Vitmain B-12, Cyanacobalamin

Vitamin B12, cobalamins, is a general term for a collection of compounds called corrinoids. They are all cobalt-containing compounds. However, the most comon use of the term B12 is in reference to only one form of the vitamin: cyanocobalamin. B12 is considered the most chemically complex of all the vitamins. B12 can be found in high concentrations in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. B12 is involved with folate to create building blocks for DNA and RNA as well as the synthesis of molecules to maintain the integrity of the genome. B12 also helps maintain the nervous system, participates in the creation of molecules crucial to the production of energy, and is involved in the biosynthesis of fatty acids. One form of B12, methylcobalamin is the cofactor in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Vitamin B12 plays many important roles in the proper functioning of the body. It is important to maintain proper levels in the body to avoid a deficiency and maintain optimal health.

Vitamin B12 should not be combined with chloramphenicol as this combination may disrupt B12 function. If this combination is used, it is recommended blood counts be closely monitored. Potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C all work against B12 as well, increasing the risk of a deficiency by interfering with absorption. The following drugs may also interfere with the absorption and function of B12, use the combinations with caution: aminosalicyclic acid, antibiotics, cobalt irradiation, colchicine, colestipol, cholestyramine, H2 Blockers, metformin, neomycin, nicotine, oral contraceptives, nitrous oxide, phenytoin, zidovudine, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These combinations, if the drugs are used for a long period of time, may lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is well tolerated by people even when administered in high doses. There have only been reports of allergic reactions when B12 is administered through injections. For mild deficiencies of B12, doses of 300 to 2,000 mcg daily have been recommended.

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