Why Do Vitamin B12 Supplements Contain Cyanide? | GreenMedInfo
It’s all too common to assume that mass market vitamin manufacturers have your best interests at heart. Walking the aisles of pharmacy chains like Walgreens or CVS, you’ll notice hundreds if not thousands of ostensibly “natural products” in this category, and you may not think twice about what’s actually in these pleasantly dressed bottles. But a quick peek down the rabbit hole of this subject will reveal that there is a distinctively dark side to the industry, especially supplement companies owned by the world’s largest pharmaceutical giants like Bayer. If you want background on this subject, read my article, Top Pharma-Brand of Children’s Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals, wherein we discuss the children’s ‘vitamin’ known as Flinstones. It’s a trainwreck of a story.
Unknown to most consumers, cyanide is found in a wide range of vitamins and foods as a synthetic additive known as cyanocobalamin. Fortunately the cyanide has a very low potential to do harm because it is organically bound to cobalamin (vitamin b12) — that is, as long as everything is working correctly and that person hasn’t already been overburdened with environmental chemical exposures from cyanide, and related xenobiotic compounds that may interfere with their cyanide detoxifying pathways. Also, there are genetically-based differences in the ability of individuals to decyanate (remove the cyanide) cobalamin that has been identified to be mediated by a trafficking chaperone known as MMACHC. In fact, defects in MMACHC are believed to be the most common cause of inborn errors of b12 metabolism. Those who suffer from MMACHC-related dsyfunctions should be careful to only use cyanide-free forms such as aquacobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, or methylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is actually found in the vast majority of the vitamins on the market which contain b12, as it is relatively cheap (recovered from activated sewage sludge or mammalian tissue with the addition of potassium cyanide or produced through total chemical synthesis), and relatively stable (non-perishable). Despite its wide usage, it is not an ideal form of vitamin b12, as the cyanide must be removed from the cobalamin before it can perform its biological indispensable roles within the body. While there is plenty of research on the potential value of cyanide-bound vitamin b12, and certainly vitamin B deficiency can have devastating adverse health effects, but it does have potential to do harm, and at the very least can not be considered superior to non-cyanide containing forms.