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« My Favorite Healthy Kitchen Pantry Staples: For Quick, Easy & Delicious Plant-Based/Vegan Meals | Main | The Healthy Librarian's Brain Back-Up: Brain Plasticity, Dr. Michael Merzenich, Vitamin B-12's Alzheimer's Connection, and "Enlightened" Spicy Sweet Butternut Squash and Black Beans »

October 18, 2010



Great post - super informative and well-referenced. Thanks!


Wonderful information as always, and badly needed. Thank you!


My husband has a difficult time swallowing pills. However, we have found that not all sublinguals dissolve easily. Would you please tell me which brand you are taking? Thanks,


I second the request to know the brand you are taking! I'm drowning in information three weeks into the Esselstyn diet and would appreciate the info greatly.

Carol Stephanson

Thanks again for another great post! You've succeeded in convincing me to take a pill, not an easy thing to accomplish. I love the way you distill things and give us the bottom line that we really care about, saving us so much time. I'd love to see you do a post about how you manage to accomplish so much - I'm not even gainfully employed at the moment, and I'm concerned about how the days drift away without enough on the "tada!" list. How on earth do you do it?!


I have some B12 in a bottle, but it's cyanocobalamin. Guess I'll get methylcobalamin on my next trip to Whole Foods. :-)

Steven Rice Fitness

A timely study announced today:
Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease



Vitamin B12 ,Folic acid and Pyridoxine have a central role in cell growth and energy production and have given rise speculation that these vitamins may boost the promotion of carcinogenesis and enhance the growth of cancer cells at high doses.

Kim YI. Folate and colorectal cancer: an evidence-based critical review. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007;51(3):267-292

Ulrich CM, Potter JD. Folate and cancer: timing is everything. JAMA. 2007;297(21):2408-2409

More on the possible dual role of B12 and carcinogenesis:

Prior F. G. Theoretical involvement of vitamin B6 in tumor initiation. Med. Hypothesis, 16: 421-428, 1985

Herbert V. The inhibition of some cancers and the promotion of others by folic acid, vitamin B12, and their antagonists Butterworth C. E. Hutchinson M. L. eds. . Nutritional Factors in the Induction and Maintenance of Malignancy, : 273-287, Academic Press New York 1983

Herbert V. Role of vitamin B12 and folate in carcinogenesis. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 206: 293-311, 1986

Bender D. A. Vitamin B6 Bender D. A. eds. . Nutritional Biochemistry of the Vitamins, : 223-268, Cambridge University Press New York 1992

Bender D. A., Bowden J. F., Coulsen W. F., Dewji M. R., Sutton J., Symes E. K. Vitamin B-6 deficiency enhances end-organ sensitivity to steroid hormones Leklem J. E. Reynolds R. D. eds. . Current Topics in Nutrition and Disease: Clinical and Physiological Applications of Vitamin B6, 19: 45-49, Alan R. Liss New York 1988


hey! hey! Have you seen the insurance commercial about the librarian who live to be 186???

Healthy Librarian

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

I got my B12 from Whole Foods--it's Jarrow Brand and its 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin. Not sure of the price, but it's not expensive stuff. Tastes just fine, and dissolves slowly. Might be better to take a 500 mcg, twice a day if you want something smaller. Some people use B12 sublingual "dots". My husband ordered 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin from VitaCost (their prices are always low)--the brand is Source Naturals.

I checked ConsumerLabs on B12 & there were no red flags on any brands--but not many reviewed.

Carol, your comment made my day! Honestly, I'm no workaholic, superachiever kind of person, at all. I just spend more time on the things I like to do (like reading, blogging, cooking, exercising, & going out),--and I always think I'm not getting enough done--because I put off the stuff I don't like to do. I think there really is something to matching your daily to-do list with the ebb & flow of our energy throughout the day. I learned a lot from this post:

Thanks, Steven, for the tip about the B12 article in Neurology! Keep 'em coming.

Pam, you've got me real curious. I haven't seen this commercial. Are you serious? Please explain.


You wrote:

'But hold on a minute--1000 mcg compared to 2.4 mcg is a huge difference? What's up with that? Rest assured, "the Institue of Medicine has no established upper limit for B12, because of its low potential for toxicity." In the HOPE 2 Trial, 1000 mcg of B12 administered to over 5,000 adults for 5 years produced no toxic effects. My comment: After reading about the benefits of a high normal B12 intake, it just may turn out that those low ball Institute of Medicine/FDA B12 recommendations may start looking way too low--just as the DRI for vitamin D is now looking.''

I thought the discrepancy was because of cyanocobalamin vs. methylcobalamin. No?

You also wrote:

'It's reasonable to ask your doctor to check your B12 level if you are over 50 years old, are a vegan, or rarely eat animal products.'

How? By testing B12 level? No. Among other problems this may let useless B12 analogues (from spirulina etc) measure as real B12. Is it not the case that the test to do is the test of MMA level? See here: . In fact you might want to refer your readers to the whole of .

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