Methylcobalamin is what is known as a cobalamin (MeCbl or MeB12) and it is used in treating peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy and as a first round treatment therapy for people afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
It is a type of vitamin B12 and is different from cyanocobalamin because the poisonous cyanide is replaced by a methyl group.
Methylcobalamin considered to be equivalent to vitamin B12, and can therefore be used in treating conditions in which people are deficient in vitamin B12, such as pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 is vital in producing red blood cells, thus preventing anemia.
How is Methylcobalamin produced?
Cyanocobalamin is a type of vitamin B12 which the liver converts to make methylcobalamin. However, it doesn’t make enough of it to assist the body in treating certain damaging diseases or conditions. Synthetic Methylcobalamin is a dietary supplement you can buy in stores and online.
Methylcobalamin also exists in our natural environment and is produced by certain types of bacteria. It is responsible for what is called the biomethylation of heavy metals, such as methyl mercury.
What benefits are there from Methylcobalamin?
Research studies on Methylcobalamin have been done on sleeping disorders that show it is somewhat beneficial, but not consistently so. However, other studies have been done through giving mega doses of it to patients who suffered with chronic fatigue syndrome, strokes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Bells Palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and additional types of neurological problems as well.
These studies were started due to the fact that Methylcobalamin may be useful in getting rid of glutamate in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that can get to levels in the brain that then cause damage.
The studies showed that Methylcobalamin could indeed assist in reducing tiredness, as well as stabilizing a person’s mood, improve their memory and their ability to function. Here is the study information:
In 1996 a study using six females (average age of 35) and 14 males (average age of 37) were treated with 3 mg of Methylcobalamin for two weeks in order to see if it helped their alertness, circadian rhythm and concentration.
In the subjects who received the Methylcobalamin instead of a placebo, all had significant improvements in those areas.
It was considered to be a small test, however, so more testing needs to be done to confirm or deny these findings.
Methylcobalamin was also found to help protect a patient from hearing damage while taking gentamicin, which was a side effect of taking gentamicin.
Methylcobalamin supplementation is also thought to help prevent the death of brain cells due to glutamate toxins. While brain cells need glutamate to act as a neurotransmitter, it can also kill the cells if there is too much of it being released. A study done in Europe showed that by taking Methylcobalamin the patients were able to have their brain cells protected from producing too much glutamate.
It was thought that this was caused by Methylcobalamin protecting the cells by enhancement of the methylation of brain cells. Other similar therapies giving Vitamin B6, folic acid and TMG along with Methylcobalamin have been shown to possibly protect the body from heart problems, stroke issues and other old age related problems.
Another study showed that Methylcobalamin can help improve a person’s immune system function ability. The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, demonstrated that Methylcobalamin helped to enhance T-cells and T helper cells in the treatment of certain types of cancers.
Methylcobalamin is also considered to be an antioxidant, which means it can help in getting rid of free radicals, in the body and thus reduce or prevent any damage they could cause. Free radicals can cause problems such as heart disease or certain types of cancer.
Methylcobalamin is much less costly than prescription drugs used to treat some of these conditions and has far less side effects as well.
What is the dosage of Methylcobalamin?
The normal dosage of Methylcobalamin B12 supplement given is 5mg pills two or three times a week or as prescribed by a doctor. In order for it to remain effective and do its job in a person’s system, they must keep taking it indefinitely or it will stop producing its positive effects. In some cases it may be given daily in a dosage of between one and five milligrams.
Studies have shown, however, that higher doses of as much as 40 mg (according to tests done with animals) must be given to patients in order to regenerate neurons and to repair the myelin sheath over the nerves which protect it from damage or injury. They need to take Methylcobalamin every day as well to get the best results.
The main point is that Methylcobalamin is a valuable dietary supplement that has the potential to treat or prevent many medical problems. If you are interested in starting a therapy using Methylcobalamin, you should talk to your doctor for more advice.