The human organism is a supremely complex set of overlapping and intertwining systems, organs, and tissues. Elementary jingles detailing the ways in which certain bones connect to their neighbors fall magnificently short of capturing the sheer interconnectedness which characterizes these, our mortal coils. Skeletal frames support muscle tissue and house vital organs, while said organs interact with one another to keep food digesting, blood filtered, and new cells forming.
But the animating network to which our mobility and sensory capacity is attributable is that of the nervous system, without which the musculoskeletal complex of even our species’ finest athletes would be wholly worthless. And just as the human organism is itself profound in its complexity, so too must our diets be suitably complex in order to ensure resilient health and strong functionality.
With respect to the aforementioned nervous system, no vitamin is so important to its proper signaling of the muscles as is methylcobalamin B-12 (a supplemental form of Vitamin B12), the chemical structure of which ensures healthy maintenance of one’s myelin sheathing (which surrounds the nerves themselves) and allows for rapid communication between neural cells. Thus, everything from movement itself to one’s reflexes and capacity for physiological stimulation hinges in no small part upon the presence of methylcobalamin B-12 in suitable quantities.
But neurological health, supremely important though it is, amounts to only one of several benefits one’s various bodily systems will glean from proper ingestion of methylcobalamin B-12. While cobalamin (B12) is generally derived from the flesh of animals, as humans lack the proper biochemistry to produce it themselves, many processed foods (check your cereal box) are fortified to some degree or another with B12. This aspect of the American food industry stands as testament to the dietary importance of adequate cobalamin levels.
Rises in vegetarianism, veganism, and health conscious epicureanism have led to a challenge where cobalamin levels are concerned—the absence of animal flesh sources in many diets (and its reduction in others) necessitates the alternative of active supplementation, lest woeful side-effects visit themselves upon the B12 deficient body.
Thus, while any number of people, regardless of diet, might well benefit from the ingestion of methylcobalamin B-12, those for whom cobalamin’s traditional sources are ethically unacceptable or incompatible with certain nutritional restrictions stand to benefit greatly from the ingestion of so potent a food-derived cobalamin source. Choosing a viable supplement is hugely important for those dependent upon non-food B12 sources, if for no other reason than the differences in absorption quality from one brand to the next.
A brief overview of the various bodily systems which benefit directly and indirectly from methylcobalamin B-12 is pertinent to understanding why cobalamin supplementation is vital for those whose diets do not provide this essential biochemical.
1. Metabolic Health – Many American diets are replete with carbohydrates, sugars, and fats, all of which are perfectly suitable for human ingestion, provided they are consumed in moderate quantities and offset by adequate exercise. Where methylcobalamin B-12 comes into play is in the way the vitamin facilitates energy production. Specifically, carbohydrate transformation into the useful adenosine triphosphate (ATP) requires sufficient cobalamin quantities within the body. In short, adequate B12 quantities within the body allow for favorable conversion of potentially worthless calories and food matter into accessible energy reserves with which further activity might be fueled.
2. Myelin Production – As noted above, the nervous system’s tissue sheath, myelin, is highly dependent upon cobalamin for sustained production and protection from deterioration. Nerve cells depend greatly upon such a protective layer for purposes of both physical insulation and proper inter-cellular communication. Sensory perception itself is compromised when myelin sheathing succumbs to malnutrition; thus, methylcobalamin B-12 supplementation allows for proper mobility and coordination.
3. Blood Oxygenation (Red Blood Cell Creation) – Simply put, red blood cell production comes to a slow but ultimately grinding halt in the absence of sufficient methylcobalamin B-12 levels within the body. The result is oxygen deficiency throughout one’s organism, as red blood cells are responsible for the oxygenating of tissues throughout the body. Cobalamin essentially allows for necessary biochemical reactions to materialize within the cellular production system, thereby allowing for uninterrupted creation of red blood cells.
Methylcobalamin B-12 supplementation allows for the continued bodily health of those who either abstain from consuming traditional sources (namely, animal flesh) altogether, or whose diets simply do not provide adequate quantities of this essential vitamin. Maintaining strong nerve, blood, and metabolic health hinges substantially upon the presence of cobalamin within the diet, whether obtained via certain foods or with the adoption of a responsible supplement regimen.