The key difference between methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin is that methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring highly bioavailable form of vitamin B12, while hydroxocobalamin is a man-made injectable form of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the well-being of people. This vitamin usually protects DNA molecules, nerves, and brain cells. It also supports the immune system of the human body. Moreover, it also stimulates the production of serotonin, known as “feel good hormone.” This hormone can help boost people’s moods. Naturally, this vitamin is found in animal products such as meat, oily fish, eggs, and dairy products. Vegetarians or vegans may fall short of this vitamin if they don’t balance or supplement their diet carefully. Vitamin B12 exists in four chemical forms: methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, cyanocobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Methylcobalamin
3. What is Hydroxocobalamin
4. Similarities – Methylcobalamin and Hydroxocobalamin
4. Methylcobalamin vs Hydroxocobalamin in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Methylcobalamin vs Hydroxocobalamin
What is Methylcobalamin?
Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring coenzyme that is found in many food sources. It works synergistically to cover up most of the vitamin B12 needs in the human body. This form is the most bioavailable type of vitamin B12. It means the human body absorbs this chemical form more easily. As methylcobalamin is naturally occurring, it is found in animal-based foods such as meat, fish, milk, and eggs. Therefore, this form is readily available in many people’s daily diets. Furthermore, methylcobalamin is the most activated form of vitamin B12 that is used in the liver, brain, and nervous system.
Methylcobalamin differs from cyanocobalamin as the cyano group at the cobalt atom is replaced with a methyl group. Furthermore, methylcobalamin features octahedral cobalt (III) center and can be obtained as red bright crystals. The pharmacological form of methylcobalamin can be used for the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency, peripheral neuropathy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
What is Hydroxocobalamin?
Hydroxocobalamin is a man-made injectable form of vitamin B12. It is normally produced by gut bacteria in the digestive tract when food sources are broken down. However, it is generally developed in a laboratory by extracting it from microorganisms. In supplement form, hydroxycobalamin is only available on prescription and is given by injection under the medical supervision of a doctor. This form of vitamin B12 is readily converted to adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin by the body after entering into the bloodstream. Later, it will be available for cells to absorb and use it.
Hydroxocobalamin is used to treat low levels of vitamin B12 (deficiency) that results from poor nutrition, stomach/intestinal problems, infection, or cancer. Certain medical conditions such as pernicious anemia may require patients to continue receiving injections every month. Furthermore, it occurs as an odorless dark red orthorhombic crystal. In injectable form, it appears as a clear dark red solution.
What are the Similarities Between Methylcobalamin and Hydroxocobalamin?
- Methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin are two chemical forms of vitamin B12.
- Both forms can be synthesized in the laboratory.
- These forms are available in pharmacies.
- Both forms can be taken orally as well as through injections.
- They are used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Both forms appear red in color.
What is the Difference Between Methylcobalamin and Hydroxocobalamin?
Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring, highly bioavailable form of vitamin B12, while hydroxocobalamin is a man-made injectable form of vitamin B12. Thus, this is the key difference between methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin. Furthermore, the chemical formula of methylcobalamin is C63H92CoN13O14P, while the chemical formula of hydroxocobalamin is C62H89CoN13O15P.
The below infographic presents the differences between methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Methylcobalamin vs Hydroxocobalamin
Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin involved in metabolism. Methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin are two forms of vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring, highly bioavailable form of vitamin B12, while hydroxocobalamin is a man-made injectable form of vitamin B12. So, this is the summary of the difference between methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin