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Methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) is part of the B-vitamin complex. B vitamins are important for the energy metabolism in the nervous system, including the brain. Vitamin B12 included all vitamin-effective cobalamins, which are mainly found in animal foods bound to proteins. In the stomach, vitamin B12 has to be linked to the intrinsic factor in order to be actively absorbed via the intestinal mucosa. The intestinal factor is a glycoprotein which is formed in the gastric mucosa. However, even an intact intrinsic factor can only facilitate to absorb about 1.5 µg of vitamin b12 at once.

Furthermore, vitamin B12 breaks down the undesired homocysteine into the essential amino acid methionine and thus contributes to a normal homocysteine metabolism. Homocysteine is an intermediate product in the human body and is converted to methionine in the liver and kidneys. In addition to vitamin B12, folate (vitamin B9) is also involved in this conversion.

Which health-related claims for vitamin B12 are established?

Cobalamin (Vitamin B12):
  • contributes to normal red blood cell formation,
  • contributes to normal cell division,
  • contributes to normal energy metabolism,
  • contributes to a normal function of the immune system,
  • contributes to normal neurological and psychological functions,
  • contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism,
  • can contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an agency of the European Union which supports the EU in risk assessmet in all areas in food safety which its scientific evaluations. The effects of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, which were tested and scientifically proven by the EFSA, are reffered to as health claims.

What is special about Jarrow Methyl B-12?

Jarrow Methyl B-12 are easy-to-consume lozenges that provide the body with high quality methylcobalamin. In this way, vitamin B12 can be effectively absorbed via the oral mucosa during the sucking or chewing process.

Methylcobalamin is an active form of vitamin B12 that is easy to absorb by the body and it has a high bioactivity. Unlike cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin does not need to be converted to a biologically active form in the liver. This bioactivity favors the sustained activity in the body, since methycobalamin is retained three times longer. The methylcobalamin contained in the lozenges can be used directly through sublingual absorption. Only about 1% of the vitamin can be digested via the oral pathway, which means that the dosage of the individual tablets must be quite high in order to achieve the daily recommendations.

Only plant-based ingredients are used for the production; therefore, the tablets are completely vegan and can be consumed by vegans and vegetarians.

Why are the lozenges reddish when they have a lemon or peach flavor?

The pink lozenges are available with 500 µg methyl B-12 (1 tablet per day) as cherry flavor, 1000 µg methyl B-12 (1 tablet every other day) as lemon flavor, 2500 µg methyl B-12 (1 tablet every 5 days) as peach flavor as well as a trio of 1000 µg methyl B-12, 400 µg methyl folate and 1500 µg vitamin B6 (1 tablet every other day) with lemon flavor. Each of these strengths contain a different colorless aroma, which does not affect the color of the lozenges.

Vitamin B12 is naturally red in color, which is also responsible for the pink color of the tables. As a result, supplements with a higher dosage, regardless of their taste, appear in an increasingly reddish color. For example, tablets with lemon flavor have a stronger pink color due to the dosage of 1000 µg than those with cherry flavor, which contain only half the amount of vitamin B12.

The tablets can be sucked or chewed in the mouth for a good absorption in the body.

Which groups of people benefit from vitamin B12 supplementation?

With an increasing age or impaired gastric mucosal funtion, the activity of the intrinsic factor decreases, which can lead to a limited availability of vitamin B12 in the elderly and people who take certain medications (e.g. acid blockers or metformin etc.). A sufficient vitamin B12 status is also important for vegetarians and vegans, since plant-based foods hardly contain any vitamin B12.

In addition to vitamin B12 – especially with a vegan diet – the nutrition should focus on vegetable proteins, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins, e.g. riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin D, and minerals such as calcium, iron, iodine, zinc and selenium. Vitamin D is in general considered as a potentially critical nutrient regardless of diet, especially during winter and insufficient sun exposure.