The critical role of vitamin B12

Ilia Volkov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vitamin B12 affects the peripheral and central nervous systems, bone marrow, skin and mucous membranes, bones, and vessels, as well as the normal development of children. Although there is undoubtedly an association between vitamin B12 and homo-cysteinemia, their relative inluence on cardiovascular events is controversial. Some large studies confirm that a supplementation with group B vitamins did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality in patients with vascular disease. The outcomes of these and similar trials could have been different had the researchers considered the following points: Using vitamin B12 or B-complex as secondary prevention of cardiovascular events for patients with irreversible changes of blood vessels is probably in error. Rather, vitamin B12 or B-complex should be used as primary prevention. Also, using high doses of vitamin B12 will probably be more effective than using low doses of "group B vitamins." The effect of vitamin B12 on the proliferation of malignant cells has been examined in vivo and in vitro in numerous studies. Their results indicate that methylcobalamin inhibits the proliferation of malignant cells and propose the possibility of methylcobalamin as a candidate of potentially useful agents for the treatment for some malignant tumors. There are many articles indicating the increasing prevalence of low vitamin B12 level in different segments of general population, in order to prevent serious health problems, vitamin B12 routine fortification should be seriously considered and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Homocysteine
  • Malignancy
  • Recurrent aphthous stomatitis
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin B routine fortification


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