Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, one of the eight-part B complex.


Also known as cobalamin, B12 is involved in cellular metabolism and formation of red blood cells (RBCs). It has an integral role in brain and nervous system function. B12 is made from an intrinsic factor, i.e., a glycoprotein, in the human stomach.

Immune system[edit]

Vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with decreased natural killer cell activity.[1]

Chronic fatigue syndrome[edit]

Notable studies[edit]

  • 2015, Response to Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia
    "Abstract: Background - Patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, also called chronic fatigue syndrome) may respond most favorably to frequent vitamin B12 injections, in vital combination with oral folic acid. However, there is no established algorithm for individualized optimal dosages, and rate of improvement may differ considerably between responders. Objective - To evaluate clinical data from patients with ME, with or without fibromyalgia, who had been on B12 injections at least once a week for six months and up to several years. Methods - 38 patients were included in a cross-sectional survey. Based on a validated observer’s rating scale, they were divided into Good (n = 15) and Mild (n = 23) responders, and the two groups were compared from various clinical aspects. Results - Good responders had used significantly more frequent injections (p<0.03) and higher doses of B12 (p<0.03) for a longer time (p<0.0005), higher daily amounts of oral folic acid (p<0.003) in good relation with the individual MTHFR genotype, more often thyroid hormones (p<0.02), and no strong analgesics at all, while 70% of Mild responders (p<0.0005) used analgesics such as opioids, duloxetine or pregabalin on a daily basis. In addition to ME, the higher number of patients with fibromyalgia among Mild responders was bordering on significance (p<0.09). Good responders rated themselves as “very much” or “much” improved, while Mild responders rated “much” or “minimally” improved. Conclusions - Dose-response relationship and long-lasting effects of B12/folic acid support a true positive response in the studied group of patients with ME/fibromyalgia. It’s important to be alert on co-existing thyroid dysfunction, and we suspect a risk of counteracting interference between B12/folic acid and certain opioid analgesics and other drugs that have to be demethylated as part of their metabolism. These issues should be considered when controlled trials for ME and fibromyalgia are to be designed."[2]
  • 2000, Cobalamin Used in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Therapy Is a Nitric Oxide Scavenger
    "Abstract - Cobalamin (vitamin B12) in the form of hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin injections has been widely used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Hydroxocobalamin is a nitric oxide scavenger and is proposed here to act as such a scavenger in CFS treatment. Its possible efficacy in CFS treatment, if further substantiated, may provide confirmation of a prediction of the elevated nitric oxide/peroxynitrite theory of CFS etiology. This interpretation of the possible role of cobalamin in CFS treatment suggests a useful perspective for confirming and optimizing this treatment."[3]

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Tamura, J.; Kubota, K.; Murakami, H.; Sawamura, M.; Matsushima, T.; Tamura, T.; Saitoh, T.; Kurabayshi, H.; Naruse, T. (1999-04-01), "Immunomodulation by vitamin B12: augmentation of CD8+ T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cell activity in vitamin B12-deficient patients by methyl-B12 treatment", Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 116 (1): 28–32, ISSN 1365-2249, doi:10.1046/j.1365-2249.1999.00870.x, retrieved 2016-11-09 
  2. Regland, Björn; Forsmark, Sara; Halaouate, Lena; Matousek, Michael; Peilot, Birgitta; Zachrisson, Olof; Gottfries, Carl-Gerhard (2015), "Response to Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia.", PLoS ONE, 10 (4), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124648 
  3. Martin L. Pall. (2000). Cobalamin Used in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Therapy Is a Nitric Oxide Scavenger. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol. 8, Iss. 2, pp. 39-44.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history