is important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism
of every cell of the body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production.
Vitamin B-12 is the name for a class of chemically-related compounds, all of which have vitamin activity. It is structurally the most complicated vitamin. Biosynthesis of the
basic structure of the supplement can only be accomplished by bacteria, but conversion between different forms of the vitamin can be accomplished in the human body. A common form of
the vitamin, cyanocobalamin, does not occur in nature, but is used as a supplement and food additive, due to its stability. It is converted to other forms of the vitamin which are actually used in chemical reactions in the body.
Historically, this vitamin was discovered from its relationship to the disease pernicious anemia, which was eventually discovered to result from an effective lack of this vitamin
due to problems with the mechanisms in the body which normally absorb it. Many other more subtle kinds of vitamin B-12 deficiency, and biochemical effects from them, have since been
Much more than Vitamin B12 is discussed back at the Natural Souce Vitamins Homepage